Remembering ‘Farmer Frank’ Traina

To Cincinnatians of a certain age, the personas of Uncle Al and Skipper Ryle loom large in their childhood memories. For the under-30 crowd, however, another man may occupy that same spot: Farmer Frank.

Farmer Frank was Frank Traina, originator, educator, mastermind and owner of Sunrock Farm in Wilder, Kentucky. He began and ran Sunrock as an educational farm, a place where children could come and tour and learn—about where their food comes from, about animals, about the environment and ecology, about a different way of life and living. And over the nearly three decades it’s been in operation, Farmer Frank welcomed thousands of classes, scout troops and church groups, comprised of countless kids and their parents. He was the face of and force behind a special place. Less glamorous than a TV show maybe, but Uncle Al didn’t give kids the chance to milk a goat or hold a baby chick, did he?

I mention all this because Frank died September 16. That story is here.

Frank will be missed and mourned. By his family, his “farm family,” his colleagues, and the community. But that mustn’t overshadow the parts of the man that live on: the land, the farm, the good works and—thank you, Farmer Frank—a lot of smarter, happier kids.

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