The Poupore brothers run PAPAS Dairy in North Bangor, New York, and the name of the farm is a shout out to their father and an acronym for the five siblings. Peter, Alan, Patrick, Aaron, and Scott initially ran the family's operation, but the family lost Patrick in a tragic trailer accident. PAPAS Dairy is a large operation with 2,100 milkers, about 2,100 young stock, and 4,000 acres of land. They grow corn silage and haylage, and with some 4,200 cows to feed, they use every bit of it on the farm. They milk the cows three times a day, and the barn never closes. They run three shifts per day, every day of every year. They also have about 30 full-time employees.
PAPAS Dairy has an interesting history, and it is really the merging of several farms that used to be operated independently by the brothers. They merged their operations and started moving cattle and equipment to the new spread just as the great ice storm of 1998 hit New York. They didn't plan it that way, and the farm got off to a tough start. But to hear Alan tell it, "Everything worked out just fine. It was a big challenge, but at the end of the day, it's probably a lot easier to manage one big farm than several small ones. Still, the weather chose to be grumpy during that time, and it surely complicated matters." That's about as excited as New York dairy farmers tend to get, and the family took it all in stride, fired up the generators, and kept pressing forward.
Several of the Poupores' children work on the farm as well. Scott's two boys help in the fields when school is out, Aaron's son Wally, (who is named after the Poupores' dad), helps out wherever needed. Alan's oldest daughter, Danielle, also works full time in Cabot's marketing department along with his younger daughter Ashley who works in the Cabot consumer satisfaction department. Claire, the Poupores' mom, helps with the bookkeeping, so they have three generations working side-by-side every day on the farm. Peter's two girls are still in high school, and they help him with the sweet corn business he runs on the side.
The Poupore boys were raised on a dairy farm and are grateful to give their kids the same experience. Says Alan, "We loved growing up and working on the farm as youngsters. I remember one summer when the heifers kept breaking the fence or finding a way out of the pasture, and we would have to go round some of them up every day. It was all part of our daily life. It was fun on the farm, and it taught us to love the land and the animals and to not be afraid of hard work." With 4,200 cows on PAPAS Dairy Farm, there's plenty of hard work, but there's also lots of fun and very large family gatherings. For this family, dairy farming crosses generations, and it's an all hands operation.