Wake Robin Farm in Central New York has been in the Schrader family for 40 years. They have grown from 4 cows to about 40. That might sound small to you, but as the Schraders say, “All farmers put their boots on the same way, are affected by the weather, and work hard to make a living. We believe that there are more similarities than differences among farms, regardless of size.”
To be perfectly honest, there were a number of things that stuck out to me as I watched Meg perform her daily milking routine one crisp evening. Despite the many similarities between dairy farms, large and small alike, there are some undeniable benefits of shopping small and local.
- The Schraders love their cows. They’re like pets—friends even. You can virtually meet them here. Trust me, these cows are loved and cared for with great attention to detail.
- The milk goes from udder to jug in less than 18 hours. Now that is fresh!
- The Schraders make small, handmade batches of yogurt and cheese from their cows’ milk. Take a look at the different varieties, and yes—cheese curds made the list.
Most people get their milk from a grocery store, who more than likely get it from a large dairy farm. Maybe it’s time to do some research and find the best way to shop local in your area. Support small farmers and families who devote their lives to creating quality products honestly, all while loving their plot of earth and animals. It’s a great way to impact the landscape around your community and preserve farmland.
Meg is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Mock Neck Vest, Huron Shirt, Austel Hat, & Series 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree.
Most people would consider an heirloom to be an old watch, a cherished book, or some loved trinket passed down from one generation to the next. But family treasures to the Kamerman’s look a little different than that. In fact, home looks a little different for them too.
Soft rolling Montana pastures, sprinkled with cattle and dirt roads make up their shared heirloom. The dairy farm where they live and work has been in the family for 70 years. Lori and her 4 daughters, Hannah, Mikaya, Malaya, and Mali run about doing their daily chores.
Cows aren’t generally pets, but they all have unique personalities. The two youngest Kamerman’s are quite proud of their cows and couldn’t wait to introduce me to the ones they’ve grown attached to. There is no doubt that the work all of the girls have done caring for the animals on their land has given them soft, loving spirits—in tune with others’ needs and feelings.
Lori’s advice for anyone on a growing farm is to “look past the day to day grind to the big picture, that is the reward you reap from a job well done. Also along the way try to enjoy the little things, such as that mother taking care of its newborn calf or the cow that wants her ears scratched.”
Rachel is one of my dearest childhood friends. When we were kids, Rachel’s mom was beside herself because of all the holes Rachel ripped in her jeans while she worked and played on their ranch. Mr. Boswell let his wife know he’d take care of the problem. The next day, he came home with a pair of Carhartt double fronts for Rachel. He told her that no matter what she did, these pants could withstand anything she put them through. Rachel saw that as a challenge. Immediately, she headed outside to see if her dad was right. She tumbled and dove about trying to put at least one hole in her new double front Carhartt pants. With no such luck, Rachel began her workwear love affair with Carhartt.