Warren Stannard, November 28, 2018

Title

Warren Stannard, November 28, 2018

Subject

farming
beef cattle
dairy cattle
maple farming
maple syrup
family
community
neighbors
community change
changes in farming
Roseboom, New York

Description

Warren Stannard was born on July 22, 1937 in Cooperstown, New York. He is the owner of Stannard Maple Farm in Roseboom, New York, which has been in business for over 100 years. Along with selling maple syrup and other maple-based products he raises beef cattle there.

While also working on the farm, Warren worked 35 years for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association where his job was to help improve local dairy farms’ milk production in the area.

In his 81 years, Mr. Stannard has seen a lot of changes in the local area, both in farming and the Roseboom community. He has seen many small dairy farms go out of business while the ones that remain grow larger and more efficient. As the farmers left, Roseboom changed from a community with multiple businesses to a town with few places of employment and an aging population.

He discusses his time growing up in Roseboom and on the farm that has been in his family for over a century. Reflecting, with a smile, on his time as a child on the farm he remembers stories of collecting maple syrup with neighbors and letting the pigs out, much to the annoyance of his father. He talks about his father serving as the local Justice of the Peace and speaks about his two sisters’ roles on the farm growing up.

From carrying buckets of sap from tree to tree to having it all brought to his sap house with a push of a button, Mr. Stannard is in awe of the changes that the agricultural field has gone through in his lifetime, and he doesn’t see those changes slowing down anytime soon.
Mr. Stannard doesn’t know what the future holds for his local area and farming. He sees new people moving into the area and buying local farms. He doesn’t see anything wrong with new folks moving as long as they are paying taxes. As for his own farm, he hopes that one of his neighbors will be able to use the land while his daughter, who works on the farm with him every day, will be able to continue with their maple sugaring business.

Mr. Stannard speaks in a distinct dialect and I have chosen to preserve some grammatical uniqueness. It is impossible, however, to accurately reproduce all the details of his dialect and therefore researchers are encouraged to consult the audio recordings.

Creator

Sydney Stapleton

Publisher

Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York

Date

2018-11-28

Rights

Cooperstown Graduate Association, Cooperstown, NY

Format

audio/mpeg
30mB
image/gif
40 x 512 pixel
image/jpeg
22 in

Language

en-US

Type

sound
image

Coverage

Update New York
Cooperstown, NY
1940-2018

Interviewer

Sydney Stapleton

Interviewee

Warren Stannard

Location

166 Stannard Hill Road
Cherry Valley, NY

Transcription

WS= Warren Stannard
SS = Sydney Stapleton

[START OF TRACK 1, 00:00]
SS:
This is November 28, 2018 interview of Warren Stannard by Sydney Stapleton for the Cooperstown Graduate Program's Oral History Project. It is being recorded at Stannard Maple Farm in Roseboom, New York. So we're just going to start out with where and when were you born.
WS:
7-22-37.
SS:
Where was that at? Were you born here?
WS:
Probably Cooperstown, Bassett Hospital.
SS:
Who else was in your family?
WS:
How many in a family?
SS:
Yes.
WS:
I have two sisters is all. One deceased and one still surviving who is 94 years old.
SS:
What were your parents’ names?
WS:
My father was Herbert and my mother Gladys.
SS:
What type of work did your parents do?
WS:
Basically the same thing I'm doing. Attempted to farm it. I think they probably did better than I because back then 30 cows is what they had and that was sort of average. Now my 30 beefers is almost a make-believe farm. Many farms, if they have dairy animals they are several hundred. They were average farmers back in their era.
SS:
So tell me about your farm. What type of farm is it?
[TRACK 1, 01:29]
WS:
It was a dairy farm, now it's more beef and maple. We've been maple for years but recently, in the last 20 years, increased a bit. We're up to 3,000 taps now. Dairy herd left in [19]66 and went into beef and for the last 40 years probably we’ve had a small beef herd. Turned into a Simmental herd that we think are fairly good animals. That about covers the farm, as far as any farming. I worked for Dairy Herd Improvement for 35 years. I was off the farm quite often or every day, but I was here to do chores on both ends of the day so I pretended to be a farmer anyway.
SS:
Can you tell me more about the switch from going from dairy to beef cattle?
WS:
Yes, in [19]66 my dad died and I decided I should go to college. I wanted to go earlier but I didn't want to leave him because he'd been doing it all by himself. So, at that point I sold the dairy and went to Colby Tech [State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill] for a couple of years. Then I came out and went to work for the DHIA [Dairy Herd Improvement Association] and at the same time got a small number of beef animals and climbed up to about 35 head. Basically went to beef instead of dairy because dairy, of course, you have to be there at both ends of the day. Beef you have to be there sometime to feed them, you don't have to be on a precise schedule so that's why we went to beef. Less labor somewhat and not a particular schedule. As long as you're there twice a day or both ends of the day to do the jobs. That's basically why we switched and I guess I'm fairly happy we did because a small dairy herd just has a very hard time surviving now. In fact there's more beef than dairy, the Daily Star stated I guess, to that effect. Beef tends to come in. So I got a 20-year head start. I guess that basically explains why the dairy left and beef came.
SS:
Can you explain to me what DHIA is?
WS:
Dairy Herd Improvement Association, been around for probably 75 years. It's run through Cornell University and the idea is we go on the farm and basically check production of the cows. See who's good and who's not so good and that way the diaryman has the opportunity to improve his herd somewhat. It's not a mandatory thing. The farmer had to sign up for it. At one time I had 65 herds. Part of those were once a day, of course they milk twice a day, but they had the option of doing it once a day or twice a day and the efficient[official?] ones were twice a day. I had 32 of those in February and that was a very tight schedule to try to get 32 in twenty-eight days but some farmers milk early and some milk later so that way we could squeeze them in if we were lucky. I guess that's the main thing. Like I said it's a voluntary thing. It wasn't anything the farmers had to do but most of the better farms seem to be in it. In fact, it's still ongoing. I won’t say strong. Now with all the computers, some farmers have their own computer and don't need Cornell to do their figures for them. It's still out there but maybe not quite as [high a percentage]. All the small farms seem to have it. Now if you’ve got several thousand head you have your own computers and don't need somebody else to help you check the information that comes out, I guess. For 35 years I was kept entertained, to say the least. Sometimes in fact, they had three-times-a-day herds. So you might go three times a day and some of the herds took over five hours, so 15 hours per day you’re on the farm. So, sometimes I didn't get my chance to work at home but I just must have endured it because for 35 years we kept doing it. That covers the highlights anyway of DHIA.
SS:
What are some of the changes you’ve seen in local farming in your lifetime?
WS:
I'm sorry?
SS:
What are some of the changes you have seen on the farm and local farming in your lifetime?
[Track 1, 07:05]
WS:
If I could think I could come up with the dates. I just don't believe the changes that have been made and just continue to be made. Say we had 30 animals and in the Town of Roseboom probably 75% of herds were in that range, 30 to maybe 50 at the extreme, and now 30 cows is practically unheard of. You would have to be bottling your own milk or something to have such small numbers. The equipment is just much, much bigger and much more efficient and, unfortunately, much more expensive, and the average farmer just can't survive with the equipment that’s needed. Or, the farmer thinks he needs it to be labor efficient. Anywhere you look there are just so many changes, I don't know where to start. But, it used to be that if you had a tractor and plow and just the basics you could survive. I recall one year we bought a tractor and a truck the same year, which these days the average farmer just can't begin to do that because it costs so much that he can't survive. If he makes any big investments, then he may buy a tractor one year and maybe three or four years later buy a truck. That's not necessarily true in the big operations which are getting more prominent. They buy stuff when it wears out, where the small farmer just uses his worn-out equipment, guess. Changes? I just don’t know where to start with just the unbelievable amount of changes that have been made not just in recent years. Anywhere you go it's changing. Dairy or whatever you are doing. Agriculture is just unbelievable the changes and it’s probably going to continue. I can’t come up with any specific thing, probably just the size of the herd is the thing that influenced me the most as far as the change that comes to mind. But, everything changed. I can't think of any real big thing that stands out other than the size as the thing that seems unbelievable. The number in this area and in this part of state and in some parts of the Northeast.
SS:
Can you tell me about the changes you've seen in maple farming?
WS:
Maple farm. That's probably similar to dairy. Maple, they've gotten bigger but more efficient. We used to tap 500 trees, now we tap 3,000. Not 3,000 trees, 3,000 taps because sometimes you tap a tree two or three times. More taps but less trees. We are have a tree in our dooryard that's been tapped for probably over a hundred years and still looks fairly healthy. As far as changes, probably the biggest change that's happened in recent times is they have a machine that takes as much as 75% of the water out of the sap. The big thing in sap production, or syrup production, is taking the water out because you go from 2% to 66% and by having this machine that takes that much water out you can produce a lot more product, because you can spend 10% of the time doing the same thing. From the wooden bucket to the sap tubing. We have one bucket we hang for decoration only but everything else is plastic tubing. If everything works and the squirrels don’t eat up your tubing, you can get your sap coming to your sap house by vacuum pump instead of carrying buckets and then dumping in your tank and transporting it to the sap house. It's a long, lengthy process particularly with lots of snow. Now with the plastic tubing, everything works in the snow, as long as it doesn’t totally bury your sap line. Everything can be done by pushing a button on your vacuum pump and it vacuums the sap on our 3,000. We know some that are 35,000, so it's changed as much or maybe even more than the dairy business, which seems unbelievable. The biggest thing to me is the current thing with R.O. [reverse osmosis] taking the water out, it just makes you 75% more efficient. There's an unbelievable amount of changes, but that's the thing that stands out for me.
SS:
Tell me more about the types of products that you sell.
WS:
Types of product we sell. In maple; maple cream, which is just maple boiled down to higher sugar content and you spread it on muffins or biscuits or whatever, but it's a spread instead of a pour-on syrup. Then they have all sorts of things, granulated. All sorts of maple barbecue sauce and also popcorn, so many things with maple mixed with it. Now based on what we make it’s the cream and the granulated. Cream and granulated are our two biggest; well, maple candy and maple leaves, which you might see in the store. We produce them but not on a large scale compared to the syrup but that's also part of our product. Syrup is probably 75% of our product. That's our main products. It’s syrup, cream, and sugar.
SS:
How do you sell your products?
WS:
How do we sell them? Basically from being in business a hundred plus years. People have found us here and continued to come but have lost considerable business in recent times but we don't think it's anything that we've done. The farmers’ markets have gotten very popular and people tend to go to farmers’ markets which might be much closer to them than we are. So, we have lost some business to farmers’ markets. It's not so bad because we've lost ambition also, I guess. We don't tap quite as many trees as we did, probably close to 2,500 not 3,000. We still keep busy, it just takes longer to do the daily task.
SS:
Can you tell me if there is a reason that you guys don't sell at farmers’ markets?
WS:
Yes, I guess we got started late because like I said we sold at the dooryard for so many years. Some of the markets, which I agree with, they like to have just one producer of each product and somebody else was more alert than we were and got in earlier and if we came in we'd compete against some of our people we know very well. We hate to try to, so that's basically where we are now, not that we wouldn't go if we were just invited but we don't want to try to squeeze in. We also used to supply at several stores. We had one store that had syrup for 90 years. It sounds unbelievable but we actually did. But three generations are gone and the store there is closed, and two of the others, the same thing. Age is taking its toll and they've gone out of business and for the bigger stores we'd have to have more product. Chain stores, we couldn't supply them. So, I guess that's why we're still selling it at the door. We sell more bulk, which is not what you’d prefer. Bulk syrup is a common outlet for sale. It goes to make Vermont Maid, all over the country where syrup is used for sweeteners. A portion of our syrup goes there. Now, it didn't used to be. Used to be that the poorer syrup went to the market. Now, by using it for a sweetener, they actually prefer the darker syrup. Stronger flavor and they can just reduce it more. I want to say, too, that the darker syrup goes farther because it’s like putting pepper on something, it takes less to do the job if you have strong syrup, dark syrup. Dark syrup is getting to be more common. So making dark syrup you have a market moving. We would prefer the older days where you made it so you had your light syrup and sold it at the dooryard and household farmers. As farmers disappear our market disappeared. My dad at one time used to take a hundred gallons of syrup and he sold most of that syrup during the day to farmers throughout the area and now probably 75% of those farmers are gone. So those markets are long gone. We should do better marketing. What we should do and what we do sometimes isn't quite the same, I guess.
SS:
So you said that there are less farms in the area. Can you tell me about that change?
[TRACK 1, 18:07]
WS:
How it changed? I want to say they were starved out. Our farm fits that. If we didn't have maple, we surely wouldn't be in business. So many farms that are gone are poor farms that the land is poor and wouldn't raised two crops as you need to feed animals and not have to buy crops. Not all, but the land has a big effect on the way the small farms have gone. The price of product also has a surely big influence because where the farm with several hundred head can definitely produce milk at a cheaper rate so they can survive, where the other guy that has 30 or 40 cows just couldn't begin to buy a tractor at those prices and ever hope to pay for it with their milk. It's more common now but that definitely had an effect. Thirty years ago, when the milk price went down a bit because more milk and bigger supply, I guess you’d say supply and demand. In this area I think that the land has probably had a big influence. All the farms now are much better land that get three crops while we get one. That’s one of my biggest things. The quality of land has had a big effect on farms in this particular area.
SS:
How has the local farm movement changed the area?
WS:
How has the local farms changed? Oh, they changed. The ones that survived have got bigger. All sorts of changes but I think that's probably the main thing. The ones who are surviving have definitely doubled and tripled in size and continue to do that. You've got to have numbers to be efficient and if you have a small farm you've got to either buy more land. They're afraid. The farmers are getting older. You’re sixty to seventy years old, you don't want to go out and buy more land. You might not survive long enough to ever get ahead of the game again. I think the biggest change that I think of is the land. I'd say production capacity. Something to that effect.
SS:
So, what was it like growing up on a farm?
[TRACK 1, 21:00]
WS:
What was it like growing up on a farm? Interesting. We kept busy. In fact, we did considerable physical work. In my case the maple might have been I guess, maybe, the most exciting part. I guess the reason I think that way is that you used to be able to hire, all your neighbors are farmers, and so you had to gather sap basically with horses. We didn't have many horses but we had tractors basically, but anyway, you could hire some manual labor for a reasonable price and just be happy to gather your neighbors. Everybody was happy. You'd usually pay five dollars a day I think, way back, which is hard to visualize. A gallon of syrup sold for five dollars so basically a day's wages and the farmers went home happy and we were happy to get rid of our syrup. I guess the thing I miss is the relationship with your neighbors because most of your neighbors are now off the farm and you may seen them on weekends, but back time you'd see them daily. You didn't need a newspaper. You could learn everything from your neighbors. I guess that was the biggest change from way back is just the community involvement. Everybody knew everybody and everybody basically worked the same, doing the same job. Now everybody has diversified and works in town or whatever—Bassett [Hospital] or the [Otsego] County. The relationship with your neighbors maybe is what I miss the most. As far as growing up, we used to think it was stressful. Thinking back and maybe you had a sick cow whatever it may be. You’d only have one cow back then. Now the average farmer would have a sick cow a day if you’ve got a thousand head. We thought we had stress. I'm sure it's nothing compared to today's operations. I guess it's enjoyable. I'd say the neighbors was probably the part that made it most enjoyable. The other things that kept you entertained, and I didn't think life was too bad.
SS:
How has Roseboom itself changed?
WS:
How has Roseboom itself changed? The biggest thing, like other small towns, we had three stores, a couple garages, barbershop, feed store. Anything basically supported by farmers. The farmers are gone and the businesses are gone. So the big change has been businesses basically have disappeared because there are no farmers to support them. I guess would be the biggest thing that I have noticed.
SS:
Can you tell me about that community and the people? Have they changed?
[TRACK 1, 24:44]
WS:
Getting older as I am. Like other communities a similar younger generation has definitely moved to where there's employment out of the area. Had a couple doctors in town in fact. Anybody with any profession basically has gone someplace where they can find work and you don't find it in a small town for them. The farmers are the part that kept the community going. Now farmers are gone. The people tend to go with it. They got older. I say that because the younger generation have moved so the ones that are left are older unfortunately. So that I don't see much for the future but more people are moving in the area from probably the city for summer homes so that will help a little bit but the generation is getting older and I don't foresee any big changes for the better I guess. Maybe I'm a pessimist.
SS:
What do you think about people moving into the area?
WS:
I can see nothing bad about. For sure, it's good to have old farms occupied. Maybe they have a horse or something but the bottom line they're paying taxes and the town's got to have taxes to survive. I'd say the more the merrier because I hate to see land growing brush when it can be feeding a horse or some backyard farmer. Somebody doing it for entertainment instead of for a business. So let them come, I guess.
SS:
So on your farm, who works on it?
WS:
I'm sorry?
SS:
On your farm, who works on it? On your farm who works it besides you?
WS:
Oh, who works it. Basically, my daughter. We're not very efficient but seeing how I'm 80 plus. Basically I would say one and a half farm workers. Most of the time we don't do an awful lot. We do some work away from home because the land is better in Cherry Valley than it is here. Most our products are transported, basically. Hay to feed our beef herd from out of town. But it's a one and a half operation. Sugar making season, we can keep busy and use a couple more but it's very hard to find labor these days compared to the olden days. It's basically a one-and-a-half farm workers.
SS:
So you do not have any hired hands?
WS:
Very very seldom. I mean during a sugar making for a couple of different weekends we might have. We do have a couple weekends we serve pancakes so we tried to recruit a couple neighbors to help in that. Other than that we're pretty much a one-man operation. One-and-a-half possibly.
SS:
What has it been like working on a farm with so few people? What is it like working on a farm with so few people?
WS:
So few people. I guess I wouldn't know how to work on a farm if I had more people. You can see it both ways I guess. If we had more people we'd get more things done but by doing most of it yourself anything you look at that's good or bad you figure that you're responsible for it. Seeing I grew up that way it's sort of hard to visualize doing it different. I've been fairly comfortable with one and a half people at the most. Any decision made either good or bad is yours, you’re behind it I guess. Which isn't all bad.
SS:
Are you involved in the New York State Maple Producers Association?
WS:
Yes, we've been in there as long as the association has been there I guess, which is good. You know what's going on in the county and in state and all the Northeast and as they say in the maple world, which is the Northeast and Canada. [inaudible]
[START OF TRACK 2, 0:00]
WS:
It's a good operation. Good corporation and they do good work. I'm quite happy
with them.
SS:
Can you tell me a little bit more about what they do and what they've done for you?
WS:
They probably do what we don't do so good. They advertise. In fact, at the state fair they have a booth and I think they sold $100,000 dollars worth of product, maybe more. They do a good job. A lot of people go to the state fair to spend [time], over 110,000 is my guess. They have the product out there so the people in the general public get to see the product. They just do promotional [work] with it and do excellent work. They should have been around earlier. They definitely add to the business and make it better for all concerned I think.
SS:
So let's go back to your family. What kind of work did your mother and your father do on the farm?
[TRACK 2, 01:10]
WS:
My dad evidently was a schoolteacher for a while. I'm not sure how he managed to milk his cows, I think he had probably had 20 instead of 30, but he didn't do that many years. Then he was a full-time farmer and sugar making was part of the farming. My mother, I don't think she did any teaching. She had health problems. In fact, she died when I was 10. Think she was in her late 40s. She was basically farm employed only. But my dad was a full- time farmer. He tried to be involved in the community; he belonged to every farm organization from the Farm Bureau and Extension, 4-H was common back then. Any farm organization he was involved, and I guess he tried to be, like I said, community involvement. Was on the town board and was also a Justice of the Peace. Anyway he was, I would say, an average farmer of that era. Tried to do a reasonable job and that was what all farmers tried to do.
[TRACK 2, 02:41]
SS:
Can you tell me more about him being the Justice of the Peace?
WS:
Justice of the Peace. They still exist. I guess that's one thing that each town I think still has a Justice of the Peace. Most of them are there but most of the important things are done by a bigger [community]. Middlefield is bigger so they have more businesses. I guess Justices of the Peace are interesting. I recall a neighbor being here. Police must have picked him up for a DWI and so he came and as he came in the driveway he seemed to be sort of erratic driving and the policeman came out and arrested him again for coming to pay his fine and being a little intoxicated. So he had to pay another five dollars, so it was ten dollars instead of five dollars. Probably the biggest thing was that you got to see the good and bad of your neighbors. Probably half of his business was local. You went to the hotel, maybe got rowdy. Anyway half his business was local people but the next day they met on the street and they still said hello. Basically petty stuff, I guess you’d say. Deer hunting was common and sometimes there would be some hunters from out of the area that didn't belong. Doing the same thing they are doing now. Shooting game when you shouldn't shoot. There was definitely more business then. Montgomery County had no deer hunting season so hunters from Montgomery County came to Otsego County. I think all the good hunters stayed down there and all the bad hunters came up here. Used to promote business when the game warden would go out, search, and bring them in and do their paperwork. Depending on the severity of their crime it was like 100 or 200 dollars. It was quite expensive back then. I think it should have went up more now. It was interesting. I was just a kid but I used to sit in and listen to the troopers and my dad decided what their penalty should be. It was different. Entertaining. Didn’t have a lot of entertainment back then so that was one entertainment.
SS:
How did you feel about your father being a justice of the peace?
WS:
I thought it was good because every time there was a policeman on the road, I didn't know him personally, but I knew of him because he had been in the house sometime that month, whatever it may be. Entertainment was sort of scarce and in some cases that was something that could keep you up on what was going on in the country, good or bad. I thought it was, I guess, I'm not sure that entertainment is the right word but it was entertainment, exciting something. But it was, just broke the monotony of an average day farming, I guess.
SS:
So what about your sisters? What did they do on the farm?
WS:
My older sister was 12 years older than I am. She did what everybody did. Helped milking and feed calves. I'm not sure how much field work she done. My uncle [Will] worked. My dad had all the farm probably haying inside this building and threshing, the whole bit. She was involved in drawing, maybe, in the horses to some extent. My younger sister she wasn't on the farm too much. She got her teaching degree. She worked for Schoharie County. I can't say the name of it anyway but for the older people. Nutrition for seniors and so she traveled around considerably for that. She was more involved in that than farming. Although I take that back she was involved. She actually got to Chicago with chickens. Our sap house, which has made quite a drastic change, but at one time 50 years ago it was a chicken house and then we had 500 chickens. She got to take her chickens to Chicago. So she did reasonably well in the chicken business for a year or two. That was her biggest thing. 4-H is still around now. She was the 4-H member and leader. But as far as day-to-day farming was the basics but not really a really big involvement. Where my older sister, back then farming was more common, so she did more work on the farm than my younger sister.
SS:
Can you tell me about what your older sister did when she left the farm?
WS:
When she was on the farm. Fed cows, calves, pigs, chickens whatever the day-to-day task was on the farm. She basically did it. I remember one time I guess I thought I was helping her. I just felt sorry for the pigs but we had a pig pen and the pigs were in the pen. I thought they should get some exercise so I opened the door and let them out and they were running around the barn and my dad is milking. It got bad in the barn when pigs got in the barn. Cows and pigs do not blend well together and thinking I can still hear the pigs squealing when they went down to the barn. Cows would kick the pig and the pig didn't know where to run so it would run outside the barn and another cow would kick him and they’d run back across. The barn was in quite an uproar by the time the piggies got out. So I learned not to let pigs out of the pen. Particularly not during milking. Preferably not at all. But that was a highlight of that day I guess. My dad definitely enforced the idea I really shouldn't let pigs out at all and definitely not during milking. My sisters, they basically did everything my dad did. They were happy I guess.
SS:
Tell me more about your daughter growing up on the farm.
[TRACK 2, 10:14]
WS:
Most of her growing up she helped out. I was on the road with my DHIA business. She fed the beef animals quite often or daily actually. The sugar business, she still is [involved], but back then probably more involved because I was missing more often. She was the sole operator part time to keep track of the business. All I did 100% was tapping the trees. She kept track of it. We are actually quite small but probably had over a mile of tubing. That mile of tubing had a lot of squirrels that used to nibble it, and still do. That was her job, to try to find the leaks and get them partially patched so that sap would run down the line instead of out the leak. She was definitely the main staple of the operation for quite a few years. I couldn't have done both and with her help we were able to do the maple and the beef and still lead a normal life, I guess. She was, I would say, indispensable, maybe. Only thing she didn't do that I wish sher had done was show beef animals. Beef is like maple, if you show your product you are inclined to sell something. Couldn't get her in the show ring but she did her share of feeding them and taking care of them but didn't quite make it to the show ring. That was an option she didn't pursue. But other than that things were quite normal.
SS:
How do you feel about her staying on the farm throughout her life?
WS:
Questionable. I don't foresee it being in business too many more years. Beef is, our 30 head is so so small; efficiency is, I want to say, down to zero. I guess I read to many magazines where the efficient farm is a few hundred heads, where we have 30 head. I foresee in five years thw beef will be gone and maple I'm not sure. I'm not up to doing it if it's three feet of snow. I'm probably not going to be out there crawling up and down the hills and I'd say she's more of a follower than a worker. If I'm out there she would be behind me but if I'm not out there she may not be out there so I'm not sure. The beef will be gone. The maple will be smaller than it is currently. We might buy the syrup, at say, wholesale in five gallon containers and put it in the smaller containers. Something to that effect. I don't foresee tapping many trees. Time will tell. I foresee one will be gone and one much smaller I would guess. [She has a college degree so she is capable of off farm work.]
SS:
Yeah that's my last question is; can you tell me about what you hope will happen with your farm?
WS:
I wish I had a good answer. In truth I don't know. The land, there are so few acres and I'm sure there's some neighbors that at this point have a small beef herd like I have had and I suspect they might use the land. I would think she probably will be here for the foreseeable future for sure. I say I think she might possibly buy syrup in bulk and put it in smaller containers and also make cream and candy but it’ll be more of an inside job than an outside job. I don't think the farm will change noticeably but it will be run by some neighbors hopefully. I don't see it growing weeds. She will be producing syrup on a limited basis. Producing products but I don't foresee her making syrup. That could change, like a lot of other farms. We need more Amish in this part of the country, that Springfield or other areas have. I sometimes envy them. The way they do what we did 50 years ago and seem to survive and do quite well. Their use of our land is good. Our land is not that good so I don't foresee it being used for agriculture other than maybe grazing. We hope it doesn’t change too much. It's not going to get bigger for sure and will probably get more limited in what we produce.
SS:
All right. Is there anything you'd like to talk about that I haven't asked you or we haven't touched on?
WS:
You've covered most of the high points I think. The biggest thing I have more time to read now. Too lazy to get outside I guess. I just foresee in 20 years all the farms in this part of the country will [be gone]... I don't think the dairy cow is going to be an endangered species but there will just be none left in this part of the country. Unless somebody has a specialty market where they produce cheese or something else. As far as being able to produce milk and sell it, you just won't see milk trucks running up and down the roads because the farms will just be gone because they're inefficient and just can't compete with the places that have several thousand head and the milk truck comes and takes away a tanker load of milk compared to 500 gallons; that just won't be done because you can't justify doing it. That's my biggest thing. I hate to see those small farms totally gone. Other than I guess a gentleman farmer, that’s where they have a horse and maybe a couple of beef animals—something for their own family use, I'd guess you'd say. I think you've covered the highlights of farming in my era anyway.
SS:
Alright. Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.
WS:
Wish I had more wisdom to offer. We're happy you were able to come and didn't get snowed in or snowed out.
SS:
Me too. Thank you.

Duration

29:99 - Track 1
17:47 - Track 2

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps

Time Summary

TRACK 1, 01:29 - Farming
Track 1, 07:05 - Changes in Farming
TRACK 1, 21:00 - Childhood
TRACK 1, 24:44 - Community
TRACK 2, 01:10 - Family
TRACK 2, 02:41 - Law Enforcement

Files

Warren Stannard 1.JPG

Citation

Sydney Stapleton, “Warren Stannard, November 28, 2018,” CGP Community Stories, accessed August 4, 2020, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/344.