by Al Dorantes
Jack and Tina Douglas, Douglas Farm, hosted a Cabot Cheese Open Farm Sunday, Oct 13. They operate a small dairy farm, located at 502 Cedarville Road, in Cedarville, NY. The public was invited to come visit, learn about farming practices, and sample Cabot and McCadam cheese.
McCadam and Cabot are sister brands of Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and are owned and operated by Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s leading dairy cooperative. The cooperative makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter, and is owned by 1,200 dairy farm families located through New England and upstate New York. Jim Young, an AgriMark representative, said, “The milk went a ways to get made into cheese but it came back.” He added, “Every time you buy McCadam or Cabot products you support your local AgriMark farmer.”
The Douglas Family began farming around 1997 in Starkville, NY, before moving to their current location in Cedarville in 2006. Their farm is about 200 acres on which they raise corn and hay to feed their cows. Their herd of 150 animals includes 60 milking cows (mostly Holsteins but there are 2 Brown Swiss, 2 Milking Short Horns, and one Jersey), heifers and young stock. The Douglas Family milks twice a day.
The Douglas Family is one of 49 McCadam and Cabot Creamery Cooperative farms open to the public for “Open Farm Sunday.” The Douglas Family is hosting the “open farm” in hopes that they can reconnect people to agriculture.
Jack and Tina expressed their love of dairy farming. They describe long days and countless hours of work in the barn but Tina said that the hardest job on the farm is keeping up with the financial end of things. Like all business, the business of dairy farming has a financial side. Most of the bookkeeping and number crunching for farmers comes after a 14-hour day.
The Douglas’ son, Josh, echoed his parents’ sentiments about hard work. Josh is the next generation of Douglas farmer and he’s well on his way. Josh has a small herd of goats that he’s been taking care of for the past 8 years. He goes straight from school to football practice to the barn. On an early night he is inside doing his homework at 8:30. Josh said about agriculture as a career, “I know I’m not going to make a ton of money. I love the animals and money isn’t everything.”
With a perfect autumn blue sky the crowd of people had a chance to see the dairy operation, meet the Dairy Princesses from Herkimer and Otsego Counties, and local vendors showed their wares. There was a chicken BBQ and a hay ride and a good time was had by all. Please visit www.cabotcheese.coop for more information.
by Al Dorantes