Our herd of twenty-five Heritage Breed Dutch Belts and Normande ladies are dual purpose cows and they supply us with both lovely milk and beef. They are friendly, intelligent and curious creatures with a beautiful white belt around their middle or covered in a series of colored patches. Our cows genetics have not been altered to work in the modern, grain-fed confinement dairy model. They are able to produce delicious milk on grass alone and many of them continue producing for up to 15 years.
Dutch Belts & Normande
Much thought went into what breed of cattle we should keep. Currently, over ninety percent of the dairy cows in the United States are Holsteins. We were looking for different breeds that would thrive in our pasture based system; an animal that didn’t need grain, wouldn't have difficulty calving, and was dual-purpose. We found what we were looking for in the Dutch-Belted & Normande cattle. We have traveled from Maine to Michigan to Pennsylvania putting our herd together. Since our first three cows arrived on our farm we knew we made the right choice.
It may sound simple just to feed grass to your cows but our pastures change with the seasons and presenting the right food at the right time of year becomes tricky. Out on pasture in the summer season and storing up enough hay and haylage for the winter is always our top priority.
We milk our cows twice a day, every day, all year long at 5:30am and 5:30pm. We encourage you to come and visit to see this practice while it is happening. We have large viewing windows where you can see our team milking the cows.
It was important to us that our cows could see us and we could see them while they are being milked. Our modern parallel type milking parlour was designed and built by Richard Handfield and allows for the cows to be inside the milking parlor for as short a period time as possible. Each cow can be milked independently of the other cows. Our parlor is also pristine. This is of utmost importance to us as we are bottling our milk raw and it must meet not only the state’s requirements but our own internal cleanliness requirements.