Carrol Campbell says one of his fondest childhood memories are of riding with his dad in the milk delivery truck to deliver bottles of milk from the Campbell Dairy in Winfield to local residents.
"Dad was fast. I don't think I ever saw him walk. He was always running," he says.
One of the great things about still living and working in the business that has defined his family for 83 years is working and watching the next generation prepare to take over and knowing that there will be a Campbell Dairy in Winfield for years to come, say Carrol and his wife, Jeanie, who are among six couples selected for the 2013 Master Farmer/Master Farm Homemaker class.
Even after they no longer delivered door-to-door, the Campbells continued to sell milk from the farm until 1981, when they moved the dairy to its current location on the north edge of Winfield on land that was first rented by Carrol's grandfather in 1930.
"We rented it until 1971 when we bought it and I knew every inch of it from my childhood," Carrol says.
"Jeanie and I were managing the dairy and we had expanded," Carrol explains. "We produced more than we could sell from the farm and our excess had to be sold as Grade B milk, so we made the decision to just sell all of it off the farm. We joined the cooperative and they started picking up our milk."
Even after that, the Campbells managed to retain one of the things they like best about selling from the farm – contact with the public – by hosting school tours for the Winfield, Arkansas City and Wichita schools. They have also hosted international visitors through Rotary Club and Kansas State University Extension Research and Education and have been hosts for the Farm Bureau Governor's Tour and Farm and City Day Tours.
Carrol earned his bachelor's degree in Dairy Science from K-State and continued on for a master's in Dairy Science with emphasis in reproductive efficiency.
But he says his education as a scientist is not what he relies on when trying to teach the public about agriculture in general and dairy farming in particular.
"I am trained as a scientist but they don't care about science," he says. "You have to make a connection based on shared values. What I try to convey is that we all share the same values of truth, honesty and integrity."
He has been a member of both the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Farm Bureau for 43 years and held numerous leadership posts in both organizations.
He has been a participant in Cowley County Dairy Extension for 40 years and of Kansas Farm Management for 30 years. He is also a member and has served as board president of both the Kansas Dairy Association and the Kansas Dairy Commission. Other memberships include the Winfield Co-op, Rotary, Cornerbank Board of Directors, First Presbyterian Church, board of trustees and AFACT founder and co-chairman.
Jeanie graduated in the top 10% of her class at Ellsworth High Schcool and went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in education at K-State.
She taught school briefly before starting a family, then began a full-time mother and helper to Carrol for several years while their children, Holly, Nathan and Dana were young.
In 1993, she rejoined the workforce at Freeman Eye Care, went to school to learn to do vision therapy and managed the VT program at Freeman for four years before moving up to optometric technician.
Both she and Carrol have been active in 4-H leadership, serving as project leaders and Junior Leaders sponsors as well as helping out with a variety of 4-H programs.
Jeanie has also been active in the Jaycee Jaynes, the PTO at Country View School where she served two terms as chairman and as a school volunteer helping with cheerleader, FFA and homecoming acdtivities.
She has also been active in Cowley County Farm Bureau , Kansas Farm Bureau, the Soil Conservation Service Committee, the Winfield Planning Commission, Rotary Club, Purple Pack Catbackers, The Ahern Fund and the First Presbyterian Church as a Sunday School teacher, nursery helper, deacon, stewardship chairman, and co-chair of the Cooperative Vacation Bible School.
The three Campbell children have all found success in their chosen careers.
Holly is editor of the High Plains Journal and lives in Bucklin with her husband, Eric, who teaches vocational agriculture. They have two sons, Campbell and Lincoln, who are both active in 4-H and FFA. Holly is active in 4-H leadership as well as Extension.
Holly graduated from K-State with a dual major in Animal Science and Industry and Ag Journalism. She was a member of Class VI of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program.
She is a member of the Kansas Livestock Association, the American Ag Editor's Association, the Livestock Publications Council, the Agricultural Media Summit Steering Committee, the International Federation of Ag Journalists and Beta Sigma Phi sorority.
Nathan graduated from K-State with a bachelor's in animal science in 1998. He did at internship at Cimmaron Dairy and worked as a herdsman for Hiss Diary before coming home to help manage Campbell Dairy in 2001.
He is active on the Farm Bureau Board, the Valley Co-op and the Kansas Dairy Association.
He married Aimee Groene in 2004 and they have three children, Breckin, 5; Macklin, 3; and Leighton, 3 months.
Dana attended Winfield High School where she was active in student council and cheerleading as well as 4-H and Junior leaders. She graduated valedictorian of her class in 1995 and went on to graduate from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy Summa Cum Laude in 2001. She now works as a pharmacist at William Newton Hospital in Winfield and is a member of the Kansas Pharmacist Association and the Kansas Society of Health System Pharmacists.
She is a member of First Presbyterian Church.
She is married to Scott Lowe, who is the cropping manager and beef cattle manager for Campbell Farms. They have three sons, Drake, 9; Corbin, 6; and Weston, 2. Drake is involved in 4-H bucket calf and swine projects and Corbin attends Clover Buds and helps Drake with his livestock. Scott is Bucket Calf Project leader for the club.
The Campbells have increased the size of their farming operation from 920 acres at 6,920 acres of farm and pasture acres.
Last summer, the Campbells decided to introduce their two oldest grandsons to an agricultural enterprise by starting a retail sweet corn business to the operation.
"We were convinced there was a demand for locally grown corn in our area," Jeanie said. "And we were interested in including younger family members and thereby developing their interest in Campbell Farms.
Beyond that, Carrol says, there was the opportunity to again interact with the public, something they really enjoy. And, he said, the value of early exposure to agriculture can't be overestimated.
"I remember as a child, I was especially attached to wheat harvest and one year my mother insisted I attend church camp during harvest season. I was maybe 9 or 10, and I went to church camp, but every minute I was thinking about wheat harvest. I knew where I belonged."
That sense of belonging, he says, is what he loves most to see in the next generation.
"I remember when my dad turned management of the farm over to me and looking back I know now what I didn't know then – that he worked every day at helping me make that transition. It's not a chore. It's a joy, a lot of fun, to watch the kids learning and helping them take over."