The Farm Family of the Day is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and seeks to recognize and celebrate the state’s rich agricultural heritage and many farm families that are behind the state’s agriculture and agribusiness industry. One family is recognized each day of the Fair, either nominated themselves or by members of their community. Congratulations to the 2023 Farm Families!
Meet our Farm Family of the Day for Saturday, Oct. 14, S&L Riverside Dairy. Based in Vale, this farm is home to over 200 Holstein that are milked daily by this family. Corn, small grain silage and hay are also grown on the farm for the family’s livestock as well as grain production.
S&L Riverside Dairy is owned by Andrew and Melissa Lail. Andrew is a fourth-generation farmer, taking over S&L Riverside Dairy from his grandfather after graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in Animal Science.
Ever since college, Andrew has consistently shown his passion for agriculture and dairy farming. Andrew and Melissa are constantly striving to improve their farms and make their practices better. S&L Riverside Dairy advocates for agriculture and strives to help people understand where food and dairy products come from.
”I met Andrew when we both attended N,.C. State and you could instantly see his passion for agriculture and dairy farming,” Brian Spach of B.L. Spach Farms said. “He was very involved in the family farm from a young age and continued to work to improve and make the operation more efficient. “
On top of their daily farm tasks, the Lail family works hard to impact their local North Carolina community. Andrew often hosts school groups to help young people see a real working farm. He also spends time with the Catawba County Young Farmers & Ranchers creating a video series to show members how a cow is milked.
S&L Riverside Dairy also rents land, which helps the Cooksville community keep its rural agricultural identity. At S&L Riverside Dairy, community is always in mind. Whatever the avenue, the family has a commitment to agriculture that has lasted for generations.
It is a rare thing to have a family that has been dedicated to their field for so long. Since childhood, Andrew Lail has known his passion for agriculture. He continued that passion in his college years and now has given that passion to his family and community.
When it comes to the N.C. State Fair, Andrew has had many memories from throughout his life. When he was a student at NC State University, and a member of the Animal Science Club, he would spend time at the Fair volunteering to watch over the cows. This meant staying up for hours throughout the night to make sure that the animals were safe and cared for.
Today, it’s the atmosphere of the State Fair that keeps the family coming back, saying “we enjoy the fair atmosphere with the displays and opportunities it provides for people to see and interact with agriculture that otherwise wouldn’t get that exposure,” Spach said.
If you see the members of S&L Riverside Dairy today at the N.C. State Fair, be sure to say hello. We are honored to have them as the Farm Family of the Day for October 14th, thank you for your commitment to our state’s number one industry!