“This program has the potential to jumpstart the next generation of organic dairy farmers in New England,” said Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield’s Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. “We’re designing the program to address the unique challenges faced by dairy farmers in our region by giving qualified young farmers the tools they need to succeed when starting up their own organic dairy.” That’s because while dairy farming is hard, dairy farming in New England can be even harder.
The program will also involve a research element. “Our goal is to build a viable and sustainable organic dairy model at Wolfe’s Neck Farm that will be used for two purposes – training the next generation of organic dairy farmers and conducting forage and pasture-based research to advance organic dairy farming across the region,” says Wolfe’s Neck Farm Executive Director, Dave Herring.
The training program’s Board of Directors met recently for the program’s kick-off meeting, and the project is now officially underway. The first farmer trainees are expected to start in 2015 and complete their training in 2016. Soon, the pile of dirt pictured will be the site of the program’s milking parlor, and the overgrown field will be populated with happily grazing organic cows.
Working with Wolfe’s Neck Farm helping to train the next generation of New England dairy farmers is just one way we’re staying true to our commitment to changing the way we think about, make, and eat food in America. But we can’t do it alone.