Program: Hollandia Dairy, Part 3
The DeJong family's early times in the United States were spent living in three vintage stone houses in Poway. Some of the boys slept in a garage that was not insulated. It got very hot or cold depending on the weather. They exchanged some work and favors with a local neighbor to get the garage insulated. Arie's family didn't adhere to some of the local ordinances. Arie was driving around doing errands for the family business when he was only 15 years old. The driving license age was 16 back then, as it is today. Arie got to know a local Escondido policeman, Ed Star, personally from being pulled over many times.
The DeJong family started in the diary business by buying a dairy then owned by the Ratliff family who wanted to get out of the business and have some time free for long deserved vacations. The DeJong family was able to buy the dairy with enough money down for the Ratliff family to buy a new Chevrolet, a teardrop trailer, and head off into sunset on their vacation. The DeJong family was always seizing business opportunities by creative combining of business elements that resulted in profits for the family. They got into the pig farming business, without the cost of feeding the pigs, by collecting scrap food from restaurants, feeding the restaurant scraps to the pigs, and then selling the pigs. They then bought some garbage trucks to collect the scrap food and charged the restaurants to haul the scrap food away.
The overall take away from Arie's story is, with a cohesive family, hard work, and creative enterprise, the DeJong family went from new immigrants to a locally prosperous family. That experience is the inspiration for their book, "The American Dream -- From Poverty to Prosperity". You can buy Arie's book, contact Royce Moore or Bob Shuster for details.