Tobacco has been grown in Fancy Farm for generations. Watch this KET documentary A History of Kentucky in 25 Objects which features Fancy Farm native, Jimmy Elder.
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Fancy Farm, KY - Winter Storm 2009
My family was fortunate that we had a camper to live in. David would drive to Troy, TN to purchase gas for the generators. My parents stayed with us for the week til they bought a generator and then their power was restored earlier than ours. It was tight quarters but we managed. I can just say that we have camped in our building a lot in the past few months. We lost our electrical line in the Hurricane Ike storm that came through in September and were without power for five days then and had to stay in the camper. Needless to say, I'm in no hurry to go camping. - Sherry Jones
Fancy Farm, KY - April 1965
The figures total 107, and represent the number of years the six Elder brothers have been selling milk to Pet Milk Company in Mayfield, KY. Fred, John, Charles, Albert, Ross and Bernard Elder all were born, reared and still live in the vicinity of Fancy Farm, KY. They have been long-time producers and loyal supporters of Pet Milk Company and its programs.
Ross and Charles are on the H-Route operated by William Parker. Fred, John, Albert and Bernard are on Randell Otey's O-Route.
Fred, with the help of his family, milked 26 cows in 1964, and plans to milk 30 this year. He uses two cow-to-can milkers in a V-barn built in 1960. Fred has been selling to Pet Milk Company in his name for 19 years. He grows Sudan for summer pasture, and plans to concrete his holding pen before another winter. Like a lot of producers, he has outgrown his V-barn and needs a four-cow walk through parlor.
Ross, the last one to build a barn, profited by his brothers' experiences. He built a four-cow, walk-through, elevated-stall barn in 1962, and included an automatic washer. In 1964 he milked 14 cows, but will be milking 17 this year. He has been selling to Pet Milk Company for 15 years. Ross ha grown Sudan for several years, and plans to continue growing it for summer pasture.
John, with help from his family, milked 23 cows in 1964, and plans to milk about 30 this year. He milks in a V-barn built seven years ago, using two cow-to-can milkers. Like Fred, he has outgrown his barn, and may remodel and enlarge in the near future. John has been selling to Pet Milk Company for 27 years.
Bernard, the youngest of the boys, has been selling milk for eight years. He said he has been milking cows "all my life: I started at home when I was small, but have been selling in my own name for eight years". With the help of his family, Bernard milked 14 cows last year and will milk 18 this year. He has a V-barn with concrete holding pen, and plans to convert to a four-cow walk-through. For summer pasture last year he had Sudan, but plans to sow more this year and cut some hay.
Albert, with the help of his family, milked 17 cows in 1964, and will milk about the same number this year. He went to the elevated-stall system of milking cows six years ago, with a V in the end of a shed on his barn. He has been milking and selling to Pet Milk Company for 18 years. "I can remember when my dad first started selling milk to Pet, right after the plant opened in Mayfield", Albert commented.
Charles is the only one of the six brothers selling milk who does not have an elevated-stall parlor, but he plans to build one during 1965. His cow numbers will increase from six cows in 1964 to 13 in 1965. He ha been selling to Pet Milk Company at Mayfield about 20 years.
These six brothers on six farms have milked for a total of 107 years and in 1965 will milk about 125 cows.
Much credit for the success and continued growth of these dairy operations should go to the wives and children of the Elders. One of the brothers made this remark, "I don't know if I could put the milkers together or not, that's the gir's job!"
Note: Elder Jersey Farm sold out of the milking business in 2006. Now Jimmy and Cynthia Elder along with their children manage 22 acres of tobacco and 12 haflinger draft horses.