Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Celebrating my Father

My father, Tony Souza, is celebrating his 70th birthday this week so this post is to honor him. He grew up on a dairy farm in central California. His father and grandfather were dairy farmers. It’s a family tradition.  

Uncle Louie and my Dad, Tony, on the family farm in Riverdale, California
Tony as a young man
Riverdale FFA President
Tony as a senior in High School
Tony and Louie worked at the Cal Poly dairy during college
I’m very lucky to have a great Dad. He taught my brother and me by example. Some of the lessons I learned from Dad;

Lesson #1: Everyone has choices and you must take responsibility for those choices. You make your own path based on your decisions.

My parents, Carolyn & Tony, with their moms at college graduation
Dad and my brother, Tim, after hunting in 1971
Lesson #2: Value hard work, dedication and a job well done. Dad displays this commitment by working almost every day of his life. 

Tony working at the dairy in the early 1970's
Lesson #3: Treat others with respect. My father’s calm nature and the way he interacts with people is something I’ve always admired.

Tony at the dairy in 1981
Lesson #4: Maintain a positive outlook. The dairy industry has its ups and downs. I never heard Dad complain. He came home from the farm every day with the same even temperament and easy-going spirit no matter what kind of day he experienced.

On the cover of California Agribusiness Dairyman Magazine - Sept. 1992
Lesson #5: Family is a priority. Being a dairy farmer demands lots of time every day. My father always made time for us. He got involved with our activities as a 4-H leader and FFA Booster. He attended our sporting events, FFA activities, or whatever me and my brother were involved in. I’m sure it was difficult to fit everything in, but he makes it look easy.
Dad and Tim at the National FFA Convention in 1986
Dad driving me in the Tulare County Fair Parade in 2000
Lesson# 6: Community service is important. My dad volunteers countless hours in his community, with youth groups such as 4-H and FFA, county-level boards and the dairy industry on a local, state and national level. He loves this aspect of his life.

Dad was Grand Marshall of the Tulare Co. Fair Parade in 1994
My father lives his life doing the things he loves – being a dairyman, dairy industry leader, community volunteer and family man. 

Dad in the milking parlor
Dad in the shop
I’m lucky he’s my Dad. Happy 70th birthday!

11 comments:

  1. What a treat to look over these great photos!! God bless Tony on his 70th birthday .. and bless all who love him.

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  2. Thank you Kathi! I'll share your comment with Dad.

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  3. Brenda, Uncle Louie I just read your blog/photos..loved it. You are spot on about your Dad. We are having dinner with them tonight .. I;ve been saving my sugar points so he and I can share of bottle of wine. I understand we will be seeing you soon.
    aunt helen

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  4. Thanks Helen. Have fun at dinner tonight! The boys and are traveling to California Thursday. We are looking forward to visiting with everyone!

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  5. What a great tribute to a dedicated dad and dairy farmer! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. What a tribute! Your love for your dad shines in this post and I'm pretty sure you made your readers love him a little bit, too. Happy birthday to him and blessings to you all. Thank you for sharing your joy!

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  7. I appreciate your comments Jennifer and Spotted Cow Review! I'm glad my admiration for my father shows through in this post. I love and respect my Dad and feel fortunate to have been raised in a household with wonderful parents.

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  8. Awesome tribute to your Dad, Brenda! Love all the pictures. Happy 70th to your Dad and may he and your family have many more healthy happy years together.

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  9. What a great tribute to a great man. Thank you for sharing. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon.

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  10. George NicewongerJuly 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    I did not know your dad. Your mother was raised just down the road from us. Your granmother taught my gaughter here in Galt and was our kids 4H leader here. just read where your mother was the disrict dairy princess and and runner up to the California Dairy Princess. I see your Uncle Gary around town. Where your mother was raised is now the New Hope Dairy and the milk barn dedicated to your Grandfather is still being used

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  11. I'm glad to hear your thoughts George. I'm currently visiting my parents and will see my Uncle Gary and Uncle Bruce today, so I'll share your comments with them. I know my grandparents were very active as 4-H leaders, my parents were as well and I have fond memories of participating in 4-H. The dairy industry runs deep in our family on my father and mothers side. I'm glad because I appreciate rural life.

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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