Summer 2019
Farm Ramble Report

 The Summer 2019 Farm Ramble was a tour of a small number of farms in a region that was once cluttered with farms everywhere 

Woodslawn Farm


Woodslawn Farm is a National Bicentennial Farm in Colrain Massachusetts, owned and operated by the same family for seven generations since 1784.   

Learn more about their history here

The fresh milk produced by their 35 cow herd benefits from the cold, clean air surrounding it. If they were in the Swiss alps their product would be valued for it's unique flavor and quality.  


  Farms like this continue to operate through the willingness of family members to follow in the steps of the previous generations. Bob Purington now has his son-in-law George Gutierrez working side-by-side with him.   

Coombs Hill Farm


Coombs Hill Farm sits nestled in the high hills of Colrain, Massachusetts helping it to produce some of the freshest milk around.   


Dating back centuries this is a real deal old New England farm that has persevered through the years by the will and determination of the family.


 Karen Herzig has just turned over the reins of her farm to her son, Eric. Entering during a tough time, he hopes that there will be no where to go but up.  

See more about the farm here

Jordan Dairy Farm


 Farther south Jordan Dairy in Rutland, MA is seeing the older generations like Warren and Wayne Jordan transferring the heavy lifting to Wayne’s sons, Randy and Brian. 


 Janet and Don Segur keep just a small hand in the operation, literally, helping to raise and train the young stock. 


   The high tech operation is well-suited to the younger generation. The operation has a mammoth methane digester, Big Bertha, that produces the farm’s electricity and heat and sells it back to the grid. 

Learn more about this

Carter and Stevens Farm


 The Carter and Stevens Farm in Barre, MA has taken a novel approach to dairy farming. 

Why not use beer to augment the milk check?

Find out more here

 The Stone Cow features a sought-after weekend barbecue that is first-come, first-serve, very popular and giving the dairy farm a needed lift.  


 Seems to be working wonderfully as Sean DuBois, the son-in-law with the penchant for making homebrew, reports that sales are strong and the brewery initiative is committed to the support and continuation of the bovine side.    

Why Dairy Farms Matter


Our country’s prosperity stands on the backs of, among other things, dairy cows.  Although cows didn’t make the first trip on the Mayflower, the Plimouth Plantation website estimates that they arrived only a few years later. The Colonist relied on them for milk and meat and to fertilize the fields that would eventually let them add vegetables to their diet.


Without a partnership with a patient, willing animal like a dairy cow, settlers might not have survived the early years.  

About a hundred years ago almost 700,000 cows dotted the New England countryside, but the decline has been dramatic. New England has lost an estimated 10,000 dairy farms in the last 10 years, with fewer than 2,000 now remaining


That trend is not set in stone and there is still time to change the fate of the remaining farms.

Check the Farm News tab here to learn what is happening, good and bad, understand how complex the dairy business really is and see where we can help keep the cows.