John Miller is a 10th generation New England farmer. For years, he raised and milked Jersey cows in the Chesterfield, MA area. He showed his cows in competitions and he won more often than not.
I asked him to tell us some of his story and he was happy to oblige. When his children (3) were still young, he was approached by a farmer in Quebec who was raising Jerseys and entering competitions, but not winning. He made John an offer “he couldn’t refuse,” so John sold his farm and his 60 Jerseys and headed to Quebec.
For 5 years, John managed the prestigious Piedmont Farm herd and marketed their prize winning cows. This marketing experience came in handy later when he decided to return to farming. John knew how hard it would be to make his living from selling milk. He knew about the value of making cheese, and he decided to try his hand at it.
So, he studied for a month with Alan and Lynette Richard at their farm near Montreal and set up his own farm in Quebec. Soon, however, his aunt, Sarah Prince called him and asked him to come to New England as her partner in a cheesemaking business.
They looked for land and finally found a suitable location in Charlemont, MA, where they established the Farmstead at Mine Brook.John’s aunt retired from the business 2 years ago, so now John is the owner of the scenic farm tucked between 2 hills in Western Mass. (goatrising.com) If you are ever in the area, it’s a lovely place to visit:
These are the four I chose to sample;