John George and his son Johnny run their farm perched on a hill overlooking Cayuga Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. Visitors often remark on the “million-dollar view” the farm enjoys. William, John’s father, started the family farm in 1957 after finishing his service in the Marine Corps. It was an unexpected choice for someone with no farming heritage or experience, but he was drawn to work the land and the next two generations have felt the same.
Shortly after John Junior, known as Johnny, joined his father in 2008, they expanded the farm right as milk prices headed towards some of the lowest levels ever. “My dad taught me everything I know about dairy farming, and during that downturn, he taught me by his example to keep going no matter what,” says Johnny. “He’s probably the hardest working farmer I know and his hard work paid off.”
The Georges farm located in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine country. The farm is only 400 yards away from Cayuga Lake and the family pays extra close attention to practices that will keep it beautiful and clean. “We are always in touch with conservation principles and feel a responsibility for the land,” says Johnny, whose wife Jill has joined him working on the farm. “I hope to pass it on to my own kids someday as well.”