Diefendorff, left, is pictured with Matt Boyert, who nominated him for the Neighbor of the Year Award.

Medina County man is the neighbor every farmer wants to have

Source: Ohio’s Country Journal | By Kyle Sharp | August 17th, 2010

It’s a horror story often heard within the agricultural community. Land next to a working farm is sold to non-farmers who move in from town and start complaining about the equipment, noise and periodic aromas that come with the rural landscape.

Fortunately, the Boyert family of Seville in Medina County has not had that problem. In fact, when Don Diefendorff and his wife, Beth, purchased the old farmhouse and 6 acres across the road from the Boyerts in 2004 and moved from near Akron, Diefendorff quickly became a friend and extra farmhand.

“Shortly after moving in, he came over and introduced himself to us,” said Matt Boyert, 25, the second-oldest of six children raised by Mike and Patti Boyert. “Since making our acquaintance, he has readily come over and assisted us with our outside chores. He has even reached a point where he has helped pull a couple of calves and came over to watch a veterinarian perform a C-section.”

Diefendorff considers sharing in these farm experiences a blessing.

“When you see a calf being born, which I’d never seen, and you see life being brought into this world, it gives you a different outlook on life all together,” he said. “I have a whole different appreciation for animals now. You don’t realize all the work that goes into it. I see the (Boyert) kids in and out of the barn from 6 a.m. to 9 or 10 at night.”

While Diefendorff’s father, Don Sr., grew up on a farm, Don grew up and had lived his whole life in the small town of Norton near Akron. He and Beth met in high school and have been married 30 years, raising three children: Adrienne, 28, Elise, 26, and Shawn, 25. Their daughters are married and have kids of their own, while their son recently gotout of the Marine Corps.

Diefendorff, a retired teamster, worked 30 years at the Reiter Dairy processing plant in Akron. So perhaps it was appropriate that he and Beth bought and moved to an old dairy farm. The farmstead had been in the previous owner’s family since 1843.

Click here to read the entire article.