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Phillip Sherwood-Berndt has farmed cattle since 1996. “I love the animals, growing great grass for them to feed on, and enjoying the milk and beef that they provide,” he says. Phillip and his wife, Missy Bahret, own and operate Cow Belle Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts, where they raise AWA-certified beef cattle. The 40 acres of certified organic pasture grows on rich, sandy loam soils, and comprises rolling hillsides with some large shade trees, a fantastic view of the Holyoke Range, and has been pasture for cattle for many generations.
The couple began sheep farming in 1984 with a foundation flock of Hampshire and Suffolk sheep. In 1997, they grew into a pure bred sheep operation with the purchase of the Stevens Farm, which has been a working farm since the mid-1700s. With its beautiful, sprawling fields and woodlands, the Websters are committed to keeping their 1,000-acre property a working part of the rural landscape, raising around 1,850 AWA-certified Suffolk and Hampshire sheep at any time. The sheep also graze at nearby 625-acre Collyer Brook Farm in New Gloucester, which is protected by Maine Farmland Trust and sits adjacent to the site of the first water powered woolen mill in the U.S., as well as other rented grazing.
Apple Barn Farm sits at the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. When Lindsay and Brian Shea purchased the 250-acre property it had been abandoned for 50 years and the orchards were dead and the land needed extensive renovation work. The couple hired Marybeth Boruta as farm manager to help with the transformation of the farm, and they began to make changes. They cleared the orchards, planted 50 acres of hay fields, as well as peach trees and other fruits. Today, the Apple Barn is a popular wedding venue and the farm is home to a small flock of AWA-certified sheep who graze the abundant pastures and new orchards.
Nikolaus Horster first gained experience farming 15 years ago, milking goats and Jersey cows to make cheese and other dairy products for a dairy CSA. Today, Nikolaus raises Animal Welfare Approved beef cattle on his own 40-acre farm at Shire Beef in Vershire, Vermont.
Ashleey Kleinhammer and her partner, Steven Googin, raise AWA-certified dairy cows at North Country Creamery on 112 acres of half-wooded land in Keeseville, New York. After graduating in 2006, Ashlee worked on numerous farms across New York and Vermont. She started by working on educational farms for summer camps and visiting student programs, but soon discovered her real passion was the “behind-the-scenes, in-the-dirt work,” and, specifically, “hands-on-teats” farming! Always inexplicably fond of the bovine, Ashlee now runs North Country Creamery and manages the farm’s 20 milking cows, seven heifers, and seven calves.
Farming has always been a part of Neil Hertzler’s life. Coming from a long line of dairy farmers, Neil grew up on his family’s farm—a 300-acre property on the rolling hills of Perry County, PA, purchased in 1978 by his father. As an adult, Neil worked with his father for 12 years, before purchasing the farm with his wife, Kilah. The couple now raise AWA dairy cattle at Rock Hollow Dairy in Loysville, Pennsylvania.
Stephen and Annette Robbins manage a flock of Animal Welfare Approved Finnsheep sheep at The Green Shepherd Farm, LLC in Bovina, New York. The couple met over 7 years ago in New York City, where Stephen worked as a designer and Annette as an analyst for a major bank. After years of city living, the Robbins decided to leave New York City for good and pursue their dream of having a farm.
Paul Colucci and Laura Watson started Full Moon Farm in 2000, with an original plan to produce enough meat for their family and high-quality wool to use in Laura’s functional fiber art. Their plan ended up working so well that Paul decided he wanted to add beef cattle to their small operation. Today, Paul and Laura raise over 150 head of Animal Welfare Approved Devon and Angus beef cattle on 300 acres of prime farmland at Full Moon Farm in Ulster County, New York.
Situated 80 miles north-west of New York City, Thanksgiving Farm at the Center for Discovery is a not-for-profit farm in the Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County. Founded in 1948, the Center provides health, educational and residential services for approximately 500 children and adults (ages 5 to 78) with severe disabilities and medical frailties, including a growing number of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.Thanksgiving Farm is designed to provide both quality food for the Center and meaningful work for the residents who live there.
Fat Toad Farm started out with a lovely French Alpine doe named Jupiter, who was hand-milked by farm owner, Steve Reid, in his garage. Today, Jupiter’s great, great, great, granddaughter, Artemis—and 52 of her closest caprine friends—complete the herd of Animal Welfare Approved dairy goats, whose milk is used to produce Fat Toad Farm’s line of traditional Mexican hand-crafted goat milk caramel sauces.