Alan Bailey is a third generation farmer in Sussex County and one of the newest members of Delaware Farm Bureau’s board of directors.
“It’s kind of in the blood, I guess,” he chuckled in a phone interview.
The family farm, dubbed J Bailey & Sons, Inc., is located just outside of Greenwood on the Maryland/Delaware line where they milk 250 cows. The operation also includes about 750 acres of farmed land, producing grain and, most recently, lima beans.
“A lot of it runs through the dairy farming, though. It’s a seven-days-a-week operation. It would be nice if they [the cows] would take off sometimes,” he joked.
Much like the generations that came before them, Bailey’s brother and cousin work on the farm with him, along with a few other family members from time to time and some hired help to keep things moving.
Dairy from the farm is sent to Land O’Lakes after production which has helped the operation stay afloat even in the pandemic.
“The pandemic had us hurting in some ways and it actually helped in some other ways. Land O’Lakes of course supplies some of the food service industry, but that’s gone down a lot,” he said. “But retail butter sales went up. Some people couldn’t supply the butter in other locations; Land O’Lakes was able to send it there.”
To stay on top of current events that affect the agriculture industry, Bailey hass been a Farm Bureau member “for quite a while now,” he says. Then he saw a need he could fill as a volunteer.
“I just got a little bit more involved,” he said of his decision to step up as a Sussex County director for DEFB. “They needed somebody, so I volunteered. With working on the farm all the time, I know it’s hard to keep up on things legislatively. But I look at the government stuff. It’s a lot. It’s nice to have somebody who does keep up because we don’t want to find out about things later on. I’m happy to do it.”
To find out how you can volunteer with the Delaware Farm Bureau, visit defb.org or call the office at 302-697-3183.