By Kim Terpenning
And It Still Stands: The big red barn just outside the Hamlet of Andes on State Highway 28 will mark 160 years of Dairy Farming in 2022. The fifth generation farm is owned and operated by Richard and Roger Liddle. Pictured is Richard at 3 years of age with his dog King in 1941 and a present day photo of the barn. Through many renovations over the century: increase of livestock, hard work and dedication, along with the trials and tribulations of farming—It Still Stands.
One such trial occurred on a Saturday afternoon in April when a call went out instantaneously from within the barn for dispatch of Andes Volunteer Fire Department. Dave Ruff, Assistant Fire Chief, had been helping that afternoon when a panel box ignited and burst into flames. With the quick response of so many, and the Bovina Volunteer Fire Dept enroute to assist, what could have been the inevitable did not take place. ALL 75 head of cows, staked in their stanchions for the evening milking, were released and miraculously exited from the barn by one very quick and agile young lady, Mariah Ruff.
The expertise of both Fire Departments working in conjunction and all others waiting to assist with any help, allows this barn to Still Stand. The aid of Don’s Dairy Supply – owner Donnie Coager, and his lead electrician Harry, NYSEG and a LARGE generator supplied by Town Supervisor, Bud Gladstone were on the scene to get things back to temporary operating status. The task of getting “the ladies” back into the barn and their stalls after this chain of events, was met with reluctance by some of them. The cows were already four hours off from their milking routine. Many dear family friends worked diligently from 9 pm-11 pm to get that part done only to return in another 5 hours for another day’s work. Our lead farm hand, Cody Ruff, his girlfriend Abby Hall and his mom, Carolyn Ruff were right back with us that morning, after driving non-stop for 16 hours. This, too, proves the dedication of a true Farming Family and part of Our Family.
In wrapping this story up, some information from an icon of Andes—Richard Liddle himself. In 1955, the year Dick graduated from high school, there were 235 operating dairy farms in The Town of Andes. As I write this, there are only 4. To EVERYBODY who extended their help and aid we are forever grateful. It allows GENERATIONS to continue. IT STILL STANDS to keep “Mooving” forward. Forever Blessed.~