“It was high time to call it quits.” That is how Ron Kaufman describes his decision to retire and sell the family farm in the Huntley community southeast of Torrington.
Although he is turning the farm over to the new owners, his daughter Stephanie Kath and her husband, Grant Kath, the retired University of Wyoming extension agent and 4-H leader does not plan to park himself in front of a TV with a cup of coffee.
“I don’t know how my wife put up with me being gone all the time,” Kaufman said, sitting at the kitchen table in the currently vacant farm house. “I needed a good spouse for that, and now we’re going to have time together.”
Kaufman and his wife, Ilene, will spend time in the Sierra Madre country near Saratoga, Wyoming, and visit son Brian, his wife, Tracie, and sons, Addison, Blake, and Zack, near Phoenix, Arizona.
Kaufman said the decision to sell the family farm was made two years ago at Christmas. He and Ilene moved into their new home in Torrington in April 2020. He also gave up his custom haying business, and arrangements were made to have a neighbor do the farming.
“We wanted to keep that part in the community,” he explained.
Following a teaching career in several Wyoming communities, the Goshen County native returned to his home base, where he found a new field in which to apply his skills.
Kaufman has always been deeply involved in the community, and looks back with pleasure on his 15 years with the University of Wyoming Extension service where he had the Goshen County 4-H program, as well as horticulture and row crops.
“I especially enjoyed the kids, and I still do,” Kaufman said with a smile. “We did coverage on the radio, and I did a lot of judging at the fairs. They treated me real good, and I still plan to help at the fair.”
Looking back on his farming years, Kaufman said he believes the entire industry has changed for the better, which will benefit future generations.
“From sprinkler irrigation to computer-controlled equipment, technology has made it a more efficient industry,” he said.