Roger Layn might have the prettiest commute in Vermont and he doesn't have to leave his 960 acres of land enjoy it. The Layns milk 140 cows in Monkton. Three generations work on the farm. Roger's main job is to keep the tractors humming.
"We pretty much do our own maintenance," he said.
The dairy business is long hours with little profit. That's why many farmers work on their own equipment, like the Layns' late 1970s John Deere. Roger has rebuilt the engine many times.
"We really don't have any new tractors," he said.
Repairing farm equipment isn't the only job for the 93-year-old.
"I get up and get the animals in every morning and scrape out the barn and so on and so forth," Roger said.
He cleans the barnyard in the 1952 Ford he bought at auction for $25. As he says, it works all right and it's paid for.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You aren't doing it for show for me are you?
Roger Layn: No, absolutely not!
His parents started the farm in the late 1920s and Roger took it over after World War II. He married a local girl named Helen and they raised three children. They were partners on the farm.
"She kept the books and kept me restrained in all my expenditures," he said.
Helen and Roger were together for almost 65 years. She passed away two years ago.
"That's a long time to be together," Roger said.
Roger has a hard time slowing down and he has the bruises to prove it.
"Sunday night I fell," he said.
He hit his head on the milking room floor.
"He does way more than he should as far as work around here," said David Layn, Roger's son.
Joe Carroll: Is that hard to tell him not to do so much work?
David Layn: We try, but he doesn't listen.
Roger's property is also a graveyard of farm equipment he's used through the decades.
"It's not a graveyard... spare parts," Roger insisted.
He doesn't throw away much, and once a year he takes his best equipment on the road to the Addison Country Fair and Field Days. Roger doesn't attempt to start the temperamental tools, but he's on hand to answer questions. He used similar equipment in his early years of farming. The field days turns into a family reunion. His great-granddaughter Olivia is experiencing her first fair. Roger keeps coming to the fair for her generation-- to show that like him, life on the farm is ever-changing.
PO Box 4508