Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 06, 1998, Image 200

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    El2-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, June 6, 1998
Adams Co. Correspondent
Adams County dairy farmer
Larry Wilkinson not only has a
Dairy of Distinction designation
for his farm, Getty Acres, he was
just named to receive the county’s
Clean Water Farm Award.
Wilkinson and wife, Doris, be
gan their farming career at the
300-acre Rentzel Road property in
1977 when they moved from
Chester County. Their homestead
dates back to the early 1900 s.
Then in 1985 they bought an addi
tional 85 acres adjacent to their
Another 2,300 acres located be
tween their property and Gettys
burg is rented, according to son Ed
Wilkinson, a partner. The business
not only includes the dairy opera
tion, but also produces a large
quantity of timothy hay for the
mushroom industry in eastern
Pennsylvania. Another son, Dan
Wilkinson, is also a partner in the
For father Larry, the fact that
The Wilkinson family poses for a family picture on their farm, Getty Acres, In
Adams County. They are, left, back row, Chris and Debbie Smith who were married
on the farm on May 23, Dan Wilkinson, Kendall Wilkinson, Laurie Wilkinson holding
baby Ty Wilkinson, Earl Wilkinson, Doris Wilkinson, Larry Wilkinson, and Ed Wilkin
son. Front row, left, Lee Wilkinson, Carl Wilkinson, Tina Wilkinson, Holly Wilkinson,
and Heather Wilkinson.
Dairyman Sees Joy In Family Partnership
his sons are a part of the operation
is most satisfying. He said of all
the good things in his life, one that
he has a lot of gratitude for is the
fact that he was able to have his
boys join him in a partnership.
And, Dan adds, because the two
young men are partners in the
business gives them an incentive
to make the farm successful. Al
ways working on the farm, he
said, “Before (the partnership), we
were just doing a job. Now we
have a vested interest.”
Do they ever disagree over the
farm’s operations? Sure, they say,
but Dan said, Tt brings different
views to the situation.”
Larry later explained that since
each son uses his special talents in
the job—Ed is the more mechani
cally inclined and might fix ma
chinery the three of them are
not working shoulder-to-shoulder,
so friction is seldom a factor.
Larry works with the dairy
cows, noting that they have a herd
of 230 cows with 200 milking at
the end of Apfl. They also have
22S head of replacement heifers
and 267 head of steers.
A day begins on the farm at 5
a.m. when Larry and another per
son start milking. They are joined
at 6 a.m. by Dan, Ed, son-in-law
Chris Smith Chris and daugh
ter, Debbie, were married at a
ceremony by the farm pond on
May 23 and five other employ
ees, who might be frill time or part
time depending on the season.
Ed’s wife, Tina, also helps with
the milking in addition to helping
Doris with the office work. A sec
ond milking takes place at 2 p.m.
and a third is at 9:45 p.m.
“Only 125 of the high produc
ers are milked three times a day.”
Ed explained.
What is the major problem fac
ing a dairy farmer today?
Larry responds with a laugh,
“Milk prices!” He goes on to ex
plain that while last month the
price was up, last fall when it had
dropped, it made bill-paying diffi
Ed said be doesn’t think Ameri
can tanners would be happy with
a true milk quota system such as
Hanging newly painted signs became a Wilkinson family
project for grandsons Call and Lee Wilkinson, son, Dan
Wilkinson, son-ln-iaw, Chris Smith (in green hat), and farm
hand Randy Moritz.
Germany has, “but we should be
somewhere in between.
“I know that we can’t stand a
true open market where you’ve
got real highs and real lows when
with dairy production you can’t
store that product. It’s too perish
able. You can’t hold it in a bin or
tank like you can com or soy
He said he can’t solve the prob
lem, and arriving at a solution
No Equity Deductions?
No Co-op Dues?
Farmer Owned-Farmer Controlled?
No Bull Talk-Straight Answers?
Secure Milk Market?
No Gimmick Milk Prices?
Top Competitive Milk Price?
Fewest Deductions?
Top Notch Trucking?
Milk Check Never Late?
Member Services?
Fair Treatment to all Members?
If You cannot say YES to all of the
above about ur Milk Marke Call:
would be difficult because of the
unique situations facing each
Larry said “Mother Nature
plays a lot in this milk produc
tion.” Last summer’s dry, hot
weather, and the milk winter have
increased the Wilkinson’s milk
production by three percent.
While that doesn’t seem like
much, when it comes to milk vol-
(Turn lo Pag* El 3)