Book’s Dairy and Produce is raising the next generation of farmers | News

BORDEN — The day begins around 5 a.m. for the members of the Book family, because that’s when they start milking the 96 cows on the Borden farm.

Book’s Dairy and Produce has been around for at least five generations and its produce, as well as its milk, has fed the people of the area for years.

Oliver Book, 31, and Tim Book, 40, received the Next Generation Farming Award from the Clark County 4H Fair this summer.

“It’s an award to appreciate the next generation of farmers,” Oliver said. “They elected us as the best candidate for this.”

Their father, James Book, said he took over his father’s farm. James’ father took him from his father, who took him from his father.

“We have six sons, so we were hoping someone (would take over for us),” James said, while wrapping cabbages with his wife Cheryl Book.

The family is warm and friendly. They are also responsible for helping to preserve local produce at grocery stores and restaurants in southern Indiana and Louisville.

Harvest preparation on the farm begins around 8:00 a.m.

“In the summer, after milking, we’ll be here to start picking something,” Tim said.

Workers come to help the family and they pick the crops for a few hours.

Book’s Dairy and Produce offers a variety of produce including cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, fall squash, eggplant and tomatoes.

“Most of our (products) go to Kroger,” James said. “It’s through Stanley Bros. Produced in Louisville. They sell it to restaurants and small stores.

Local products have something special.

“You know where that came from,” Cheryl said.

Local grocery stores and restaurants aren’t the only places people can buy Book family products.

“Most of the time when we get the pumpkins out of the field, we take them to Huber,” Oliver said. “We help them there, because they can only grow.”

The day ends for the family when they milk the cows a second time. Usually, Sunday is everyone’s day off.

Both Tim and Oliver said they started helping out on the farm when they were 8 years old.

“You start doing things when you can do something,” he said. “Making boxes, or whatever… I didn’t start driving tractors or whatever until I was about 8 years old.”

Tim said he also did things around the farm at that age. There are videos of the couple working as children.

If anyone is interested in becoming a farmer, the brothers said they have some advice.

“The best thing to do is come to work for a while and see if you like it,” Tim said.

He said he likes to be out all day doing his job.

“I think the (most rewarding part) is watching your business grow,” Oliver said. “You plant something, it grows, you get a good harvest.”

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