2023 has been quite a year for us on the farm. It began with a season of uncertainty. ...
For those of you who are new to the farm here is a quick recap. We are a third-generation dairy farm, Kelbys grandfather and father started the farm and Kelby and I took over in Jan 2020. Up until then we had shipped most of our milk to Maple Hill Creamery. Unfortunately, the large dairy industry is in crisis and that model was not working for our farm. More importantly our values and ethics do not align with large scale pasteurized dairy. We truly believe in the power of pure raw milk from clean regenerative farms with grass fed cows. So, we took a leap of faith and sent in a termination letter to Maple Hill in October 2022 with a final shipment date of April 2023. How would we go from selling only 30-50 gallons of raw milk a week to hundreds? We honestly had no clue, but we knew in our hearts that this was the only path for us. We just launched our first CSA in Olean, NY in November of 2022. It was going well and growing fast so in January of this year we decided to start in Pittsford NY location. Again, folks rallied with us, joining in masses and all benefiting from the healing abilities of unadulterated milk.
In February we opened our third CSA in North Tonawanda NY (Kristinas hometown) and having already a customer base in that location due to attending the farmers market for many years, that CSA seemed to explode. The second pickup, Kristina’s dad needed to run over an extra cooler because they simply ran out of space to put all the milk, it was amazing.
In March we started the Hamburg CSA and hosted our fifth annual Maple Days on the farm. I was 9 months pregnant but still had too much to do so Kelby and I kept telling baby to wait “one more day” until finally she was two weeks overdue and in April, we welcomed our sweet daughter Selah Jean Sue into the world! The midwife didn’t make it in time so Kelby, having much experience birthing calves was the one to deliver her in our home. The day after Selah was born, we hosted our annual LEGO Easter Egg hunt. This is of course in honor of our brother Isaac who is a Lego designer in Denmark.
On April 29, 2023, the milk truck came to our farm for the last time to pick up milk for pasteurization. With bated breaths we wrote a letter to you the public notifying everyone of our leap of faith and believing that all our milk would not go to waste. That week, for the first time on the farm we sold out of milk for two days!
In May we had a wonderful heirloom plant sale and perfect spring weather for getting the gardens in! We also opened our sixth CSA in Farmersville NY. In June we welcomed Jamestown, NY. In July we added Clarence, NY. In August, Williamsville, NY, In September a second Pittsford CSA and now in December we have just added Naples & Dansville NY making a total of 11 CSAs and 265 families & counting!!
Needless to say, we are exhausted and exhilarated. We are overwhelmed, in awe and amazed at what God can do with a tiny mustard seed of faith. We are so grateful for each one of you. You have made beyond our dreams become reality. It is a privilege to serve you, to know you and to hear how Raw Milk has helped your families. Every time a new CSA member picks up milk from our farm it makes our day. Farmer Jerry loves to tell you all his stories, Kelby loves to hear your stories and empower you to chase your dreams and I love sharing recipes and tips. This new food system that we are building together is truly a solution for the future of Agriculture. Not only are we able to supply you with clean, honest food but we are all doing so much more. We are building community; we are educating one another, and we are holding hands and lifting each other up. This is what farming is all about, not fancy packaging, or bright colors on a shelf. Food has a way of bringing folks together and we have seen that firsthand in 2023. So, what’s in store for next year? The sky is the limit! We are looking for ways to continue better serving you, connecting with you and sharing with the world.
In Humble thanks from your farmers,
Kelby & Kristina Snyder