This February 2016 edition marks our one-year anniversary celebration for the new name and look of FARMING, serving Pennsylvania, New York and New England. Our art director, Jared George, is the person most responsible for the beautiful pictures, graphs and design of the magazine. Jared grew up on a farm and understands what you, the reader, like to see. I would like to share Jared’s story with you.
“I grew up on a family dairy farm in Cody, Wyoming, about 60 miles from Yellowstone National Park. We sit at an elevation of 5,400 feet and have a growing season that lasts anywhere from 90 to 120 days.
George Farms is owned by my dad, Lynn, and his two brothers, Scott and Arley George. It was started in 1947 when my grandparents, Arley and Evaleen, homesteaded there after WWII. The farm started small with 160 acres and has since expanded to 2,000 acres. This includes rental and pasture land. The farm milks 550 Holstein cows twice a day and also has a small beef herd of 100 head. We raise our own hay and corn to feed the cows and ship in other dietary needs we cannot grow ourselves. We also raise all of our own replacement heifers for the dairy herd by calving year round.
The farm has been helped through the years by many cousins, nieces, nephews and children. Now I have a brother and two cousins who have returned to the farm and continue to work there. The farm also operates with the help of around 20 hired hands.
As a child I was given free reign of the whole farm and I took complete advantage of it. Along with my siblings and cousins we would wander all over the farm climbing hay bales, playing in the calf pens, building forts and chasing chickens. Every day consisted of a small stop at Grandma’s house for a treat, which we never got without giving a hug before leaving.
When we were young we were given the assignment to pick eggs and to this day I am still startled by a hen bursting out of her nest in the coop. When I turned 8, I was assigned to help feed our calves. In the summer this was a morning and evening job, while in the winter during school we helped out in the evenings. We also helped weed the pumpkin patch we grew every year so we could sell pumpkins out of our garage for Halloween.
As we grew older we participated yearly in local 4H and FFA programs, which culminated in showing our cows, steers and pigs at the county fair. When we turned 14, we were officially working full time during the summers and part time during the winters when we were in school. We were responsible for irrigating morning and night in the summer as well as taking multiple milking shifts throughout the week. Morning milking started at 2 a.m. and finished around 11 p.m. while the afternoon shift started at 1 p.m. and ended around 10 p.m. One of my favorite responsibilities was driving equipment to prepare fields for planting as well as harvest time and everything in between.
I could go on about my time on the farm but I think I can sum up my experience on the farm by saying it is the best place in the world to grow up. I have learned so many valuable life lessons about hard work and dedication, which have proven invaluable as I have gone through my career. I find myself extremely lucky to be working with the FARMING team on something that is so fundamental to who I am today and hope I can bring my love of farming into the look and feel of FARMING.”