Nichols, NY, Tioga County
Open Tillable Acres
Wooded (or other) Acres
Condition & Current Use
Hill farm properties include two farms where all land is certified organic. Dairy currently ships certified 100% grassfed organic milk from 55 cows and grazes the open farmland. It has been under 100% grassfed organic dairy management for the last 26 years. Second farm is currently used by young farmers and is not available until after 4/1/22. 135 acres of fenced perennial pasture with piped well water and improved laneways. 115 acres of woodland available for complementary activities. Area includes Old Order Amish communities. The regenerative farming being practiced includes holistic planned grazing and is a model for one-person 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 Use
The farm has been owned and operated by the same family for over 200 years. Several generations milked cows there commercially, and prior to that it supported more highly diversified family farming. 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. In 2020 half of original farm was sold to Amish neighbors, who ship organic milk to the same cooperative.
Sharemilker in place until 4/1/22.
Apprenticeship Opportunity Option: 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 35+ years grazing experience, 25+ 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. Share lease and share milk arrangements only available to those who have completed a DGA apprenticeship or who have a minimum 5 years dairy experience. This position is open in 2022.
Do you require a farmer who qualifies for agricultural assessment?
Livestock / Crops Description
All facilities available for commercial grass-based cow dairying. Other livestock may be included that complement the dairy. Perennial pastures cannot be plowed, but some land available for smaller scale vegetable/fruit production. 115 forested acres available for woodland pork, cattle silvo-pasturing or other complementary production activities (no infrastructure currently in place for that).
Preferred Farming Method
John Deere diesel 4WD 6410 with loader; JD gas 3020 with loader; various attachments for the two tractors; Kubota UTV; Honda ATV.
Permanent high tensile electric perimeter fencing around all but one field, which has low tensile electric fencing. Temporary interior paddock subdivisions using electrified polytape & fiberglass posts get shifted throughout the growing season to meet grazing and pasture management objectives. Calf pastures include permanent woven wire fencing. High tensile electric fencing of 2-acre horse paddock includes hot coat wire.
Four drilled wells, two ponds and two creeks on the property. Above ground waterlines provide well water to all pastures. Permanent frost-free waterer, permanent and temporary portable waterers installed on pastures.
Barns for Equipment/Storage
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; tractor shed (2020), and restored 1901 bank barn.
Farm#2 (available after 4/1/22) includes: 2 story bank barn with large heated addition (currently a workshop, could become a dairy/food processing room); original detached milkhouse (no milking equipment); fenced horse pasture; primitive syrup shack; storage shed.
Three houses, two older renovated farmhouses and a more recently built log home. On farm housing is subject to availability.
House#1 has one bedroom with half bath, full bathroom, living room, dining room, eat-in-kitchen, glass-enclosed porch, small mudroom, laundry area.
House#2 (available after 4/1/22) has four bedrooms (two large upstairs, two smaller downstairs), two full bathrooms (one up, one down), kitchen, dining room, living room, den with fireplace, laundry room/pantry, glass enclosed porch, two small front porches, back porch/patio, small garage, mature fruit trees.
Additional Property Information
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 and dairy/farm businesses by providing practical learning experiences, access to complementary education through a formalized apprenticeship program, mentoring, and (for graduates and those with comparable prior experience that includes at least 5 years of commercial dairying) use of turnkey dairy facilities with access to organic milk market.
Is the Property Conserved
Current Land Zoning
Is the property located in a NY Agricultural District?
Can the public be on the property as a part of the farm business?
Additional Information About This Property
Farms are within a couple miles of a grower/supplier of quality certified organic feed, and within ten miles of six other organic dairies. Multiple organic milk markets serve the area. Additional nearby land may be available for lease.