At the county level, SCIA's are grass roots, farmer run organizations that do and support important independent field trials, crop variety trials and research related to just about anything to do with managing soils and enhancing crop production. In many cases they offer the ONLY real alternative to company run research trials and they do a lot of stuff that companies have no mandate or desire to do, especially in the area of applied research. SCIA field trials are almost always practical...for this reason alone a lot of ag scientists don't like them very much. SCIA protocols may not always strictly follow the precepts and protocols of the scientific method but SCIA trial results aided me in making positive decisions which helped my bottom line considerably...something that ag scientists who work for companies that want to supply me with things should probably take note of and act on more frequently than they usually do.
Anyway, back to my friends. Frank and Julia "retired" from dairying a few years ago although I think milking cows might take less time and be less stressful than the successful custom farming business they enjoy today combined with heavy involvement in various agricultural and charitable organizations.
It's not every day you see Ontario farm plates in rural Middle Tennessee, but they're actually more common than you might think. When local friends see one of these plates in our community they assume I have friends visiting...NOT always the case as they've found out when they've asked !