Our Heritage: The Story of Stark County - Part 1: Agriculture

By Tim Botos
Repository staff writer

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part story on the agricultural history of Stark County, looking at a farm in its fifth generation.

LAWRENCE TWP. At the bottom of a steep, twisting driveway lies Clardale Farms' calf barn. A converted horse arena designed to provide giant helpings of fresh air, it's more than just a building. It holds the precious lifeblood that is the future of this fifth-generation family dairy farm.

On a bitter December morning, Tim Rohr and his son, Tim Rohr Jr., known as 'T.J', intermittently filled and spread five-gallon buckets of feed for a group of calves that had been weaned off milk. More than 100 calves, segregated into groups according to age, live inside the straw-lined barn on any given day. Some dart around the pens. Others sleep. A cacophony of "moos" from all directions serenaded the father-son team as they went about their chore. Newborns get their own stalls. About 850 calves, all products of artificial insemination, are born on the farm every year. Bulls are sold within a week for as little as $75 apiece - there's not much use for a male animal that won't give milk someday. The oldest calves get moved to another barn when they reach a year old and prepare to get pregnant, so they can give milk...........

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