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A34-Una*t»r firming, Saturday, Jura 11,1994
Marian Butler stands on a hand-made wooden bridge on
the Pagomar farm.
Butler First Woman
On Pa. DHIA Board
(Continued from Pag* A 1)
she held before running for the
“I've had a general knowledge
of the whole association for quite
a few years,” she said when asked
why she wanted to be on the
“1 fell someone with my experi
ence in having paid technicians
and understanding how the techni
cians are being paid, could be a
contribution to the Board.
“You need something in your
life as a challenge to look forward
to. It is a challenging time and I
thought (being on the Board)
would be a challenge I would en
joy.” She raked a determined hand
through her hair as she talked.
‘The Stale Association is fast
changing, the whole system will
be undergoing changes.” She ex
plained how, although many of the
counties have merged, they still
have their own individual pricing
systems. One of her goals is to
bring all of the merged counties
together under a single pricing
system. "We need to bring them
together as one group.”
Besides her responsibilities
with DHIA, Marian works with
her husband, Oliver, on the Butler
farm, Pagomar (derived from the
names of Oliver’s parents, Pauline
and George, as well as Oliver and
Marian). Besides doing the book
keeping, Marian takes care of the
cows, works with the vet, and does
most of the milking.
Oliver helps milk in the morn
ing and oversees the field work.
The Butlers have a 61-stan
chion bam with 61 registered Hol
stcins and 45 heifers and calves.
They raise all their own replace
Their program for caring for the
cows has evovled over the years.
The cows are fed totally in the
bam. What pasture the herd gets is
purely for exercise, which is done
in the morning for lack of shade.
“Last year we were turning the
herd out in a field across the
road,” said Marian. “We used a
large sluice which ran underneath
the road to get the herd to and
from the field. For some reason,
our somatic cell count skyrocket
ed, so this year we are keeping the
herd in the bam to see if the so
matic cell count can be better con
Their feeding system has also
changed as their herds’ needs have
changed. Ten years ago the But
lers went from using com silage
and hay to haylage with high
moisture com and soybeans. In
fact, they were one of the first
farms in the county to raise and
roast soybeans for feed.
A TMR cart was added to the
farm two years ago. The cows are
divided into two milking groups
for feeding: 80 to 85 pounds, and
50 pounds. No top dressing is
used, but hay is given on the side.
The Butlers own 400 acres and
rent another 350. They raise 160
acres of high moisture com and
com silage, 85 acres of soybeans,
70 acres of alfalfa, 100 acres of
hay, and 30 acres of oats. Addi
tives such as proteins and minerals
Their herd average is 18,538
pounds of milk, with 3.2 percent
or 593 pounds of fat and 3.2 per
cent or 592 pounds of protein.
The herd is housed in a
50’x 150’ bam, 50 feet high. Built
in 1911, it is a well-known land
mark and often the subject of
paintings and photographs.
Other buildings on Pagomar in
clude a 40-foot by 96-foot heifer
bam, and a 40-foot by 96-foot ma
chine shed with a 24-foot by
40-foot machine shop inside
where they.do their own repairs.
The Butlers have three children:
Scott, 25, a mechanical engineer
recently graduated from Temple
University; Amanda, 22, another
recent graduate with studies in
child life at Juniata; and Jason, 14,
an Bth grader at the Wellsboro
Already, their youngest is quite
capable as a farmer who does
everything on the farm except
combining oats and soybeans.
His mother beams as she talks
about her children, especially her
younger son, “Jason has had more
The Butler farm's large dairy bam is a local popular subject lor photographs and paii... jgs.
Marian Butler looks over a pen of replacement
Oliver Butler and son Scott prepare a sprayer for field work.
of an opportunity to do a lot more
of the farm work, probably be
cause the other two are not home
She said while his plans for the
future may include college, she
thinks he has a keener interest in
the farm than her two older chil
dren do. so he will probably come
back to the farm to work after col
‘There are cycles in life every
one goes through,” Marian said,
contemplating her own future.
And most certainly, her role in
DHIA has spun her in a whole
new direction. She said she very
much wants to help educate the
public about farmers.
Her eyes sparked with convic
tion as she spoke. ‘The farmers
are not the culprits. This is coming
out Anally as evidence in the
Chesapeaker Bay controversy.”
She cites articles in Good
Housekeeping and John Deere’s
magazine as testimony.
‘There’s are so many laws a
farmer has to observe when spray
ing his Helds. And more laws are
in the making. A farmer cannot af
ord to spend any more on herbi
cides and pesticides than neces
sary. Yet there are no regulations
for those chemicals that are put on
golf courses and lawns. And
where do those chemicals go but
straight into the sewer. There’s got
to be a compromise somewhere.
“1 just can’t think the general
public has any concept what the
farmer goes through, that we sell
wholesale and buy retail. Farming
is not a 9-to-S job where you take
weekends off and go to the lake
with your boat. If people don’t
wake up and realize it, there won't
be any family farmers left.”
She paused and gazed out her
kitchen window at her farm, her
cause. There is so much that needs
to be done. But Marian Butler will
do what she can.