Everyone has a story of where they came from and what they aspire to be. For generations, the farmers invested in Craigs Station have dedicated their lives to delivering the best, freshest New York dairy to family tables.
Today, Craigs Station’s farmers are as committed as ever to producing the freshest New York dairy and maintaining the tradition of family farming while incorporating the forward-thinking, innovative practices of modern agriculture.
It is from these farmsteads that fresh milk — sometimes only hours old — is picked up and delivered to Craigs Station Creamery in a traceable process that connects you to your farmer neighbors.
Click to the right to learn more about the farmers who work hard every day to provide fresh milk to Craigs Station.
As they watch the fifth generation grow up on Lawnel Farms, the Smith and Northrop families are reminded every day of the importance of the work they do as dairy farmers. As parents, Tim and Kristy Northrop say they understand the need for consumers to know and understand where the food they feed their families comes from.
“In this day and age, I think sustainability and traceability are becoming more and more important in the mind of the consumer,” Tim says. “We are proud of the way we run our business, and we think we have something to offer the consumer.”
That’s why Lawnel Farms decided to partner in Craigs Station Creamery.
“This is a great opportunity to get at the forefront of this model to give consumers an option to know where their products are coming from,” Tim says.
The families have invested time and money back into the land through sustainable practices with the hopes of preserving it not only for their children, but also for generations to come.
The renowned registered Holstein herd at Coyne Farms is known for making high-quality milk, feeding hungry families with a product that is nutritious and responsibly sourced. But the 900 cows in Avon, N.Y., are also feeding the world in a different way.
In 2005, Coyne Farms entered a unique partnership with their new next-door neighbors — a vermicomposting company called Worm Power. The New York enterprise sources farm waste from the dairy and feeds it to millions of hungry worms, producing naturally rich, professional-grade organic plant food.
With the addition of Craigs Station Creamery, the Coynes are excited to add another layer to their farm’s story of sustainability and traceability.
“Our neighbors like to know where our milk is going,” Malachy Coyne says. “And people in general like to know the source of their milk or dairy food. Now we can give them a good, honest answer.”
For generations, farmers have used recycling as a way to improve the efficiency of their dairies and the health of their crops. At McCormick Farm, recycling allows the dairy’s managers to better work the land that has served them for nearly 65 years.
Jim McCormick recycles his cows’ waste to fertilize his 2,800 acres of potatoes — a practice that began when Jim’s father purchased the farm in 1951. Over the years, the family has continuously sought ways to reduce, reuse and recycle on the dairy. In the barn, they use reclaimed bedding for their cows and recycle water for flushing the barns.
McCormick Farm continues to seek new efficiencies and better ways to care for their herd and their land as they look to the future of the dairy and the industry.
For dairy farmers, it’s one of life’s simplest truths, and one the partners at Baker Brook Dairy have taken to heart: animal care and wellness is essential to producing quality milk. At the dairy on the outskirts of Attica, N.Y., 1,500 cows lounge contentedly in spacious barns, designed with cow comfort in mind.
Baker Brook Dairy is the product of a longtime friendship turned partnership when Rick Stevens and Charlie and Ed Ziegler brought their families together to manage the dairy 15 years ago. Since then, the farm has made strides toward advanced animal care and cleanliness, training employees carefully and paying special attention to technologies that keep the herd comfortable during any season.
Each partner takes on a different role at the dairy to make sure no detail is overlooked, identifying every possible way to maximize cow comfort. As a result, the cows reward them with top-quality milk.
Southview Farm is serious about investing in the future. For more than 50 years, the VanArsdale family has worked to continuously improve, committing every day to their cows, their farm and the consumers who depend on their milk.
With a background in finance, Jim VanArsdale is no stranger to the risks and rewards of investment. He started the farm with the late Dick Popp, an iconic, progressive dairyman who dairy producers across the country admired and respected. Now, atage 94, Jim’s dedication to the dairy and the industry is as strong as ever, as he continues to guide the farm’s managers, including his son, Jamie, in their day-to-day operations.
Southview Farm has a long history of progressive management, investing in innovative technologies and conservation practices on the 1,500-cow farm. Being involved with Craigs Station Creamery has given the dairy an opportunity to invest again, this time in the wholesome, high-quality dairy ingredients customers are looking for. Jamie says the plant also gives the farm an opportunity to learn best practices from other farm families involved and invest in the future of the industry as a whole.
“It’s always good to work with our neighbors and we enjoy learning about other operations,” Jamie says.
As consumers become more and more removed from the farm, it’s important to share the story of agriculture. That’s why Synergy Farm managers have made it a point to connect with their local community, giving back in more ways than one.
The dairy offers visitors a stronger understanding and sense of pride in the industry, helping to bridge the gap between consumers and the agricultural community. Synergy Farm welcomes the public on farm tours, where farmers gets to share their passion for dairy and consumers get to learn where their food comes from. The families of Synergy Farm believe it is especially important to pass their knowledge and love for the industry on to future generations, and they regularly host 4-H activities and events.
Synergy Farm offers visitors a family-friendly atmosphere as well as a closer look at progressive, modern farming practices. The dairy is home to the largest digester in New York, which processes waste from the herd and a nearby food-processing factory, generating enough sustainable energy to power 1,000 neighbors’ homes.
Noblehurst Farms isn’t just supplying milk to Craigs Station Creamery — it is also supplying power.
The Nobles and other families involved in the dairy have invested in an innovative digester that powers their farm as well as the plant. The digester processes not only animal waste from the farm, but also expired food from area businesses. It will even convert waste from Craigs Station Creamery.
The farm’s use of renewable energy extends beyond the digester to other areas of the farm. Solar panels provide energy to heat the water that is used for cleaning the barns and parlor, and the families have used energy audits to identify additional ways to increase efficiency.
As a seventh-generation dairy with roots tracing back to the 1800s, Noblehurst Farms has been around long enough to understand the wants and needs of consumers. Their commitment to sustainability is driven by a pride in their heritage and a desire to provide future generations with a high-quality product.
“We want to produce a good product that’s as natural as possible,” John Noble says.
Jeff and Lesa Mulligan are the third generation on Mulligan Farm, and they want to make sure they’re not the last. That’s why they have taken steps to ensure the land that has supported their lifestyle for nearly a century will remain long after they’re gone.
In addition to incorporating sustainable on-farm practices, they have protected their homestead; 640 acres and nine of the farm’s buildings have been designated as historic places, including the home where Jeff and Lesa are raising the fourth generation on the farm — their son and two daughters.
As the managers of Mulligan Farm watched development creep up in the area surrounding their home and dairy, they took action to protect nearly 1,200 acres of farmland with a conservation easement. They sold the rights on their farm deed, swearing never to sell the fertile land that has proven to be so valuable for agriculture.
“As a family, we felt it was really important for the land to remain in agriculture,” Jeff says.
At Mulligan Farm, protecting the land doesn’t just protect farmers’ livelihoods — it protects their children, their home and their ability to feed the world.