T-D-J Farm

Salem, NY
75 milking cows

No alarm needed

After 40 years of waking up at 3:15 a.m., “I don’t even set an alarm,” says Tom Jilek. He’s usually in bed by 8 p.m., he says, except occasionally when school board meetings run late and the board members, including Tom, work through midnight. It’s all part of contributing to the community where his maternal ancestors have farmed since before the American Revolution. He apprenticed with his mother’s brothers: Warren Skellie, a former co-op director, “taught me to be a cow man,” says Tom, while Uncle Richard “taught me to be a crop person.

Tom Jilek never sets his alarm.
There is a huge connection between my farming and my cooking.
- Kane Jilek

Learn more about the chef-farmer connection between Kane Jilek, who grew up on the family dairy farm, and his professional cooking career. And get Chef Jilek’s recipe for scrumption cheesy artichoke and crab dip

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