Royer Farms

Royer Dairy Farm Free TourIn 1952 Melvin Royer was working for his dad milking 28 cows when he decided to buy a can milk route and pick up cans of milk for local farms and deliver it to the dairy.  In 1954 he rented the farm across the road from his dad’s and started milking cows for himself, as well as hauling can milk.  At that time he was milking 189 cows in an eight stall station barn and had to wheel the manure out of the barn and put it on a stack outside the barn.  In 1961 he gave up the milk route and was milking 26 cows.  In late summer of 1962, he bought a 159 acre farm in Marlboro Township.  He gutted the inside of the barn and put in 36 tie stalls with a pipe line and gutter cleaner.  By March of 1963 he was milking 40 cows.  In the year of 1969-70, he built his first free stall barn that had 40 stalls in it.  We would milk 36 cows, let them out and get 36 more from the free stall barn and would keep doing that until all 82 cows were milked.  At that time, we would scrap the free stall manure into a small pit that we had made.  We would haul that pit manure once a week and the gutter cleaner manure once a day.  In the early spring of 1976, we were up to 96 cows and decided to build a double 6 herringbone parlor plus a 110 cow free stall barn.  We were milking in the new parlor by October and had the barn filled with cows by the first of the year.  IN 1980 we added another 50 stalls on to our free stall barn for a total of 200 stalls.  Once that barn was filled our biggest hassle was hauling manure 2 to 3 times a week.  In 1988 we constructed a 980 thousand gallon above ground tank (slurry store) with a flush gutter going across the center of the free stall barn.  This was to hold manure for 200 cows for 6 months.

By this time the two younger boys (Dan and Joel) were out of school and decided to stay on the farm with Melvin and Tim.  In 1990 Royer Farms was incorporated and in 1994 we built another 100 cow free stall barns and in 1996 another 100 cow barn.  At this point we needed a bigger parlor.  We started milking three times a day in 1994 and milking 375 cows took 22 hours a day.  That winter I had our County Extension Agent help us do a whole farm financial structure on our farm.  At that time, we figured that we needed at least $11 milk and be as close to 400 cows milking.  Melvin, his son, and two of his brothers had a meeting and decided to expand one more time.  In August of 1997 we broke ground for a new double twelve parallel parlor with cow ID computer and cut gates.  We also decided to build a 285 cow free stall barn to give us a total of 485 stalls.  Our old 200 cow free stall barn was made into a dry cow barn and maternity ward.  In January 1998 we started milking in our new parlor and by the end of the year we had all of the barns full.  But our next project is what to do with the liquid manure.  Our manure averages 88% to 90% water, and we know we need 180 days of storage.  But building another storage structure seems to be putting a bandage on the manure problem.

As for the crops on the farm, we raise all of our feed, which is 1,000 acres of corn, 500 acres of soybean, 300 acres of wheat and 400 acres of hay.

The work force on our family farm starts with Mrs. Royer (Carol) who takes care of all the bills and does payroll.  Melvin helps with the crops and runs for parts.  They both spend the winter months in Florida.  Dan is the herdsman of all of the cows.  Joel manages and does all of the feeding and the ordering of the feed.  Tim manages the planting and harvesting of all of the crops and all of the repairs on the farm.

From 1998 until 2013 the Royer Farm has increased the milking herd to about 700 cows and have added 300 more acres of crops.  Mom and Dad have retired from the farming operation.  Three younger family members, Dustin, Cody, and Tyler have been brought on board to teach them the family business.  Our work force is now at 18 full time employees.  Many thanks to Mom and Dad….we wouldn’t be where we are today, 61 years later.

Royer Farms Inc.

Tim Royer  – President