Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 05, 1976, Image 42

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    42—Lancaster Farming. Saturda
Homestead Notes
4-H leader is
dairy farm partner
Feature Writer
During the month of June, many Pennsylvania 4-H and
FFA members travel to Penn State to enter the dairy
judging contests. They are encouraged, taught and tested
by many advisers and dub leaders in preparation for
these contests. Among these local leaders is Jane Pepple
of Oxford, Chester County. For the last si* years, Mrs.
Pepple has helped to coach the Chester County 4-H dairy
judging teams. Her dedication to instructing these young
judges is a result and a continuing example of her interest
in quality dairy cattle, first uncovered by her own 4-H
experience when she was fourteen.
Mrs. Pepple unhesitatingly attributes her knowledge of
dairy cattle and the unfolding of her skills in judging to the
county agent and extension leaders in Blair County, Jim
Pound and Tom Kelley, who allowed her to goalong to the
4-H practice judging sessions as an observer and not as a
paring these judging sessions the 4-H members in
dividually mark their score cards and place the animals
in each or age group according to best or first place
through last. After the judging is completed, the
participants are asked to give written or oral reasons
for placing the animals as they did. Many technical and
exacting aspects of the animal’s bone structure, size,
shape and udder placement are judged and definitely
desirable qualifies apply to all these facets of the animal’s
appearance which directly relate to the animal’s
production potential and general health. This judging
process is very complicated and complex and requires a
considerable interest in these finer details to excell in it.
Having been permitted to attend these practice sessions
to judge the animals and not have to be accountable for
her decisions gave Mrs. Pepple the opportunity-to learn
and build confidence. She first went with the teams when
she was fourteen and made the judging team when she
was 16. She also adds that part of her enthusiasm for
mastering the complexities of dairy judging was a result
of having three older cousins close by who made up a
judging team. Good confidence - building experience and
a lot of practice resulted for Jane in a continuing interest
in quality dairy cattle.
Jane Pepple grew up on what she described as a
“general dairy farm writh a few sheep antfchickens, too.”
On this family farm in Sinking Valley, about forty-five
minutes west of Penn State, she undertook many 4-H
projects. Explaining that the distance from her home to
the school prohibited easy involvement in activities there,
she naturally became very active in the well-coordinated
4-H programs offered in her area.
Among her projects besides dairy cattle were beef, pigs,
capons, general gardening, tomatoes and homemaking
projects such as sewing and foods.
Mrs. Pepple quickly gives her 4-H experience and farm
background the credit for much of her understanding and
interest in the registered Holstein dairy operation she and
her husband, Robert, have engaged in the last four years.
Prior to moving to their present home, they had worked
for three and one-half years with Robert’s father at Ox-
View Farms, Inc. Deciding to farm on their own, they
ominously began operating their present farm on Friday,
October 13, 1972. Superstition has not affected their
venture though.
Residing at Pep-L- Lea Farm, Oxford Rl, Bob and Jane
Pepple have 70 registered milking cows, raise their own
Proud to be a farmer’s daughter
Growing up on a farm lends itself to experiencing
many “adventures" and as I am sure you realize by
now, I have had my share! Chasing after steers,
pampering pet pigs, begging for a pony and
working in the fields have all been a part of my life
and will remain always as good memories.
Working with the agricultural community while
growing up, in college and at LANCASTER FAR
MING, I have come to realize that the people who
still represent the backbone of our country are the
farmers who sacrifice so much to help other people
continue to live. Although mentioned many times
before, it bears repeating that food does not grow
June 5. 1976
Jane Pepple relaxes a moment with one of her
replacements, and farm 150 acres of com and hay. In
addition to raising their own heifers, they also raise bull
calves from their best cows who- are artificially in
seminated with top bulls for Ox-View Farms which breeds
Jane and Bob operate the farm themselves except for
some custom field work and parttime summer help from
an Oxford High School senior Patty Devoe. Their day
begins at 5 a.m. when Jane and Bob start the milking.
Jane continues to milk in the double-four herringbone
parlor while Bob tends to feeding and scraping. After
breakfast they both work in the-fields or around the
buildings, depending on the time of year and the jobs that'
need to be done.
Mrs. Pepple says she always was a tomboy and enjoyed
the out-of-doors and dairy cattle. She especially enjoys
working up ground in the spring. When asked if she felt
comfortable with large machinery, she replied she didhjt
mind baling or unloading chuck wagons at all. But if
anything breaks, she has to wait for Bob to fix it. “I don’t
know much about the machinery itself, but 1 don’t mind
operating it,” she added. ,
If someone calls on Mrs. Pepple alter 4 p.m. that person
will find her in the milking parlor. While die is there those
several hours a day, die is not simply operating
machinery. She knows how cows work! Although she
admits that she is “just not a Cut-throat and hates to sell a
cow who seems to have potential but doesn’t produce
well,” she shares her husband’s goal to develop a better,
not bigger, herd of animals. Knowing very well the finer
points of dairy cattle size and shape, she keeps a close eye
on the dairiness and type as well.
At present, their herd classifies with several Very Good
cattle but no Excellent ones. Bob and Jane’s ambition is to
breed their own Excellent cow someday. This day may not
be far away, judging from the pedigree of the two-month
old calf Jane showed this reporter. She is an Elevation
daughter born to an Apollo with an excellent mammary
system who recently produced 1,000 pounds of fat. If some
of you readers don’t comprehend the full merit of this
friendly looking calf, ask your husband and he will explain
why Bob has called her his “million dollar baby.” Jane
added, “She’s probably the most valuable item on the
Besides sharing her energy and enthusiasm with her
husband’s enterprise and her leadership efforts with the
Chester County Judging Team, Jane has also served as a
leader in the Oxford 4-H Home Economics Club and is a
member of the Oxford Homemakers’ Club. This last group
is a social and service oriented club which meets once a
on grocery shelves but is produced by long hours of
labor in fields and barns, miles away from the clean
artificial surroundings of a city supermarket.
Farmers could have been satisfied with producing
only enough food for themselves and 25 other
people but over the years have doubled that figure
and will continue to increase production because
food is essential. It is this dedication and
responsiveness that makes me proud that “I'm a
farmer’s daughter.”
As this is my last week at LANCASTER FAR
MING, I thank all those people in the southeastern
Pa. area who have helped to make my job a
pleasant and informative one.
-s'. "'>
Holstein cal
month for an afternoon of conversation, crafts
Jane remarks she is not “an artsy person” who se
out craft shops and booklets but thoroughly enjoys
projects the homemakers undertake. Most of the cn
are simple in technique and can be completed in one
two afternoons.
By way of serving the community, the group se
cards and flowers to the sick in the area and at ei
February meeting the members bring gifts for the C
Palate Clinic in Lancaster. Mrs. Pepple explained t
several meetings a year are devoted to guest speak
ranging from the Cleft Palate Clinic to a foreign exchai
student who is staying with a family in the Oxford At
Mrs. Pepple echoes the feelings of many farm wives?
attend women’s organizations of various types when:
remarks, “It is really a nice afternoon away, when ]
can forget everything but the people and conversation
the moment.”"
Among Mrs. Pepple’s interests are sewing and cook
She had practical training in these two fields in her
projects and graduated from Penn State University
1969 with a degree in Individual and Family Stud
previously called Home Economics Education. It wai
Penn State that she met Bob who graduated in 1968.
Having moved from the dry summers and sno
winters of'Sinking Valley to the humid" summers
southern Chester County, Mrs. Pepple also sees a grta
difference in population density. “Twenty years from n
we probably won’t be farming here,” she comment
“But we will be farming somewhere! ” Wedged in betwi
Route 10 and the new Route 1 by-pass just north of Ozfo
Jane says Philadelphia is creeping up Route 1 a
Downingtown and Coatesville are pushing their way soi
of Route 30. Land development and taxes may eventui
force the Pepples out of their present location, but as M
Pepple explains, “We are producing a necessary produ
there is a real need for milk cheese and ice cr«
consumption rises every year. We’ll be farm!
somewhere else, but we will be farming.”
When asked if she has a favorite dairy product rec
she immediately replied that she had a dessert r«
which has been a favorite for several years. The reap
one time appeared on the box of instant pudding mu
she uses it often when having dinner guests because
very easy to prepare, takes little preparation time and
dessert that is very tasty to most of her guests. The
structions for Dessert Lemon Cheese Pie follows:
Dessert Lemon Cheese Fie
nine inch graham cracker crust
8 oz. package of cream cheese
3 oz. package of lemon-flavored instant pudding
2 cups of whole milk
Soften the cream cheese and beat a little milk U
until very smooth. Add the pudding mix and morej
Beat untQ smooth. Continue to add the rest of the nun
beat until it starts to set as for a pudding. Pour inW
cold pie shell and refrigerate before serving. Mrs. P<
suggests sprinkling a few of the pie crust crumbs ov®
top to give a nice appearance to the dessert.
Young couples who are conscientious in their daily'
and take part in community activities are always I
sought out by various organizations. The Robert P®
have been involved with the Chester County Extensa)
a number of years through Jane’s leadership in the 0)
4-H Home Ec. Club, the dairy judging team wort
Bob’s three-year term on the Extension board. Hus
winter Bob spent many hours contacting dairymen
several neighboring counties in his committee won
the Holstein Association in getting ready for the Nat
Holstein Sale to be held early in Julyin Lancaster C$
If you go calling on Mrs. Jane Pepple this
will more than likely find her driving a tractor or k«j
a close watch on the cows as she milks them. No nj
where you find her you will be greeted by a very plej
soft-spoken young woman who enjoys dairy animalj
working in the out-of-doors. I
res. A friendly cat al
Iso vies for al