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Every day is Father’s Day for Donald Yoder

By Diana New Father’s Day for Farmer of the Year Donald Yoder is like every other day at the farm and while he identifies his children as the backbone of the farm, every day is special as the 11 Yoder children do not need just one day to work hard and honor their father. Donald Yoder was named the Barnesville- Lamar County Farmer of the Year at the 2016 Awards Banquet in January. Yoder was appreciative to the community for allowing his family to be a part of it but remained humble, insisting that they were just a common family that loves what they do and try to do a good job for the community. ’We are fairly new to Lamar County and just want to give back to a community that welcomed us with open arms,’ Yoder stated. ‘I also know that I would have never received this award without my children. They are really the backbone of this farm.’ The Yoder Family Farm is a dairy farm with more than 300 Holstein cows. Owning the dairy farm is a full time job for the entire Yoder family. The 11 children include six girls and five boys. The oldest child is 27 and the youngest is nine. All of the children pitch in and are designated assignments for feeding and milking during different shifts throughout the day. The few who have moved away even visit the farm to help work. ’The children do most of the work and put in many hours of physical labor,’ Yoder said. ‘Sometimes I really think the business should be called ‘˜Sons and Yoder’ instead of ‘˜Yoder and Sons.’ We expanded the dairy when we moved here and we did that so the kids could have it in the future.’ Yoder and his wife Joan remain busy taking care of their farm and their large family while the children remain busy doing the same for them. Besides working the dairy, the children also help with show cows and the 400 beehives on the farm. ’This is a really talented family that has grasped the true meaning of teamwork,’ Farm Bureau’s Ralph Adamson related. ‘Their ability to work together and work hard really pays off. They won first place as the dairy exhibitor at the Perry National Fair and have also achieved winnings at other festivals.’ The Yoder family’s lives revolve around the dairy, leaving them room for only one family vacation to the beach during the summer. Since Father’s Day does not fall on their vacation time it will be just another Sunday at the farm for the family, consisting of milking cows, going to church, coming home and going back to working the dairy. Though time does not allow Yoder one day out of the year to celebrate Fathers Day, his family works hard to make his days special all year long through their dedication to helping him with his life’s passion, the family farm.

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