1996 Vernon Payne

Vernon Payne

Vernon Payne was born 2/14/12 in Howard County and attended school in Burlington. He graduated in 1931. He and his wife, Elva, had two daughters, Janet Best and Beverly Draper, 4 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Vernon’s nick name was “cash” and for a good reason. His philosophy has always been “if you can’t pay for it, don’t get it.” From feeding shocked fodder to a few Holsteins in mud lots near Forest, Indiana, he became one of the larger cattle feeders in Indiana. His innovations have been copied by many. He was able to successfully store high moisture corn in trench silos and blend it with corn silage from other trenches. The simplicity of his operation gained him the attention of at least 2 Universities, brought visits from Indiana Cattle Feeders, and visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

His woods and pasture farrowing operation was truly unique. Who else could breed 500 gilts, farrow them in July and wean a 9 pig average. Then to feed those pigs with cattle in open lots was truly a sight to behold. His success was his innovative management ability and his tireless labor. He was one of the first to build diversion dams across ravines to control keeping around the field to reduce and he took great pride in erosion and the only one to plant around and compaction. His farms were like show places them looking that way.

He is a very private person and has shunned publicity all his life. His contributions to schools and his community are known only by a few of his closest friends. His establishment of the Carroll student Memorial Scholarship Fund and his involvement in school consolidation are but two examples. Vernon retired from farming in 1981 but has continued to increase his land base. For several years Vernon and his wife enjoyed overwintering in Florida after his retirement. He is a member of the Church of the Brethren at Flora. His sense of fairness; his innovative spirit; his work ethic, his attention to details, and his love of agriculture and livestock all go to describe one person Vernon Payne.

February 11, 2010

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