PaPa Simpson’s Farm is located on land that has deep roots of family farming history dating back to the late 1800s. Now six generations have experienced the values gleaned from this property that God created and has continued to let our family be caretakers. These values are what we hope to share with the visitors that come to tour our farm.
In 1877, William Simpson stowed away on a ship from England to escape the royal service to Queen Victoria. His dream was to acquire a promising new home, a new and better opportunity, and to provide his family with a better way of life’ to seek the American Dream. He eventually settled in Claiborne Parish and began farming the land to provide for his family. Cotton, corn, sugarcane, vegetables, fruit trees, cattle, horses, and mules were grown to feed the family or used to trade or sell for other necessary staples needed by the family.
William’s son, Fred W. Simpson acquired adjoining land and continued the farming operation. Fred and Nannie Mae Rich Simpson reared twelve children on the farm. Crops were grown and sold, cows were hand milked to provide fresh milk, butter, and cheese for the family and the extra milk, butter, and cheese was either traded or sold to neighbors or people living in town. This eventually was the roots of the family farm entering into the dairy farm business.
In 1948, Calvin Simpson, Pa Fred’s and Miss Nan’s ninth child returned home from the U.S. Air Force with the idea of starting a commercial dairy operation with his father using their land and the land he had purchased while in the Air Force. Electric milkers were purchased and milk was stored in 5 or 10 gallon cans and placed in water to be cooled. These cans of milk were picked up and hauled to Meadowgold Dairy in Ruston, Louisiana. Here the milk was pasteurized, packaged, and delivered directly to the homes in the area. Later a bulk cooling milk tank along with a pipeline system that carried the milk from the cow to the tank was installed. This was one of the first of its kind in the area. Jersey cows were the breed of choice to begin with due to the “richness” of their milk. But in 1958 some Holstein cows were purchased due to the enormous amount of milk they produced. Around 1962, Fred and Calvin had the first cow to produce 100 pounds of milk per day in Claiborne Parish.
In 1968, after the death of his father, Calvin and Dorothy Faye, built a new milking parlor, which was one of the most modern facilities at this time. The dairy operation continued to expand and became one of the largest and most successful operations in the area. The milk was sold to a dairy farmers co-op, North Louisiana Pure Milk Producers, which Calvin helped organize and served on the board of directors. It eventually merged into Dairymen, Inc. co-op with Calvin continuing to serve in a leadership role. By this time the dairy herd consisted of approximately 60% Holstein and 40% Jersey cows.
In 1975, Jerry Simpson, Calvin’s son, purchased his first Holstein cows and added them to the family dairy herd. Jerry worked with his father in the dairy operation eventually purchasing all the cattle upon Calvin’s retirement. Jerry and his wife, Pam, leased his father’s facilities and continued to grow. Jerry served on the board of directors of Dairymen, Inc. and Mid-America Dairymen, Inc. with these farmer owned co-ops eventually merging into Dairy Farmers of America Co-op. In 1994, Jerry and Pam purchased his grandfather’s farm from the family and built a more modern milking facility and increased the number of cows being milked to one of the largest in the state.
Jerry and Pam’s daughters, Ashley, Holly, and Summer, along with their husbands, have purchased some of the original land and started PaPa Simpson’s Farm. Jerry and Pam continue to operate the dairy and manage PaPa Simpson’s Farm. Grandchildren, Landri, Dylan, Lane, Ashlyn, Avery, Luke, Anna Grace, and Payton, have now become an important part of the farm’s business as they are the farm’s hope and future.
At each generation level, the land that God created has been used as a family farm operation. We feel in our hearts and through our heritage that the rearing of family members in the farm atmosphere provides the most ideal family situation one could ask for. It is our hope that we can expose visitors to our farm to the opportunity that six generations of Simpsons have and are enjoying.