luther family farm owners with cow
Acworth, NH

Parnassus Farm

“I’ve never considered doing anything else,” says John Luther, as he considers his life as a dairy farmer.

“Why farming?” John asks. “I like being self-employed, I love cows, and I love being in the fields.”

John’s been working the farm since he was 6. His grandparents, Earl and Katherine Luther, came to New Hampshire from Rhode Island in the early 1940’s and purchased 210 acres of land. John’s farther, Earl Jr., was the first to farm this land, buying the first cow and naming the farm Parnassus, after a mountain Utopia of Greek mythology. Over the next few years, additional cows were purchased and in 1952 Earl, Jr. built a barn to fit 28 cows.

John owned his first cow when he was 17 and became a full-time manager in the late 1980’s, when his father retired. Today, John and wife Robin (she’s a youth and family 4-H field specialist in the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s Sullivan County office) look after 65 animals (including the family’s tractor-riding Dachshund, Diamond) and 210 acres of land. An additional 160 acres are under long-term lease agreement, and accommodate a herd of 39 milking cows, Jersey and Holstein breeds.

The chores are never quite done when it comes to dairy farming, and the days start before sunrise and usually end at sunset. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to rest when the sun goes down. Like his parents before him, John still finds time to serve the community. He is currently serving his second term as town moderator for Acworth. Says John, “Serving the community was a big part of my childhood. Dad was the town’s treasurer and administrative assistant for many years. Mom was always active in church and in planning town events. It just goes with the territory of being a family farmer in a small New England town.”

And that’s not all John does. John has artistic talents and has appeared in many local theater productions and is a member of a rock ‘n roll band named the Lon Johs. You’ll often find him playing music from the 70’s at high school reunions, wedding receptions, private parties, and sporting events.

The Luthers have frequent visitors to the farm whether it’s friends, neighbors or school groups.  They are always willing to stop what they’re doing and show folks where their food comes from and how it gets from the farm to their table.

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