Meet Robert Saunders

Life On The Farm

Mark Twain once said, “Always do what is right.  It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”

Growing up on a farm as one of seven brothers was full of adventures, some good and others not so good.  A few certainties that I learned:

  • Work was part of life whether you liked it or not, no matter how late you stayed out the previous night. 
  • Cattle only find a hole in the fence when it is dark and raining.
  • Milking the family dairy cow, by hand, meant I could whip any kid in my school in arm wrestling.
  • Propagating boxwood was our job and preparing the cuttings in the living room at home was acceptable.
  • Picking peaches was really hard work.
  • Learning to drive a tractor and stick shift were a must.  And learning quickly had its benefits.
  • Dinner was often at the picnic table with extra seats for friends, coworkers, and visitors.

As a teen, I had no plans of returning to the farm. I was willing to go wherever life took me.  After high school, I headed off to Virginia Tech to study engineering. I loved the new challenge. I met a girl from a dairy farm in West Virginia. She had no intentions of living on a farm either. With career aspirations of being an engineer, something happened that I cannot put a finger on. I started seeing the farm in a different light. Upon graduation from Virginia Tech, I immediately returned to the farm and I married my college sweetheart a year later.

Today life is similar to growing up. I live in the same house I grew up in and I have never received a paycheck from anyone who was not a Saunders. But thank goodness, life is minus the milking of the cows. I am now General Manager for the company and still get to practice my engineering skills in the ever-expanding business. We have five kids and are beginning to see grandchildren. They are starting to scatter but they seem to find their way back home often.  We try to do what is right just like my grandfather and his brothers did when they formed Saunders Brothers over 100 years ago.  We still stand on their principles of honesty, morality, and integrity which gratify most and astound a few.