Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 23, 1984, Image 20

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    Progressive thinking, honesty and common sense are the key
Staff Correspondent
Columbia Cross Roads
Dairymen, there is a sale in the
works that embraces progressive
thinking, honesty in breeding and
marketing and a common sense
approach to making money with
milk. It’s the Smokey Hill
Production Sale to be held July 14
at the Troy Fairgrounds in
Bradford County.
The sale will feature over 50
registered Jerseys, individually
selected from over 300 Smokey Hill
Jerseys, currently among the best
in the state. The sale will be
managed by the Pennsylvania
Jersey Cattle Club which will
retain a 15 percent commission
from the sale price of each animal.
The money will be used towards
the 1985 national meeting of the
American Jersey Cattle Club
which will be held in Lancaster.
Perhaps to know more about the
owner of Smokey Hill Jerseys, his
philosophy and purpose for this
sale, is to discover the opportunity
this sale will provide to breeders
across the state and nation.
Roy Watson began fanning and
milking his own cows in 1953. “My
dad set me up m business. When I
bought the farm, he sold it to me
for what that barn cost,” he says,
fl ,
* MEi'
With the help of his parents, Ruth and Ivan Watson, seated in tractor. Roy Watson
became a dairy farmer in 1953.
adding that the barn had just been
built onto the farm by his father. “I
owed him alot and I still do. He
backed me.”
From this beginning and lots of
hard work and perservance,
Watson developed a registered
Jersey herd that for many years
stood second to none.
When Jersey herds were
averaging 9,000 pounds of milk,
Watson’s Smokey Hill herd was
pumping out 11,000 pounds. In 1960,
Smokey Hill Jerseys were the
highest in the state. Since then,
they have held a place in the top
ten herds every year. This past
year the herd of Calvin Watson,
Roy’s son, received honors as the
highest herd in the state with many
Smokey Hill Jerseys filling his
barn and adding to the herd
average of over 14,000 pounds
actual production.
“I’ve always bred to the top
bulls,” Watson says. “I have them
(the cows) for one reason -
Production must come first and
type second he says: “There’s
better ‘very good’ cows then there
are ‘excellent’ cows.”
Breeding with mainly production
in mind and only looking for usable
type never hurt the Smokey Hill
herd. There is a Smokey Hill cow
Roy and Parents
' * t
Innovative Ideas
A family of farmers, Roy Watson, far right, helped each of his sons, from left, Rodney,
Brian, Randy and Calvin, get started in the dairy cattle business.
One of the features Roy Watson had his sons include when
their dairy barns were remodeled were flagstone floors,
pictured left. Another idea were the calf stalls in Brian’s barn,
above, which are designed so manure can be scraped out
Farming Family
currently milking in Vermont that
proves Watson’s statements.
Smokey Hill Generator Milly, a
VG-84, has 24,940 pounds of milk to
her credit with a 4.4 percent test
and 1,105 pounds of fat. Two of her
granddaughters will sell in the
upcoming sale. Smokey Hill
Baronet Gadget, a VG-86 cow
milking over 15,000 pounds of milk
with a 5.3% test, will also sell, as
well as several “very good” 2-
year-olds from excellent and sires
that top the breed list.
The pedigrees of the Smokey Hill
animals match their production.
Foundation animals boast sires
such as Milestones Generator,
Trademark, S.S. Quicksilver of
Fallneva. The current daughters
are sired by breed leaders
Favorite Saint, Top Brass and
Quicksilvers Magic of Ogston.
Production runs high in these cows
and their butterfat tests range
from 4.4 percent to 5.7 percent.
Roy Watson confesses that he did
not accomplish this alone. While he
was establishing his Jersey herd,
he was also raising four sons who
exemplify their father’s thinking
and, with his help, are now on their
way in establishing their own dairy
“I couldn’t have done it without
these boys,” Watson says about
Randy, 28, Rodney, 26, Calvin, 23,
and Brian, 20. “There’s nothing
like own sons.”
Helping each of his sons on a five
year plan to own their own farm
and dairy herd, Watson says,
“They do deserve credit and a
farm m my opinion. ’ ’
Currently Watson and his sons
all work together with Watson’s
equipment, farming over 800 acres
in Bradford County. Each son and
his wife milks their own herd at
their respective farm. Randy
milks 62 registered Holsteins with
120 acres at his Blue Angel Flats
farm. Rodney milks 70 registered
Jerseys on the home farm, which
he will take over sometime after
the sale and maintain the Smokey
Hill prefix. Calvin operates Little
Pond Jerseys, and Brian milks 70
Jerseys at his Butteridge Farm.
Each son is married and the wives
enjoy helping with the dairy.
Watson’s Smokey Hill animals are
scattered in each son’s Jersey herd
until the son has enough cows of his
“I do things with pride,” Watson
says when reflecting back on his
life in dairy farming. His wife,
Lucille, also shares his pride in
farming and their sons. Each son
has a farm sign, with the exception
of Brian, that was had painted for
them by their mother.
The Watson’s knowledge of
Jerseys, honesty and support of
Jersey programs is widely
respected throughout the state and
nation. Watson says one of the
greatest honors for him was to be
elected president of the Penn
sylvania Jersey Cattle Club in 1977,
when someone was needed to
reorganize a faltering club.
Admitting that it always made
him feel inferior for his lack of a
higher education, Watson says that
a trip to Europe helped to change
his attitude. There, he met a man
who told him that a person who can
help his four sons purchase their
own farms, develop a leading dairy
herd and earn respect throughout
the nation, didn’t need any more
education. He received it
throughout life, Watson was told.
With this advice, Watson con
tinues. He has not only helped his
own sons, but assists neighbors in
starting their herds, cleaning up
their farms and clearing the land.
Watson's association with the
Pennsylvania Jersey Cattle Club
did not end when his term as
president was finished. After he
lost over $70,000 through Schepps
cheese, Watson needed a way to
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