The guy on our May cover has been farming for less than 10 years. He chose to start his dairy operation at the worst possible time for milk prices. Yet by following his organic instincts he managed the low prices by signing a 4-year contract to get started and has just extended it another 4 years. He pastures the cows, milks seasonally and averages a measly 14,000 pounds per cow per year. But he’s doing well enough to have built a barn and has expanded to a year-round system. Not only does it allow him to take advantage of higher off-season organic milk prices, it gives the family that milks for him 3 year-round jobs.
Hope I haven’t spoiled the story. You can read the rest in the May Ohio Farmer.
What I really wanted to tell you about Perry Clutts is the Master Farmer medallion he showed me. It was presented to his great grandfather in 1928. It has the plowman with a pair of horses on one side and says “Awarded by The Ohio Farmer” around the bottom. On the other side is a shaft of wheat and it is engraved “George C. Gerhardt.” Attached to a gold pocket watch, the medallion is truly a keepsake to be treasured.
GOLDEN MEMORY: Gerhardt’s medallion is gold in color. It includes his name stamped on the other side. Along the bottom rim are the words “Awarded by The Ohio Farmer.”
Clutts, who grew up in
Greensboro, N.C. received the medallion from his father and brought it to Ohio to show it to Asa Chester who had farmed the land for many years before retiring. In an article bearing the headline “As Dairyman and Livestock Raiser Laurels Crown His Achievements Since Apprenticeship, As Farmhand” George Gerhardt is described as “a general farmer who has grown up with the county in which he lives. He is best known as a dairyman and livestock feeder. His home is located about six miles out of Circleville on the Island-rd where his residence is the outstanding home of that vicinity with its perfect state of repair, beautiful lawns and well kept barns.”
WATCH FOB: Clutts links the medallion to an antique watch collected by his mother.
The article goes on to say “First he was a farm hand. Later a renter and now a land owner with 452 acres of rich
Scioto land. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gerhardt deserve all that is included in the honor of being selected as a master farmer.”
It also notes that Pickaway County was home to four of the 35 Master Farmers that had been recognized up to that point. The other three Master Farmers selected from Pickaway-co. were John C Stevenson, also of Jackson-twp; Walter Marion of the Marion Bros. greenhouses on the Lancaster-Pike and C.B. Tea…
HIGH HONOR: Gerhardt’s name is stamped on this side of the medallion.
If you don’t think the Master Farmer program was big deal take a look at the photo of the banquet held in 1928 at the Neil House in
Columbus. From the photo it is clear that more than 100 people were present and they were wearing their “Sunday best.
FARMER FEAST: More than 100 people attended the 1928 Master Farmer banquet at the Neil House in Columbus including George C. Gerhardt and John Stevenson, whose families still farm in Pickaway County.
”This year we are going to resurrect this historic and honor. You can help me out. Please nominate a Master Farmer today. I can email you a copy of the application or send one to your mailbox at home or you can find one on the Ohio Farmer web page under exclusives.