by Lisa Tome
Annie Lapp sat with her husband, two children, and the family's "hired boy" on Friday night, enjoying a covered dish dinner and Kilby Cream milk and ice cream.
Lapp, who is Amish, was sitting with her English counterparts, at the annual Calvert Grange Dairy Night.
Dairy Night is a celebration of farming hosted by the Grange each June.
"It's fun. Dairy farmers like to eat. They like to talk weather and crops," said Lapp.
There are 33 dairy farms in operation in Cecil County. Many of them were represented at Dairy Night. There were nearly 130 members of the farming community including 27 children ages four and under.
Samuel Fisher, another Amish farmer, was urging his son to eat lots of ice cream. "If he eats a lot of ice cream milk prices will go up," laughed Fisher.
Bill Creeger, who farms on Wilson Road, spent 40 years milking cows. "I milked 40 years now I have beef. It's good for people to get together to see how everyone is doing. It seems like we never get paid fair prices for milk," said Creeger, who said he knew at age four that he would spend his life farming. "It's always good to see other farmers. We don't get out much."
There were games, door prizes donated by local businesses, and every farmer got to talk about his herd. Dairy princesses and local Dairy Maid Mackenzie Underwood worked promoting the dairy industry and led the crowd in a milk toast.
Carpenter Steve Kauffman, who is Amish, said he looks forward to Dairy Night. "We feel welcome here," said Kauffman.