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Super Senior: Ed Stygles - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Ed Stygles

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JERICHO, Vt. -

The first thing you notice about Ed Stygles is his sense of humor. He says he's got a barn full of junk and 20 vintage tractors scattered around the property.

"You'll have an awful time to get into here, it's a mess," he said.

But the truth is he doesn't have time to tinker on the tractors.

"There are so many things to do besides work on stuff," Ed said. "There's work to be done on the buildings, there are fences to be fixed, more ditching to do."

Except for the occasional sound of the birds, it's almost silent on Ed's 270 acres of farmland in Jericho. That's until Ed goes to work with a cattle call. There are 48 cattle way out in the woods.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you say to them?

Ed Stygles: I don't know, just come boss, come boss-- about it, I guess.

The former dairy farmer is now into beef.

"Here they come. See 'em peeking out of the woods there? Come on!" Ed called. "Where's the rest of you guys! Come on!"

They're hesitant to meet a stranger.

"They don't trust you, do they!?" Ed said.

Eventually with the help of Tasha, a border collie, the cattle make a move.

Joe Carroll: You've ever been knocked over by them?

Ed Stygles: Yeah, yeah, don't care about that either. Come on!

Ed's life is centered on the farm. He and his wife, Jane, raised two boys and shared the chores.

"She milked the cows and she could fix machinery and do anything," Ed said.

Joe Carroll: This was her life too, hunh?

Ed Stygles: Ah, she loved it. Yup, she'd be happy if she didn't have to go off the road at all.

But in 1992, sickness struck. Jane had a short battle with breast cancer; she died at just 55. She's buried up on a hill overlooking the farm she loved.

"She wanted to be cremated and put up the hill," Ed said.

For a few years after Jane died, Ed and his son ran the dairy operation, but it wasn't the same. Eventually, they sold the cows. Ed said it took a few years to get over the grief of Jane's death, but he knew he had to keep busy. Now, with some help from a son, the 81-year-old runs the cattle operation alone.

Ed also has a way with words when talking about aging.

"Like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes," he said.

Never a loss for words from a man who has a little bit of a beef with me.

"Maybe after today you want to buy some cows so they can be used to you," Ed said.

Ed doesn't have a beef with the price of cattle, he says it's the highest in years.

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