Description of the property’s current condition and current use(s):
Hill farm properties include three farms and all land is certified organic. One dairy currently ships certified 100% grassfed organic milk from 65 cows and grazes all the open farmland. It has been under 100% grassfed organic dairy management for the last 22 years. Second dairy's facilities were renovated in 2018 for shipping milk during the winter months. Third dairy is scaled for about 12 cows and lacks milking infrastructure at this time. 240 acres of fenced perennial pasture with piped water and improved laneways. 160 acres of woodland available for complementary activities. The regenerative farming being practiced includes holistic planned grazing and is a model for one-man (and one-woman) dairying. It has strong appeal to young and beginning farmers, as well as families who wish to work together in a viable farm business.
Farm history / past uses of the property:
The farm has been owned and operated by the same family for over 200 years. Several generations milked cows commercially there, and prior to that it supported more highly diversified family farms. In 1996 new dairy buildings were constructed on 125 acres and that land was certified as organic. By 2005 the entire property was under certified organic management.
Infrastructure and equipment:
- Water access
- Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops
- Farmer housing
- Equipment available for sale or lease
- Electrical Access
Water access description:
Seven drilled wells, six ponds, two creeks and one spring development on the property. Above ground and buried waterlines provide well water to all owned pastures. Adjoining leased and recently purchased land gets well water through above ground waterlines. Several permanent frost-free waterers installed on pastures.
Farm#1: Active dairy includes: New Zealand style parabone milking parlor (for milking between cow's rear legs) with swing 10 milking system housed in a coverall building (both built in 1998); milkhouse (1998); calf shed; and restored 1901 bank barn.
Farm#2: Active dairy includes: Tiestall barn (renovated in 2018) with 2 pipelines for milking 70 cows; barn cleaner with engineered compost pad; heated office; hay and feed storage areas; Virgina counter slope heifer barn (1988); storage buildings.
Farm#3: Inactive dairy includes: 2 story bank barn (stanchions for 12 cows no longer there); original detached milkhouse (no milking equipment); large heated addition attached to barn (currently a workshop, could become a dairy/food processing room); primitive syrup shack; shed.
Farmer housing description:
Three farmhouses, one fully renovated, the other two older and partially-renovated. Trailer purchased to be installed in coming months. Housing on the farm is subject to availability.
House#1 has two upstairs bedrooms, one downstairs bedroom, full bath, eat in kitchen, living room with woodstove, office/laundry room and front porch. Oil heat (mostly used as back up for the woodstove). There is possibility of expanding this house in the future to include a second porch, additional bedroom, large living room and mudroom.
House#2 has two upstairs bedrooms, one downstairs bedroom, full bath, eat in kitchen, living room, dining room/den with woodstove, a screened in porch and an enclosed porch. It currently has a long term tenant.
House#3 has four bedrooms (two large upstairs, two smaller downstairs), two full bathrooms (one up, one down), eat in kitchen, dining room, den with fireplace, laundry room, glass enclosed porch, two small front porches, back porch/patio and a small garage. Oil heat.
Trailer has two bedrooms, full bath, eat in kitchen, large living room and laundry area.
Crops and Livestock
Types of crops permitted to be produced on the property:
Types of livestock permitted on the property:
Livestock/crops description :
All facilities available for commercial grass-based cow dairying. Other livestock may be included that complement the dairies. Perennial pastures cannot be plowed, but there is some land available for smaller scale vegetable/fruit production. 160 forested acres available for woodland pork, cattle silvo-pasturing or other complementary production activities (no infrastructure currently in place for that).
Description of tenure options:
Well-established farm family training and mentoring beginning farmers in grass-based and organic dairying through the nationally accreditted Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program (see www.dga-national.org for more information). DGA Master grazier is a lifelong dairy farmer with 30+ years grazing experience, 20+ of those under 100% grassfed (no grain) organic dairy management. Paid apprentices learn mob grazing, grassfed dairy husbandry and perennial pasture management at the farm, with more formal academic training through DGA and distance learning for a well-rounded foundation towards their own dairy start up and achieving Journey Dairy Grazier status (which aids in securing farm loans). Graduates may have opportunity to build their own herd, sharemilk the owners' herd or start their own dairy on one of the three farms. Share lease and share milk arrangements only available to those who have completed a DGA apprenticeship.
Preferences and restrictions on agricultural activities:
All land must remain under certified organic management. Perrenial pastures cannot be plowed (highly erodible land). A few acres are available for vegetable/fruit production. Owners' goals include cultivating new grass-based dairy farmers, dairy and farm businesses by providing practical learning experiences, access to complementary education through a formalized apprenticeship program, mentoring and for graduates use of dairy facilities (subject to availability).
Do you require a farmer who qualifies for agricultural assessment?:
Are you willing to have the public on the property as a part of the farm business?:
Any additional information about this property:
Farms are within one mile of a grower/supplier of quality certified organic feed, and within four miles of three other organic dairies. Multiple organic milk markets serve the area. Additional nearby land may be available for lease.