The couple married and began acquiring beef cows that they grazed on leased land. Some of the land the Ellises leased belonged to Roderick Dutcher, who had been in the dairy business most of his life. He had started to downsize, and his children had their own businesses. None of the Dutcher family wanted to continue the dairy farm.
“I was working at Springbrook and Tony was doing mechanic work, and we talked to Rod,” Marie said. “He really wanted the farm to stay a dairy farm. He had pieced this farm together from bits and pieces of land he had bought over the years.”
On Friday as Marie Ellis explained the milking process, people drove past the Otego farm, blew their horns and waved. The connections the Ellis family has in the community run deep. Tony Ellis grew up in Otego and has known most of the families in the area all of his life. It makes selling hay easier when the market is a familiar one.
“There is something to be said for growing up on a farm,” Marie Ellis said. “Both Alex and Chris (her sons) have chores to do. They understand taking care of something other than themselves. They understand about life, animals are born and some animals don’t make it. Some animals are very special to us.”