To celebrate National Dairy Month, we are shining a spotlight on some of the dairies in the Northeast United States.
Lesher’s Dairy Farm
The 2015 recipients of the Young Farmer and Rancher “Excellence in Agriculture” award, Tim and Janette Lesher enjoy the dairy life — that includes 90 cows — and the role it plays within their family. “We may smell like cows or silage and instead of family bonding at an amusement park we find camaraderie in the barn, but we are an ordinary family,” Janette said. “We love what we do and who we do it with! You can take us off the farm, but you won’t take the farm out of us.
The Stephen and Christina Henning Farm
The Hennings are a seventh-generation dairy family — established in 1847 — that still use its original barn at their 142-acre farm, which at that time was purchased for $8 per acre.
In the beautiful Mohawk Valley of central New York, the Windex Farm, owned by the Windecker family, currently holds an 80-cow dairy operation. Debbie and Dale are fourth-generation dairy farmers who run the farm with their children, Kayla and Bryce.
Brian and Steve Jones operate this fifth-generation dairy farm (established in 1872) with 320 dairy cows and 220 heifers over 400 acres. Jonselan Farm was recognized as a Vermont Dairy of Distinction in 2007.
At the edge of Great Bay Estuary in New Hampshire, the 370- acre dairy operation of Stuart Farm is owned by the family of John and Lorraine Merrill. The family enterprise handles 240 milking cows, and the herd consists of registered Holstein and Brown Swiss animals. Lorraine Merrill is also the commissioner of Agriculture, Markets and Food for New Hampshire.