Joe and Deb Rose run the Rose Dairy Farm in Munnsville, New York where they have 250 acres, 85 milkers, and about 55 young stock. The farm is still new, although Joe has been a dairy farmer all his life. He and Deb recently moved to Munnsville because the farm he worked on throughout his life in Massachusetts was being encroached upon by new development on all sides. There was simply not enough open land to continue farming where they were.
Although Joe has some part-time help, he does the morning and evening milking and all the chores in between. He was the only son on his family's farm growing up, and dairy farming is a natural way of life for him. His father was a dairy farmer and his grandparents before that. In fact, Joe says, "I love dairy farming, and I'm proud of what dairy farmers contribute. We serve the community, help keep open spaces, and provide a safe and healthy product for the country. What could be better?" Not only that, Joe and Deb keep their farm in tip-top shape, and the Rose Dairy Farm was recognized as a "Dairy of Distinction" in 2008, an honor they intend to keep for a long time to come.
Joe raised his two adult sons on the farm, and they still come by to help out during crop season and whenever they can. Deb's two children love the farm, its open space and beautiful scenery as well, and they visit at every opportunity. While the children don't work full-time on the farm, it continues to be a big part of their lives. Says Joe, "Both boys did milking and other chores throughout their youth, and they have always been a big help. I think the lessons they learned living and working on a dairy farm will serve them well throughout their lives."
Like so many other dairy farmers, Joe is fully engaged in his community and in broader dairy farming activities. He is one of the directors of the area Farm Bureau, works with state government in Albany to address the concerns of dairy farmers throughout the state, and promotes farming issues throughout the community.