Page 26 - Wednesday, September 28, 1988
Edith McKinnon was married to Carl Emiry in 1931.
Edith moved to Massey from her family farm in Paisley, Ontario in 1924 for a teaching job. She had plans to stay only one year in the area.
Edit taught at Massey schools for 21 years.
Carl and Edith's sons, Mack and George, now run the farm.
Mack's and his wife Beth's 20 year old son, David, is planning on helping out after he finishes a degree in Agricultural Science at New Liskeard.
The dairy farm has grown in its 75 year existence to more than ten times its original size. It is now comprised of 1,900 acres, 600 of which are being farmed. Over the past 30 years, the Emirys have purchased five other nearby farm properties.
"I don't know if it's a good trend," Mack Emiry told the Monitor, and added that larger farm operations are inevitable. Because of large farms, the agricultural community has shrunk. As there are fewer farmers in the Massey area, there are no farm machinery dealers or farm services in the town any longer.
Edith Emiry said the larger size of farms affect the community socially as well as economically.
She wrote, "In 1931, when we were married, there were more close neighbours than now. Gradually, over the war years, farms became larger, and neighbours fewer. This is an unhappy aspect of mechanical and technological growth."
Until the early 1940s much of the farm labour was done by man or horse power.
Cows were milked by hand, bottles were washed, filled with milk, sold and distributed by the Emirys. Milk was also sold through dairies such as Piquette's of Espanola an Palm Dairy of Sudbury.
"You wouldn't know it's the same business," said Edith.
As well as selling milk, Edith can remember her mother-in-law making butter and selling it door to door with garden produce and eggs. Pigs, turkeys and potatoes were still raised and sold when George and Mack were growing up. Now the farm "is too busy with cows".
Turnips were grown for cattle feed which required that they be pulped twice a day. Now grain and commercial mixes feed the cows.
Grain farming owes a lot to agricultural science said Edith. Because of the development of earlier maturing varieties, a farmer can harvest two or three cuts of a crop in one season with the use of fertilizer.
Harvesting of the fields has changed also according to Edith. She writes, "In the 30s and earlier threshing machines moved onto your farm. Neighbours gathered to help. Often crews of 16 to 20. Neighbour women came to help prepare the food."
The 85 to 90 milk producing comes on the farm now supply a steady amount of milk to satisfy quotas set up by the marketing board.
Since 1965, the marketing board has the authorization to raise or lower the quota of milk required from each dairy farmer. Farmers now own the right to produce and market milk as opposed to previous local arrangements between dairies and farmers.
A milk truck comes every second day for milk - which usually gets sent to Espanola.
Mack says he has "seen lots of changes in my time". The operation is producing a lot more milk than 20 years ago never mind in the Depression when it was going for six cents a quart.
In 1975 a milking pipeline was installed in the barn complete with a tank which cools the milk to one or two degrees Celsius within 45 minutes. Feeding is also automated.
"This is the house on Castle Street that I was raised in. It originally belonged to my great frandparents Wilfred and Elizabeth Houle, and when my mom and dad ( Fan and Tim Houle) were married, they moved in with them. Strange to see the board sidewalk and dirt roads. The house still stands in the same spot but doesn't look like this picture." -Marjorie Houle Powell
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