As a partner on the host farm, Skip Hardie, 51, warmly invites you to visit. "Farm City Day is an opportunity for city people to get out in the country, on a farm, and feel welcome."
In 1951, Skip's parents, David Hardie Sr. and wife Joan, started the Lansing dairy farm on Holden Road with 13 cows and 170 acres. Today Hardie Farms milks 800 cows. The Holstein herd averages 27,500 pounds of milk per cow per year and has just crashed the "sound barrier" of 1,000 pounds of butterfat per cow per year.
Corn and hay are raised for cattle feed on the 1,400-acre farm operated by a partnership consisting of Skip (David Hardie Jr.), Steve Palladino, and John Fleming. They work with 10 other workers, including four Guatemalans. The reason for Hardie Farms' "Super Milk" Awards for high milk quality? Skip says, "It's the quality of the people we have working for us."
David Hardie Sr. served in the U.S. military during WWII in Italy. He then graduated from Cornell in Animal Science and married Joan, both of them natives of Rockville Centre on Long Island. They have cited the milking parlor and bunker silos as the biggest innovations in their long dairy careers. For years, David Sr. was a director of Dairylea Milk Cooperative where the farm has always shipped its milk. In 1996, they left the operating partnership but retain an ownership share of the farm. In 1977, David and Skip formed a partnership on the farm, and then in 1988 a corporation was formed, Hardie Farms Inc., that included David, Skip, and Steve Palladino. David and Joan retired from farming in 1996, and shortly thereafter in 1999, John Fleming joined the corporation.
Skip Hardie was recently appointed to the National Dairy Board which helps decide where the dairy farmers' advertising dollar goes. (Ever heard of "Got Milk?" Thought so.) The senior Hardies have two daughters younger than Skip, Ann Yale of Texas and Meg Overstrom, a Lansing Town Council member. Skip and Holly Hardie (an Elmira native) have four children: Ben, Caitlin, Joe and Adam.
Milk quality rules at Hardie Farms. Come see how they do it. Observe cows and calves. Talk to the local agricultural community involved in many kinds of farming. Explore a myriad of learning opportunities, for young and old alike.
Everyone at Hardie Farms, all the families and workers, welcome you to 2002 Farm City Day!
Last updated September 25, 2015