Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 16, 1984, Image 26
A 26—Lancaster Fanning, Saturday, June 16,1984 (Continued from Page Al) at the base during the weekends and writing letters instead of going into town and spending money. When his Army time was over, Calvin had saved enough money to get his dairy operation underway. “I didn’t have enough money for everything,” he said, “but I had enough to get started.” “To get started” included a herd of 20 registered Guernseys, 53 acres of farmland and a 2,000-bird laying hen operation. The poultry enterprise helped out financially, Calvin said, as he ran an egg route in town. When son Terry was bom, Calvin and his wife, Betty, decided to concentrate their efforts soley on dairying. Calvin, who stepped into his father’s shoes when he retired from the farm, wanted to share his fanning dream with his family. Calvin’s inspiration to dairy Calvin Mauser, right, is confident of son Terry's future success as a dairy farmer. Terlin Farms, located in upper Dauphin County, is the end-product of Calvin Mauser s pal *«i haw “a hMiiMui farm and a beautiful herd of Guernseys.” MM 9 ® Whatever it’s farm, particularly to raise Guernsey cattle, came as a young boy. As Calvin explained, he and his father would go around to see Guernsey farms. This was during the time they still lived in town. One day, they went to visit a man at the other end of the valley. “We went to a fella that lived at the end of the valley who had what was known as the ‘show place of the valley,’” Calvin reminisced. “It was the most beautiful farm you ever saw. “I was there on a cool, winter day on a Saturday about noon. We came there and of course he had the bam cleaned up and the cows cleaned up, and the cows looked beautiful. That is what I wanted - a beautiful farm and a herd of Guernseys.” Thus was the setting for Calvin’s own farm which now houses 70 head of registered Guernseys that raws it holds, in your hands had a peak production of 14,000 pounds of milk. This was one achievement that surpirsed the Mausers. When Calvin and Betty started farming, most Guernsey herds reached the 8,000- or 9,000-pound production mark. “At that time I had absolutely no idea that we’d hit 14,000 pounds,” Calvin said. “Of course, I had no idea how big a herd I’d have since I only had 35 acres here. I had no idea we’d expand the way we did.” And expand they did - from 35 acres to 200 acres. “I had several opportunities to buy ground,” Calvin said, “so I took the gam ble.” For the most part, all was looking bright for the Mausers, but as fanning goes, setbacks do oc cur. For Calvin, the major setback concerned his health. In 1960, Calvin met up with an inner ear infection called Meniere’s syndrome. The in fection, which causes dizziness, ringing in the ears and vomiting, struck him during the most productive part of his farming career. “When I should have been making money, I could hardly do it,” Calvin remembered. “I could hardly survive. I was tempted to give up farming but I had a family and debts to pay so I stuck it out.” Fortunately for Calvin, the disease, which has a 50-50 chance of clearing up, left him. “Thank the Lord it left me after about 10 years,” he said. “But during those years, I made absolutely no progress. That was the worst thing.” The lack of progress was soon turned around when Calvin’s good health returned, but he credits Terry with much of the help. “Terry was able to help,” Calvin said of the end of his 10-year or deal. “Then we were able to farm the way we should have. ” With Terry’s help and interest, Calvin said he was able to keep the farm going - going long enough that the farm now belongs to Terry. “The beginning of this year,” Calvin said, “I turned the complete operation over to him (Terry). Terry’s been with me and running the operation and doing a very good job.” The farm operation now in the Temporary Setback Terry’s Future For Clavin Mauser, his heart was In farming and in Guernseys. hands of Terry, 32, his wife Becci and son Brandon, Calvin is able to have a little more free time to himself, but he’d just as soon spend time with the Guernseys. “I couldn’t get away from the Guernseys, and I couldn’t get away from the fields,” Calvin admitted. “I’m doing almost as much as I did before, but I don’t make any of the decisions.” “Terry has taken all of the hard work off of me,” he continued. “Actually, it’s a paradise for me. I can still work with the cows.” While dairy farming now is a paradise for him, Calvin realizes that tough times will be ahead for Terry, particularly in the next two to three years. Of the current dairy situation, Calvin said he hopes it will only be rough for two or three years. “I feel all phases of farming have their ups and downs, but dairying has been real good lately,” he said. “I guess it’s our turn to be down.” Calvin added that with the way the dairy situation is, rough times are unavoidable. “Of course it’s going to be rough for Terry,” he said, “but I think he’s got enough going for him - the attitude that he has, the ability and the health. I feel confident that he can do it.” Turning the reins over to Terry, Calvin said, “I feel I have given him a good deal, and he in turn has given me a good deal.” Milk Promotion Even though a “good deal” between himself and Terry will help Terry to weather the rough times, Calvin believes that far mers, themselves, must work together to help each other survive the times. To do this, Calvin said farmers must take an active role in milk promotion. “I’m a strong believer in promotion,” he said, “and we have to raise the standards of a bottle of milk we’re selling. As long as we do not put a good bottle of milk on the market, we cannot get rid of the milk.” Calvin said he is in favor of current promotion plans as he was in favor of the Milk Referendum proposed a few years ago. “My only objection (of the Referen dum) was that it should have been nationwide,” he said. “For one little area to do it is ineffective. I think it should have been nation- wide and everyone helps to pay for it.” With a nationwide milk promotion program now in effect, stemming from the milk diversion program, Calvin is more satisfied but still finds some fault with the line of thinking concerning the Referendum. “I was bitterly op posed to those people that asked to have their promotion money returned to them,” he said. ‘‘Milk promotion takes money," Calvin stressed, “and people have to realize that and go along with the promotion.” Calvin said be was also upset at that time with organizations that encouraged their young farmer members not to participate in promotion. “I thought that line of thinking was all wrong,” Calvin said of organizations saying that young farmers couldn’t afford to give 10 cents for promotion. “They could have afforded that more than giving the current 50-cent deduction to the government which does absolutely nothing for him. ” Calvin said he doesn’t like to depend on the government to do everything for dairy farmers. “I don’t think its up to the govern ment,” he said. “We should be handling this ourselves. ’ ’ Promotion, Calvin pointed out, has been successful for others, especially the soft drink industry. A strong promotion campaign could do the same for milk. “We all know the fact that milk is no longer the number one drink,” Calvin said. “It’s our own fault." Calvin said he can’t stress enough the importance of milk promotion; however, he realizes that farmers have enough, worries just producing the milk. “I feel we should promote milk, however, I have enough work producing it,” he said. “I don’t have time to go out and promote it. That’s why I’m willing to let them have 10 or 15 cents and let them hire someone who will do the job. ” With a promotion program backing up the dairy industry and, at the same time, more con centration placed on milk quality, Calvin sees a continuing future for the dairy industry. But, as he stresses, the future is in the hands of the farmer.