Rory, Richard Beyer, Lewiston
“I want to eat good food and produce good food.”
May 5, 7 a.m. Rory Beyer likes every day of farming, even the bad days.
"I like it all," he said simply, looking out over calm, cool, empty fields primed for spring planting.
He was so enthusiastic about cows at age two, his mother finally gave up and decided to follow him down to the dairy barn. Soon, she was hooked, too, milking the herd, freeing her husband for other chores.
Rory learned dairying from his parents, studied agriculture in college, then returned to the family farm north of Lewiston. His enthusiasm and confidence gave his parents the motivation to convert their fields, pastures and dairy to organic production, which requires a steep learning curve and a willingness to accept change.
Rory's mom and dad, Sharon and Richard, lead a team of employees that keep a herd of 120 cows. After years of hard work, Richard retains his enthusiasm for his dairy animals. The Beyers raise registered Holstein cows, selling the bulls as well as fertilized embryos for implanting in other cows.
They depend on loyal employees to keep dairying. Many have worked for the family long enough to become "the kids" in Richard's mind.
The family believes in the future of herbicide-free and pesticide-free farming practice. "The public is really getting educated. I want to eat good food and produce good food for the public," said Richard.
Sharon urges grocery shoppers to "Read the label, know what's in" what you buy. "I spend a lot of time in the grocery store," she said. "If you don't know what the ingredients are on the label, look into it. You might not [want to] eat it."