by Dale Bliss

“From Our Farm to Your Family” is the motto of the Albano Family Farm. The Albano family’s goal is “to make clean farm-raised meat accessible to our customers.”

Four generations of Italian dairy farmers

Submitted photo

Wanting to be a part of something new, something grand and a new start to be independent and free, Silverio Albano could think of no other place to come than the United States of America. In 1938 he sailed across the ocean from Ponsa, Italy, to New York. He settled with his aunt in the Bronx and found work in the construction industry.

Eventually, Albano married the love of his life, Rose Scotti. A few years later two sons, Frank and Joe, came along, and Silverio decided he wanted to raise his children in the country. To start the new year, on Jan. 1, 1960, he moved his family to Grande Gorge after buying a 145-acre farm that came with 57 animals.

In 1985, Frank Jr. started working with his dad, Frank Sr., his uncle Joe and his grandfather. Just over a decade later, in 1997, Marc (Frank Sr.’s younger son) graduated from high school and decided to expand the labor force on the family farm.

With expansion on the horizon, the Albanos purchased an additional farm in Stamford, NY.

Sadly, in 1999 Great-Grandfather Albano passed away. Then in 2015, Uncle Joe retired from the farm and opened a business. Also, sadly, in 2015 Frank Sr. passed away. This left Frank Jr. and Marc to keep the family farm going.

The Albano farm, a self-sustaining farm that at one time fed just the Albanos, close friends and neighbors, now helps feed America. Consumers from far and near depend on the Albano Farm for their farm-readied food. Whether coming to the farm to pick up groceries in person or ordering from their online store, the Albano Farm is helping to supply food for the nation.

The store is stocked with a wide selection of farm-grown meats, eggs and honey supplied by a local beekeeper. Milk from a local supplier and other foods that are grown or processed locally can be found in the farm store.

These days, the farm is made up of 2,000 acres and home to 850 cows, 50 goats, 40 pigs and 50 lambs at any given time.

In 2019, Chris, the fourth generation of Albano, added a new idea to the farm. After raising beef for their use, he introduced the idea, and then started selling their farm-raised meat to consumers.

When asked if he ever thought about having another career, Chris replied, “I have always wanted to be a dairy farmer since I was a little kid. But I also believe in diversifying into different businesses to make the farm profitable.”

To keep progressing and moving forward, four years ago a free-stall barn and a 16-swing milking parlor was added. Even though dairy has always been the farm’s main product, the meat business is giving the dairy a run for its money.

The farm raises about 60 head of Black Angus for meat. “We sell mostly steaks. As soon as we get them they are sold out,” Chris said. They also make ground beef. He explained, “Our main production is dairy but selling meat has become a big aspect.”

Chris said they have about 30 chickens. What is not used by the family is sold. They also make homemade sausage which is sold in the store along with other farm-raised foods. The beef and pork is processed in a local USDA slaughterhouse. Pigs, piglets and lambs are also sold from the farm.

To add another financial income stream to the property, a sawmill was built. The logs are bought elsewhere and brought in to be cut for customers. They do have customers that bring their own trees and the Albanos cut and saw them. “We can do 4,500 board feet a day,” Chris said.

He added, “I love life on the farm. It’s all I’ve ever known. My most favorite thing about farming is knowing that not one day is the same as the other.”