Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A very dairy family farm.

Mount Pleasant resident Grant Pohl, of Pohls Dairy Farm, steps inside the farms combine harvester, Sunday afternoon, September 23, 2012. Pohl will be heading out to the soybean fields over the next week to harvest 600 acres of the crop. Pohls Dairy Farm has a mix of cows, soybeans, corn, and wheat. Grant, along with his dad and other family members run the entire farm year round.

 Gary Pohl, father of Grant Pohl, performs maintenance on the combine harvester, Monday morning, September 24, 2012. Gary replaces studs that attach to the plow portion of the harvester that are used to pick up corn, or soybeans. Pohl Dairy Farm harvests over 1000 acres of corn and soybeans throughout the year. Soybeans are sold off once harvested, while corn on the other hand is crushed and used to feed the cows.

 Gary Pohl, of Pohl Dairy Farms, tightens down a bolt that holds a saw in place. The saw is used in a combine that harvests hay that the farm uses to feed their cows with. The harvesters saw blade chops down the hay where it then collects it into two large rollers that dry out any moisture from the crop. The hay, along with corn from the farm is used to feed over 200 cows used for milking.

Gerald Pohl, the oldest of the Pohl family, shares words of wisdom with his grandson Grant Pohl about the upcoming chores he has to complete on the farm. Gerald Pohl has lived on the farm since the early 1900’s when his father first built it. The original house has since been tore down, but the farm remains in the same place. Gerald is one of 10 brothers and sisters, and the only boy who decided to keep the farm operational. It is now run by his Gary Pohl, and Gary’s son Grant Pohl as well as other cousins in the family. 

Three generations of the Pohl family walk towards the barn that houses most of the tools needed for daily farm activities. Pohl Dairy Farm has been in the family for one hundred years. The Pohl boys all work on the farm, sometimes averaging 70 hours per week total. Duties include harvesting corn, hay, and soybeans as well as helping with the milking procedure. Milking takes place twice a day, 3am and 3pm and produces over 15,000 pounds of milk per day, all year round.

A brief story about the farm:

A very dairy family
80 hours a week, 200 cows, 600 acres of soybean, 400 acres of corn, all controlled by one family with the same first initials. Gerald, Gary, and Grant Pohl all do their share on the Pohl Dairy Farm located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Pohl Dairy Farm has been in the family for over 100 years starting with Gerald Pohls father building the original house and first farm building. Gerald worked on the farm as a young boy, served two years in the service as a late teenager, and has been running and operating the farm ever since.
            Gerald Pohl was one of 7 boys in the family and the only one to keep the farm up and running. Now, Gary, Gerald’s son, and Grant, Gary’s son take over the main duties on the farm with help from their cousin David Pohl. Together, the 4 guys take care of over 1000 acres of crop and 200 cows for milking.
The cows are milked twice a day, at 3 a.m and 3 p.m yielding over 15,000lbs a day in milk, about 2,100 gallons per day. The cows are fed from the harvested corn, as well as from the harvested hay making the farm very efficient. The roughly 600 acres of soybeans are harvested early fall and are all sold off to help fund the farm.
The Pohl family can always be found close to the farm, as all three boys live on the same block. This makes the Pohl family, very close. Everyone wakes up in the morning, helps out with any chores, and eats a solid lunch together. Sometimes, 7 days a week.
Grant Pohl, who is father to Greydon Pohl, says he doesn’t know his sons (age 6) plan. Grant will support his decision to pursue a degree, or keep the farm going either way.

-Chris Bacarella

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