Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 05, 1993, Image 20

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    A2O-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, June 5. 1993
Promotion of their dairy store is a full-time activity for the Kolb dairy family. Back
from left, Leroy; Alice and Roy; Nancy and Roland and son Ryan; and Carol and hus
band Ken Landis. Photo by Andy Andrews.
There’s Something Special About March Milk Sales At Kolb’s Dairy
Lancaster Farming Staff
SPRING CITY (Chester Co.)
Perhaps snowy weather had some
thing to do with it.
The Blizzard of ’93 in March
may have put a slight dent in a long
tradition at Kolb’s Dairy Store and
Farm Market
Because for some reason that
Roy Kolb can’t pin down, milk
sales at his dairy store always
reach a peak in March. But bad
weather slowed sales a little for
that traditionally milk-prosperous
But what is so special about
“I don’t know what it is,” he
said. ‘Tm not quite sure.”
Roy speculates it may be the
holidays which are swamped
with soda and other drinks that hurt
the sales of milk in the months
preceding. Perhaps it’s because
people are too busy catching up on
bills from the Christmas season,
and then again, improving weather
allows more people to make it to
Ken Landis manages the milk processing plant at the
the store from outlying areas in
But whatever it is, sales peak,
and “it’s consistent every year,”
he said.
This past March, the 18-year
old store processed 13,000 gallons
of milk (at $1.85 per gallon) for the
store (which also features an array
of other grocery items).
Promote dairy
Promotion of their dairy is a
full-time activity for the Kolb
dairy family, which consists of
Roy and his wife Alice and their
children Leßoy, 38; Carol Ann, 37
and husband Ken Landis, 40; and
Roland, 32. Also, Roy said two
grandsons help milk at die dairy—
Kevin, 15, son of Carol and Ken
and Seth, 14, son of Leroy and
Together, they farm about 400
tillable acres (they own 150 and
rent 250) and milk about 110 grade
Holstein cows. Milking is twice
daily at about 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.
from a double six parlor. Feeding a
total mixed rations formulated by extra money to pay the high tax-
Agway, the dairy’s herd averages es,’ ’he said, with a laugh. ‘‘l think
are2o,soopounds,779f,and63lp. that’s probably in a nutshell what
Roy said that he started the on- was really mainly on our mind.”
farm dairy store, which processes Now, however, there are few
75 percent of the milk obtained on-farm dairy stores still in busi
from the herd (the remainder goes ness, compared to years ago, said
to the Atlantic Dairy Cooperative), Kolb. * There’s only about a third
in 1975 “as an attempt to invoive of them left anymore,” he said,
as much of the family as we
could,” he said.
“It was one way to make a little
The family dairy store features an array of other grocery
items. Here, Pam Mack, left, helps a customer.
Alice Kolb helps seal the gallon milk bags. The on-farm
dairy store processes 75 percent of the milk obtained from
the herd (the remainder goes to the Atlantic Dairy
Roland Kolb manages the dairy, and here feeds a TMR.
Taxes up
In the past two decades, taxes in
the area have gone up 10 times.
More residents have moved into
the area from outlying urban areas,
primarily Philadelphia and sur
rounding counties. Tax rates went
sky high.
“You think it ought to be profit
able enough that you can make
enough money to pay the mort
gage,” he said. Recendy, Kolb
sold the dairy store to his children.
“We did it now, because right
now real estate values are about as
low as they’re going to get around
here until they start up again.”
Getting the dairy started was a
big challenge, according to Kolb,
because of the times. In the
mid-19705, gas prices, because of
the OPEC embargo, soared to
$1.30-$ 1.40 a gallon, which “real
ly hurt people driving out.” And in
1982-1983, interest rates skyrock
eted to 18 percent and more.
To top off the problems, the
dairy couldn’t orchestrate the vol
ume of milk necessary to spur sales
of products at the store. Eventually
they were able to meet their pro
duction goals, and go from pro
cessing every day to about three
times a week. Only in the last five
years or so has the dairy been able
to sell surplus milk to the
Farmed with father
Kolb married Alice in 1952, and
one year later fanned with his
father, Paul, through a shares
arrangement, with about 22 cows.
He rented the farm in 1960 and
“went on my own,” he wrote in an
application for Master Farmer last
year. He purchased the dairy in
1965 (41 acres), and picked up
additional acreage in 1970.
Although the store wasn’t
started until 1975, the partnership
with his children began in 1980
and Kolb purchased another 52
acres of farmland. In 1983, more
farmland (24 acres) were pur
chased, and, years later, Kolb
added more children, including
son-in-law Ken Landis, to the
Roy said he helps with the gen
eral work around the farm. Carol
Ann manages the store and does
the bookkeeping. Leßoy manages
the dairy, and Roland takes care of
the crops and other bookkeeping
chores. Ken manages the milk pro
cessing plant at the dairy.
The farm’s acreage includes
about 150 acres of com, 65 of alfal-
(Turn to Pago A 26)