Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, January 03, 1981, Image 18

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    AlB—Lancaster Firming, Saturday, January 3,1981
Mother, son team earn Master Farmer titles
BLAIN A Perry County
mother and son, who for
years have been operating
one of the most efficient
farming operations in the
state, have been named
Master Farmers for 1980.
Mary and Nevin Rice, of
Rl, Blam, will receive the
coveted award next month
and will be inducted into the
Pennsylvania Master
Farmers’ Association whose
membership consists of all
former award winners since
the program was established
in 1927.
The Rices combine a dairy
and steer feeding operation
on their 325-acre farm. Their
78-cow registered Holstein
herd is a state leader in
production with an average
of 17,500 pounds of milk and
713 pounds of butterfat.
Another mcome producer
is steer raising. The steers
are housed with the heifers
until they weigh 600 pounds,
then are separated and fed to
market weight using high
moisture com. They weigh
about 1100 pounds at IS to 18
months and often top the
Carlisle market.
Crops to feed all cattle
include 124 acres of corn, 77
acres of alfalfa, 32 acres of
wheat, 20 acres of oats, and
15 acres of soybeans All
crops are highly productive,
especially those in irrigated
Mary Rice, considered the
“cow lady,” started the
current 78-cow milking herd
with 12 cow purchased at her
father’s sale in 1938 At 70,
she is the first to reach the
bam each morning to start
the milking chores She and
Kenneth, a bachelor brother,
milk the cows.
Nevm feeds the 200 cows,
young cattle, and dairy
steers. His wife, Ann, looks
after the calves. But all four
may be milking before they
finish chores and go to
Also helping are Nevm and
Ann’s two children, George,
18, and Beth Ann, 14. George
is full time and concentrates
on field and machinery
work. Beth fits chores
around school activities.
“My family always came
first,” Mary says “When
my mother died in 1927,1 left
school at 16 to help my
father. My duties included
working in the fields with
horses and mules. I did
everything but plow.”
After she married George
Rice, the young couple
fanned for her father until
they purchased the farm in
1945. Early advocates of
artificial breeding, the Rices
improved the original herd
without purchasing outside
Today the herd is enrolled
in a herd analysis program
and cows are classified on
disposition, milkout, stature,
strength, and conformation.
Mary became the sole
proprietor of Blain-View
Farm in 1957 when her
husband died Nevm was in
high school and with
assistance from relatives,
she maintained the
operation until he finished
school and helped to take
over management of the
With Nevm and Mary
combining their interests,
cow numbers more than
doubled and another farm
was purchased. An
irrigation system was
developed m the 1960’5. Two
new silos were constructed
to store forages.
“The cows receive a
haylage-com silage mixture
m the feed bunk and a ration
of alfalfa and grass hay is
fed at noon and nights during
the winter,” Nevm notes.
“The grain ration is com
puterized with shelled corn
making up two-thirds of the
Home-cooked soybeans,
oats, linseed oil, and such
essentials as dicalcium
phosphate, molasses,
limestone, salt, yeast,
vitamins, and selenium also
are added to the concentrate
mixture for the milking
cows Dry cows, heifers, and
steers receive different
The land is worked
carefully. Soybeans have
been double-cropped with
barley since 1972 Oats and
corn are planted by the no
till method.
Irrigation water is drawn
from a one-acre, spring-fed
pond. And the increases in
yield made the labor of
moving the pipe very
beneficial, the Master
Mary and Nevin Rice,
their skills and energies
dairy and steer feeding
Farmer adds Corn
averaged 150 bushels per
acre on irrigated land and 80
on land beyond reach of the
pipes during periods of low
Outside activities are a big
advocation on the Rice farm
Mary is a member of the
state and national Holstein
associations and Blain Zion
Lutheran Church where she
was secretary, treasurer,
and vice president of various
church groups She’s a long
tune member of the church
choir and Blain Volunteer
Fire Company Auxiliary.
Nevin, 39, has been
president and treasurer of
the Perry County Extension
Executive Committee,
chairman of Agway’s Store
and Petroleum Committee,
and member of the Penn
sylvania Farmers’
Association Farm
Management and Business
Analysis Service Com
mittee. He also has been
director of the county DHIA
and Northeastern Breeders
Nevm served as township
R 1 Blain, have combined and son have been selected as 1980 master
into one of the state’s top Farmers,
operations. Both mother
auditor and is currently Church and served two winning the county plowing
township supervisor He is a terms on the church council contest three times and
member of the Lutheran He has shown his skills by (Turn to Page Al 9)
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Box 716, Rt. 322 Blue Ball, PA 17506 717-354-4478