Pleased to Feed You, the Skinners

Our family: Gary and Carolyn and our two sons, Darin—married to Kristin, and Brian—married to Connie. We have three grandchildren.

How we met: We met on a blind date arranged by Carolyn’s college roommate. It was love at first sight.

Our farm: Hardscrabble Farms, Inc. produces corn, soybeans, wheat and popcorn on 3,500 acres and our family provides all the farm labor. We also do custom drainage work. The original farm was purchased by Gary’s great-grandfather in 1912.

Why we farm: We enjoy the total lifestyle and we love the land.

Our motivation: We are motivated to provide a comfortable family living, to earn respect from the community and to build a business to leave to the next generation.

Our biggest challenge: More regulations that consume our time and financial resources and the development pressure on our county.

The biggest misconception about farming you’ve heard: Farmers have a lot of free time and are highly subsidized for not producing crops.

Farm Bureau: We have been members for 50 years. We are members because of the organization’s legislative work for agriculture and for the social opportunities. Five generations of Skinners have served as county Farm Bureau president. We also are in the Top B’s advisory council, which has been meeting since 1966.

Community involvement: We like to welcome and familiarize community groups with our farm and agriculture. Most recently we’ve hosted the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce young leaders and also naturalists from Columbus Metro Parks. Gary has served on the original Ohio Soybean Board, Board of Country Mutual Insurance and as Community Bank director. Carolyn co-founded the Club of Creative Learning mothers club, serves on the Board of Grady Memorial Hospital and Grady’s Development Council, and served as Brown Township clerk.

Achievements: 1980: Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Farm Family of the Year. 1991: Hardscrabble Farms received Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District Cooperator of the Year. 1993: Carolyn named Delaware County Farm Bureau Farm Woman of the Year.

Our future: We see ourselves striving to keep up with and make wise use of the sophisticated technologies that are coming.

A Skinner family favorite recipe:

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups corn flakes or Rice Krispies

Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in cereal. Spread mixture in a greased 9- x 13-inch pan. Cool. Cut or break into bite size pieces.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.