Shortly after his son was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in November 2008, Elder Vogel Sr. dropped by Breeze Ridge Farms in Marion Township to see fellow dairy farmer Robert Guidice. He was sulking.
“Well, Bob,” Guidice remembers Vogel Sr. lamenting, “he won. He’s going to Harrisburg.”
Guidice shook his head and chuckled. Wasn’t this victory something to celebrate?
“Your son is a senator,” Guidice reminded his friend.
Vogel Sr. cracked a sheepish smile, but Guidice understood the consternation.
Dairy farming is a family business, both out of necessity and because few outsiders would ever dream of an occupation that requires such dogged dedication. Cows need to be milked twice a day, every day. Mornings began before dawn. There are no vacations, no sick days, no excuses.
“You crawl out of bed when you’re sick, when it’s Christmas morning, when it’s 20 below,” Sen. Elder Vogel Jr. said. “You have to be a little crazy, I guess. You have to have it in your blood.”