We hope you all enjoyed our blog on our logger, Dan Wagner. We think it’s important you meet the people who are doing all the behind-the-scenes work for East Hill Creamery. Without them, we would not have a creamery. Also, these are the people who are doing the ‘dirty’ work—literally. And that brings us to our important person of the week on the East Hill team—Jason Merle.
Jason Merle is from Alexander, New York, and he is an excavation contractor. He has a family of four kids ages 18, 16, 12, and 10 (three girls and one boy). He started his company in 2006 at the ripe old age of 26. He was supposed to grow up a farmer—that’s what he always wanted to be was a dairy farmer. He went to North Carolina and managed a dairy farm there and couldn’t stand being away from home. When he came home to New York he got a job doing dirtwork. He worked that job for the same guy for 8 years until his little boy was born. He had decided if he had a baby boy he was going to buy a bulldozer, and that’s when he started his own business.
He spends a lot of his time catering to the dairy farmers. He said he chooses to do that because there are a lot of dairy farmers in the area, and he was raised on a dairy farm, so he can relate to them. He told us that dairy farmers are “easy to do business with”. When Jason has free time he likes to spend it with his kids going to their sporting events.
We met Jason through word of mouth. He worked for somebody we knew, and he did a few jobs on the farm for us. Now he is preparing the ground work for the actual East Hill Creamery building.
He said the “cheesehouse” (as Gary calls it) will be in a low area, so he has to bring in a bunch of fill material from a neighboring project. He said that he does all the stuff nobody sees, but people will smell his work because he does a lot with cow manure 🙂 He also works with feed storage and making fields bigger.
Jason was really fun to talk to because he is so excited about working with East Hill Creamery. He said that it is really neat to work with something that has “an end product to the milk”, as he is usually dealing with the input part of things and now he gets to deal with the output (product to consumers). He talked about East Hill Creamery in a very endearing and admiring way. “They (Gary and Betty) are very unique people. For this area, nobody makes milk like they make milk. All the cows are usually inside. They (Gary and Betty) have a different take on making milk. It’s the coolest part of my job—seeing how everybody does things different. Their (Gary and Betty) whole business philosophy is outside the box. It’s very cool.”
Jason’s words are humbling and motivating for us. We couldn’t be more proud to have him on our team. We know that his excavation and dirt work are in demand out here, and he could spend his time working for anybody, but he chose us. Hopefully now anyone who steps foot in East Hill Creamery someday will respect the man who did the ‘dirty work’ to make the Creamery come to life.