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Great-grandparents Chester and Anna (Rohrer) Ranck move to the farm as 19-year old kids and begin farming. The field work was done with horses and a team of hardworking men and women.
Both Chester and Anna grew up within minutes of current-day Verdant View Farm: Chester came from the dairy farm across the street, and Anna came from Rohrer’s Mill. This photo from 1920 includes Chester’s siblings, parents, and first two sons.
Chester built the barn, raising up a beautiful historic bank barn without the use of a single nail to hold the frame together. This barn was central to the family farm for 95 years, until it was destroyed by a fire in April 2018.
Chester and Anna raise Henry, Lloyd and Evelyn on their dairy farm. Anna was an avid writer and photographer, and she enjoyed documenting the family beginning in the 1920s.
Lloyd and Ruth move to the farm in 1946 to begin farming. Field work is done with tractors instead of horses with the second generation.
Quality of milk has been important from the beginning. Lloyd and Ruth serviced area farms by testing their milk. In his retirement, Lloyd served the farming community as a milk equipment technician where he became known for his skill and attention to detail.
Lloyd and Ruth raise five children on the dairy farm, including Darlene, Don, Clyde, Wendel, and Dwight. The black walnut tree and tobacco shed in this photo still stand. With attentiveness and sound stewardship, Lloyd and Ruth built the milking parlor in 1962, they expanded the barn to accommodate more cows, constructed the silos and milk house, and added acreage to the farm.
Sleep Haven Farm opens its doors to overnight visitors, thus embarking on the family tradition of welcoming guests in our home. Ruth spearheaded the effort and was a woman of vision. She got her GED and degree in nursing when she was over 50 years old, she fostered over 20 newborns, and was a key management partner of the farm.
The torch was passed to Don and Virginia (Wivell) Ranck in 1975. Recently returned from five years of voluntary work in Brazil, they quickly changed the name to “Verdant View Farm”, finding Sleep Haven Inn to be a little too, well, yawn-inducing. At a time when farmers were advised to “get big or get out”, Don and Ginny chose “none of the above”. Instead, they focused on building the bed and breakfast into a thriving business complementary to the dairy farm.
Don and Ginny incorporated their four children, Eldon, Heather, Aaron, and Elisa, into the daily rhythms of the farm bed and breakfast. The children are expected to participate in the farm work, before and after school. They are encouraged to pursue sports, music lessons, 4-H, FFA, and other interests.
The 5th generation joins the farm. As to be expected, they also join the family with haymaking, serving breakfast, picking sweet corn, milking cows, and other farm projects.
With hospitality and warmth, Don and Ginny deepened the mission of hospitality and education to include guided walking tours of the farm.
The 4th generation returns to working on the farm and begins the farm transition. The family’s 5th generation continues to grow (in numbers and in size).
Patrick & Elisa (Ranck) Fleming continue the legacy of Verdant View Farm. They enjoy doing meaningful work in a place that is cherished.
April 11, 2018
Our 95-year-old barn was destroyed by a large fire. Many volunteers rushed to the scene and helped to save the herd of 65 cows. Unfortunately, 2 bulls, chicks, and farm equipment were lost. Various other buildings were also damaged.
Through the support of our Amish neighbors, community, friends, and family, our barn was raised in just a few days
We are links in a chain. We hope to build, to learn, to correct, to grow, and to be mindful as we continue Verdant View Farm. We welcome the opportunity to share with you and yours.
Elisa and Patrick