The current average age of the farmer in the USA is 60. We can assume that the average for Australia is not far away from that. The land desperately need young hands with the skills and knowledge to produce our food in a sustainable and ethical way. Fortunately the youth are interested in farming (and dairy farming). They are often multi-skilled individuals coming together with like minded people working towards a similar goal. They create their own style and culture with focus on healthy, regenerative agriculture. Being able to sell the high-quality products produced uniquely by a small farm (like RAW MILK and handcrafted, artisanal raw milk cheeses) weaves the farming community back together again. It means farmers are more likely to 'ask for help and help each other at the drop of a dime' because the traditional way of farming is profitable. Also having a supportive and collaborating community is a great benefit for farmers moving towards a more wholesome approach. People want this food and they are willing to work together to enjoy it.
One such farm is Chaseholm Farm in Pine Plains, New York. Rory and Sarah Chase's grandfather bought the farm in the 1930's but after hearing the family farm was in danger of being sold, Rory returned in 2007. He knew the farm could turn a profit and retrofitted his grandfather's old barn into a cheese making room and ageing cave, purchased some cows and started making cheese. Soon Sarah returned and became the cow maven. Now it is run by the brother and sister duo and their passionate crew. Sarah manages the dairy herd and their grazing lands, while Rory turns that milk into delicious cheeses. Chaseholm crafts a number of different styles of cheese, most out of the French Tradition.
They grass-feed their 30ish herd of Holsteins, Jerseys and Brown Swiss cows on 350-acre patch work of pastures, crop land, woods and waterways. They were certified to produce raw milk in September 2013 and now produce 100% grass-fed raw milk. The siblings and their co-workers enjoy the family farm and continue a tradition of agriculture in their region while making foods everyone can enjoy. Follow their unique and beautiful story in these videos, images and by visiting the additional links at the bottom of this article. Be inspired.
Thanks to the work of the Columbia Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson, and with funding from Scenic Hudson, Dutchess County and the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ Farmland Protection Implementation Grant (FPIG) Program, Chaseholm Farm will be transitioned to the future generation and also protected from development forever.
For more beautiful and interesting farm pictures visit Sarah's Instagram.