With 478 acres, 50 milkers, 80 young stock, and 70 head of registered Angus cattle, the Skiffs stay plenty busy. The Skiff Farm has been in the family since 1940, when Ed’s dad bought and started working the land. Ed grew up on the farm and has worked it all his life. And the Skiff Farm is not only a successful because of its dairy and beef operations, it’s also part of an interesting chapter in American history. Grandma Moses, who lived over 100 years from 1860 to 1961 and didn’t begin painting her famous pieces of American rural life until she was in her 60s, grew up on the very land that is now the Skiff Farm.
The Skiffs have three sons, two of whom work on the farm. Phillip manages the daily operations and the Angus, and Bradley helps manage the dairy operations. Grace and daughter-in-law Francine, Bradley’s wife, do the books, so the whole operation is a family affair. Their third son, Grant, is a phys ed teacher in New York.
The Skiff’s grandchildren also roam the farm and are a full-time presence. In fact, their grandchildren help with milking and other chores and can’t seem to get enough of them. The three families all have their homes on the farm and, from the looks of it, the farm will be in the family for many generations to come. While each day in dairy farming involves a relentless schedule, starting before dawn and ending after dusk, the Skiffs still find time for visitors and the community as well.
Ed served on the township planning board for 16 years and is a trustee in his church. The family often hosts kids from urban settings who are brought to the farm by the local library for field trips. They have picnics, show the kids where their food comes from, introduce them to cows up close and personal, and generally expose them to a different slice of life. For the Skiff family, it’s all part of a day’s work. Work that seems to run in the blood of the Skiff family.