He’s a sophomore at Owen D. Young Central School (ODY) and his goal some day is to take over the 110-acre family farm near Starkville. His name is Nick Hrobuchak, the youngest of Ronald and Yvonne Hrobuchak’s three children.
His father is a full-time farmer on a farm that currently milks 40 cows. His mom is an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown.
“Robo,” as he is known to his friends, loves going to school at ODY and many students say what they like about him is pretty much summed up by his friend Brendan Carroll, “Nick sticks up for people. He’s caring, doesn’t hurt peoples’ feelings and he tries to help people if they need it. I could write a book about him. He’s smart, athletic, and fun to be around.”
ODY sophomore Nick Hrobuchak lives on a farm near Starkville with his mom and dad. He is one of ODY’s classic students who has many friends and the respect of the staff because of his fun-loving personality and ability to leave people in a better place after he meets them. (Photo by Bruce Watson)
Growing up on the farm has lead Nick to believe that farmers are the people he most looks up to in life.“Farmers grow food; they work seven days a week; they work in all kinds of weather, and if they want a vacation, someone must cover for them. Their days are long and sacrifices are many. My goal is to become a farmer when I finish school.”
These days milk prices are affecting Nick’s farm along with every other dairy farm in New York State. The price of everything else has gone up and yet the farmer is getting less and less for milk. In December, milk prices were $19/per 100 pounds of milk, in January it dropped to $14, and in February the price was $11. The reduction in milk prices has caused Nick to personally take less money from his parents for the work he does on the farm. His family has been forced to cut back on expenses because their income has been impacted by DMS, the company that markets their milk.
Nick credits his parents with raising him in a home environment where they were strict and expected him to get good grades. They would go places together as a family, eat dinner together, watch television as a family, and his family makes it a habit to attend church on a weekly basis.
This winter, Nick played varsity basketball for ODY. His average each semester is “always somewhere around 94.” Next year, Nick predicts that the ODY varsity basketball team will have some great players and make a competitive run in the Section III Class D.
“Next year I’m off to BOCES for automotive technology and this spring and summer we’ll hopefully have good hay weather and milk prices will turn around,” he said.