Brothers Arley, Scott and Lynn George returned to a northwestern Wyoming dairy farm with deep family roots in the early 1980s.
Their parents homesteaded the farm after World War II as part of a program for returning veterans; the homestead was situated on a former Japanese internment camp. The family used their two allotted barracks and modified one into a home where the Georges raised eight children and where Arley, Scott and Lynn’s mother continues to live. The other barrack served as the dairy parlor until 1981.
“We worked a lot on the farm, but it’s always been a real joy working with my family. We would never have survived it if weren’t for my mother; she was always steady and hardworking – our farm has always been a family affair,” said Arley.
Much has changed since those days, when most of the veterans pulled up stakes within a year or two. The Georges can recall a time when there were more than 200 dairies in Wyoming, but now only a few remain. And today, George Farms is still nestled into the foothills of Wyoming, against the stunning backdrop of Heart Mountain.
The family milks around 500 cows and farms enough acres to raise all their own corn for silage and alfalfa for hay. The Georges consider themselves environmentally conscious when it comes to all aspects of the dairy. They recycle manure from their herd as fertilizer – which substitutes for more expensive, commercial alternatives that require more aggressive tillage and energy consumption.
They all intend to pass on the tradition of farming to their children; several have already returned to the dairy.
True to his character, when asked for any final thoughts, Arley simply said, “Life is good in Wyoming.” The milk there is, too!