Nub Hartman: Silver Star winner

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Julian “Nub” Hartman has been honored by the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District as this year’s recipient of the “Silver Star” award for his lifetime of dedication to agriculture and farming.

Nub Hartman was the youngest of 11 children born to Fay and Elizabeth Hartman. The family farmed the land that was purchased and farmed by Nub’s grandfather, John Hartman — and it’s the same farm that Nub and his wife, Louise, live on today.

“This farm’s been in my family for 102 years,” Nub Hartman said.

Nub says he’s been farming ever since he can remember, and that he and his dad used to grow tobacco, corn, wheat, and hay on the family farm. Now 75 years old, Nub says that the entire farm operation today is in hay — but he’s proud to say that he still does all of the mowing and raking, but he hires out the round bales and gets members of the Amish community to help with the square bales.

As a boy he remembers hauling in loose hay from the field, and tells of a time when he picked up enough hay for 50 head of cattle and four horses.

“We farmed with horses until I was about 20 years old,” Nub says. “We got our first tractor in 1950, but I remember going out into a field with a pair of horses and a walking plow when I was 13 years old. Times have really changed.”

At one time Nub Hartman had three farms: the family farm; a farm adjoining the family farm that he lived on for 12 years; and a farm over on Chapel Ridge. He farmed a lot of tobacco, but when the buyout came a couple of years ago, he sold out of his other farms in favor of the homestead.

He does, however, still farm the adjoining place for its current owners.

Nub Hartman still tends to beef cattle as well, with about 80 head of cattle still on the place. In fact, he had a set of twins born just this past Monday.

“I still take care of them myself,” he says.

He is also community minded, having served on the Switzerland County Fairboard in the past, and he and Louise will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary this Monday.

The couple has two children: daughter Vicki Bear of near Vevay and son Chris Hartman of Madison. There are three grandsons: Alan Bear and Todd Bear of Vevay and Justin Hartman of Madison.

There is also a great grandson, 21-month old Jackson Bear, who brings a twinkle to Nub’s eye.

“Everyone says he looks like me,” Nub grins.