“We need to educate the public so they understand how healthy dairy products are,” said Terri (Phillips) Nelson at Dellavale Dairy’s open house and Cabot Day.
Nelson said she believes the dairy industry is the most misunderstood sector of the Ag industry. “I think it’s important to educate the public because we are five generations out from farm life, so consumers don’t really know what dairy farms are about.”
Dellavale was only one of many dairy farms in the Northeast that opened their doors to the public in October, promoting dairy through a promotion put on by Cabot.
Dairy Ambassadors from both Montgomery and Livingston Counties, along with Livingston County Dairy Princess Emma Swyers, educated attendees on the benefits of dairy products at the Dellavale Dairy location, while guided tours of the barns and grounds were taken advantage of by the public.
“I live on a local dairy farm and I participate in many events promoting the dairy industry,” said Montgomery County Dairy Ambassador Emma Agnes. “The Dairy industry is under stress during this time due to the unawareness of the public. So many people don’t know where their food comes from and have false stereotypes about farmers.” Agnes said dairy open houses are a huge benefit to the dairy industry. “They give farmers a chance to promote the dairy industry and explain to the public where the food they are consuming actually comes from.”
Dellavale milks 46 cows at this time and has a total herd size of 110. Their herd consists of registered Holsteins, Brown Swiss, Jerseys and Ayrshire. They use rotational grazing and recently installed tunnel ventilation with the help of a NYSERDA grant.
Dellavale Dairy has been in Terri’s family for four generations, with Claude (Bog) Phillips, Terri’s great-grandfather, purchasing the original family farmland in 1918. Then in 1935 it passed into the hands of her grandparents, Harold (Packy) and Della Mae and on to her parents, Ron and Elma in 1970. Terri and Tom took over in 2000.
Tom’s family has been in the dairy business for 200 years. “I farm with the best affordable technologies at this time — just like my grandfather did in the past,” said Tom Nelson.
Terri is a staple in the Agricultural community and acts a Director for District 5 of the ADADC, as well as co-leader for the Kline Klimbers 4-H club. She is a volunteer with the Montgomery County Dairy Promotion team and all Ag events, “to inform the public about agriculture.”
Dellavale has been shipping their milk to Agri-Mark for about eight years.
“I hope other processors see this happening and see the potential of benefiting the dairy industry,” remarked Terri. “If we don’t start now we will lose the public.”
Dellavale Farm is located at 783 Pattersonville Road, Pattersonville, NY.