A family tradition

Harry and Kathleen Clubine are the Farm Marshals for the Farm-City Days parade. Harry is the farm manager at Strickler Dairy.

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October 14, 2020 - 10:22 AM

Harry and Kathleen Clubine Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

The Farm Marshals for the 2020 Farm City Days celebration are Harry and Kathleen Clubine.

Harry Clubine has worked for Strickler Dairy since the summer of 1986, and Kathleen has worked as a paraprofessional at Jefferson Elementary for 20 years.

Harry originally hails from Havana, Kansas, and Kathleen is from Hill City.

They have two sons, Ben, 32, who is a chemical engineer, and Tyler, 26, who teaches history and coaches athletics.

Harry graduated from Kansas State University in 1985, with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a specialization in dairy production.

He also happens to have been born on a dairy.

Along with the Stricklers, he’s sold cattle all over the world, “both embryos and cows.”

He said he got his start working for Ivan Strickler, when, shortly after getting married, Strickler offered him a job while working in Independence.

Today, Clubine is farm manager at Strickler Dairy, which according to him means, “if something breaks, I’m the one in charge.”

He noted that owner Steve Strickler is gone quite a bit, and so the day-to-day management of the dairy falls to him.

He certainly doesn’t mind, though, and said he enjoys “making sure everything gets done,” even when he has to do something on his own.

In total, Clubine manages nine other employees, including Steve, though jokes that “Steve doesn’t count.”

He noted that “all we do is dairy,” and so they buy feed from others in order to focus on the needs of their cows.

“My job’s to make sure we’ve got feed for the cattle,” he said.

Clubine is proud to be a part of the 50-year tradition of Farm City Days, and to continue creating dialogue between farmers and city-folks.

He pointed out that five years ago the dairy also picked up the longstanding tradition of inviting people out to the farm for tours.

Clubine said he thinks that this is a worthwhile practice, and hopes that “city” industries will open their doors to more people in the future, so as to continue the tradition as well.

It’s a good thing to “get a better understanding of each other’s lifestyle,” he said.

For example, when asked what a dairy farmer can teach people, he laughed and said “brown cows don’t give chocolate milk.”

On a more serious note, he remarked that from 1930 to 2020, there are one-quarter the number of cows being milked, yet production has doubled.

Along with day-to-day operations on the farm, Clubine has served in various administrative capacities as well.

He’s a past president of Allen County Farm Bureau, as well as having served on the board for four years.

He’s been a dairy committee representative for southeastern Kansas, as well as a member of the State Holstein Association Board.

Clubine serves as a member of the Farm City Days committee, and also helps out with Strickler Dairy’s recycling efforts.

“If someone needs a tote, I go take ‘em a tote,” he grinned.

This year, the Clubines were also chosen as the Farm Bureau Allen County Farm Family of the Year.

“We’re real active in the community,” he said.

Regarding being chosen as this year’s grand marshals, “it’s an honor,” he said, and in doing so is happy to carry on a family tradition.

His parents, Frank and Carolyn, were marshals, as were his sister, Debbie Bearden and her husband DuWayne

Clubine also joked that rather than ride in a top-down convertible, he and his wife decided they would ride in a tractor instead.

As for future plans, “I’ll be here until I retire,” he said. “I enjoy working with the cows.”

“I’m a transplanted Allen Countian that enjoys living here and workin’ on my job.”

Dan and Linda Johnson are the city marshals. Read their story here.

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