It's not uncommon to find dairy farms that have been handed down through several generations. It's not uncommon to talk to farmers that live in the same house they grew up in, that work the same fields their parents worked. But even in an industry filled with tradition and family, it's rare to find a farm that's been in the same family as long as Valleyside Farm.
"Our farm has been in our family since it was originally deeded by the King of England," says Tim Young, sounding more than a little proud. "I think that's part of why I consider it a great responsibility to nurture it and pass it on to the next generation. We've come this far, and I'm not about to drop the ball now." Perhaps it is this deep sense of history that compels Tim to take the long view. Asked what he enjoys most about farming, he pauses, and then replies: "Just to be a part of it and grow it to where I am today, preparing to pass it along. Being a part of something that has been around for so long is what keeps me getting out of bed every morning."
That, and his sense of duty to his family and community. Young has been his town's fire chief for over a decade, a job he values for the opportunity it provides to help others, and for the lessons it has taught him, lessons he's applied to managing his family's 210 head of cattle through the turbulent waters of milk, feed, and fuel prices. "Being a fire chief has taught me to step back, be calm, and take a long view. If you look at just the short term, you'll be a basket case. But the long view is always pretty nice."