The Porter Family
The Glenn and Ruth Porter Scholarship was established by their family to honor Mr. and Mrs. Porter’s lifelong contributions to the dairy industry. The award is to provide financial assistance to a student who has displayed natural leadership abilities and has demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship is for a resident of Jefferson, St. Lawrence or Oswego Counties, with preference given to students who intend to eventually pursue work in the agriculture, agri-business or Christian services.
Mr. Porter was born October 14, 1908 to George and Delia Brown Porter. He was born at the home that has belonged to the Porter family for four generations. Mr. Porter attended Black River High School where he played on the basketball team. While in high school, he also played baseball for the Evans Mills Sagamores and the Black River Wonder Bakers town teams.
Mrs. Porter also graduated from Black River High School and later attended the Watertown School of Commerce, where she took business classes.
Mr. and Mrs. Porter were married at the Black River District Methodist parsonage on July 14, 1934. The couple lived on the Porter family farm for four years. In November 1938, they moved from the farm on Porter Road to the Boynton/Martin Farm, Fralick Road (Dry Hill), Watertown. Their new farm offered 198 acres in which to place their 15 Ayrshire cows and 19 purchased grade cows. Soon, the Porters purchased two farms in back of them, which were without public access, giving the farm 343 acres.
The Porters had six children: David, Dick, Barbara, Beth, Douglas and Dale. All of their children are college graduates. Sending six children through college, at institutions such as Cornell University and Ithaca College, made the Porters appreciate the importance of financial aid and scholarships.
Mr. Porter had an outstanding career in the dairy industry. Taking advantage of every Cornell workshop taught in Watertown, Mr. Porter would apply what he had learned to the farm. He was a member of many professional organizations including: Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Jefferson County Farm Bureau, Soil and Water Conservation, National Holstein and Ayrshire Association and the State Dairy Herd Association. He was director of the Eastern Artificial Breeders, Inc. for 15 years. Always interested in civic and community affairs, Mr. Porter served on the 4-H Executive Committee when Camp Wabasso was founded. Along with Mrs. Porter, he was a member of the Grange for 65 years. His involvement with the Rodman Masonic Lodge #506 lasted 50 years.
Like her husband, Mrs. Porter was also civic and community minded. Mrs. Porter was involved extensively with her children’s activities. For 29 years, she was a leader of her children’s 4-H Club. Very active in her church, Mrs. Porter taught Sunday school for 45 years and held an eight-year appointment on the General Board of Global Ministries. She was involved in the United Methodist Women organization. In 1977, she was named “New York State Mother of the Year.” The award consisted of a six-day trip to New York City and an awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Austoria. It was the first time she had visited the city.
In May of 1977, the farm that Mr. and Mrs. Porter had worked so hard to establish became Porterdale Farms, Inc., with their sons, David and Dale as stockholders. David’s sons, Gregory G. and Ronald F., were later included. Today Porterdale Farms, Inc. is one of the largest farms in Jefferson County. It employs over 30 individuals and milks 1,800 cows in two barns. The 198-acre farm that the Porters bought in 1938 now consists of several farms on 4,800 acres.
The family continues to remain an integral component in the operation of the farm. In addition to their son David and their grandsons Gregory and Ronald’s involvement, David’s wife, Judy, is the computer bookkeeper. Gregory’s wife, Lisa, is the office manager of the business and is in charge of the school, rural and urban tours that visit the farm often. Grandson, Stephen Porter, is now an owner and director with Gregory Porter.
Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to the Porter Family for establishing this scholarship.