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Leap of Faith-Leaving the Conventional Milk Market

If you are new to our farm, we welcome you. Over the past year we have met so many new friends that have been drawn back to the roots in search of a more traditional way of buying meat, milk and fresh food direct from the farm. If you have been here awhile we also welcome you, familiar faces of support through the seasons. You may have started to notice a theme in my posts this year. There has been a lot of change on the farm and that was very intentional. But to explain the future we must go back and revisit the past.

Our farm is a third generation farm started by our grandfather who purchased the land in the 1950’s. Then in the 1980’s our father Jerry took over the farm and milked cows full time. Back then our farm was conventional as there was no standard for organics. As Jerry learned more about farming practices and differentiating he became certified organic in early 2000s. He signed on with Horizon for three years but was not impressed by their industrial ag model for organic standards and lack of herd grazing. As a result he switched from Horizon to Organic Valley. Kelby (Jerrys Son) began farming full time with his dad in 2008. Together they had many conversations about land regeneration, herd management and sustainable farm practices. This led them to go beyond organic standards and also become a certified grassfed herd with Maple Hill Creamery. Through all of these changes Sunny Cove has always been a dairy farm but has become slowly diversified as each year the dairy cost of production has gone up while the pay price set by the industry does not reflect the increase.

In the early 2000’s Jerry opened up a small farm store in the farm garage, he secured a raw milk permit and along with the milk sold ground beef, maple syrup and walnuts. With the opening of that first farm store he discovered a love for connecting with you all, the consumer. He began teaching anyone who would come to the farm about traditional ways of eating and living. He also started a lending library of agricultural and food themed books. As a college student and former city girl, I Kristina learned so much from conversations in that little farm store with Jerry. That was where I first discovered authors like Wendall Berry, Michael Pollan and so many other great minds. I learned the truth about our food system, how real food can so dramatically heal us and how food insecurity is one of the most crippling weapons of our society. As a result of Jerrys teaching I became wildly passionate about regenerative techniques in my garden and sustainable consumerism in my home. In 2013 Kelby and I got married, moved into a tiny home and started our family. Kelby continued to farm full t