- Greeley, CO
- Why dairy farming?
- Farming is the closest to the hand of God you can get.
When George Maxey left the US Air Force in 1954 he had $800, a wife and two children. Having come from a farming family, he knew that he had a chance to use his history to make a legacy, and a living.
“If I was going to milk cows for a living, I wanted more than just a check,” he said of his post-military experience, he wanted to learn how to build a business. So he connected with his old family friend and mentor, farmer Carl Henry, and learned both the dairy trade and how to breed registered cattle.
“He was a better professor than college,” said Maxey. Although Mr. Henry passed away before his tutelage was over, Maxey and his wife bought the existing farm from Henry’s wife. Maxey was then given the unique chance to be an heir to an established farm and to start to build his own cattle business from scratch. Thirty-three years later, Maxey can boast that he has built a legacy for his 5 children and has left a mark on northern Colorado agriculture.
“Farming is a great lifestyle, and the best place in the world to raise a family,” he said. All of his children are successful. From work in the legal profession, educators, including one at CSU and a son who was once president of the American Dairy Goat Association, all of his kids have benefited in their careers from learning about discipline on the farm. In order to help keep the farm thriving, one of his sons has come back to the dairy farm to help George continue the legacy by running the farm and leasing out cows to other farms to milk as well.
“We raised our kids on milk,” he said, “and milk helped get them all to college or their chosen careers.” George attributes his family history with farming and his love of the land to his success in the soil.
“You can’t just start a farm these days,” he said, “but I started in the heartland and worked with heart.” He believes that his drive and his risk of starting a farm from virtually nothing has paid off and has given him a chance to see his children succeed in whatever they wish to do.
With a barn that is almost 100 years old (built in 1917), George can see the outline of his legacy every day as he rises to work with his cows in the morning, and he can see the future in the able-bodied hands of his son and in the positive work of his other children. He knows that it all happened for a reason; hard work, self discipline and divinity.
“Farming is the closest to the hand of God you can get,” said George, and by his work and success, it’s visible.