We are a small dairy farm in Wassaic, New York. There are approximately 80 cows being milked twice a day, every day. Our milk is free from hormones and antibiotics. The cows have their own names and special place on the farm. Each cow is cared for to ensure the most optimal health benefits. Nutrition and diet are geared to the gestational needs of each cow. Each year we bring a few of our animals to the local fairs in the summer to celebrate the life of farming and the quality of our animals. Our dairy cow population grows continually by raising our baby calves up to join the mature milking herd.
Chickens mill about the barnyard and dooryard, merrily pecking away at grasses and bugs. Our chickens are from various breeds, including Ameraucana, Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires and White Leghorns. The eggs are a variety of colors and sizes, depending on the age and breed of the chicken.
Black Angus beef cows are our breed of choice when raising our beef cows. They spend their days grazing out on the fields. Our American Yorkshire pigs round out our farm environment.
Our house pet is a little lamb named Bella. She is great fun, and follows the children everywhere. All the herbs and garden plants now need to be placed high out of her reach, because she can get herself into some serious trouble by eating all of my plants. In the future, we are looking to add a special pony to appeal to our horse-loving three-year-old.
We are able to drink sweet milk, enjoy creamy yogurt, and have delicious eggs and divine meats year-round for both our family and yours.
Farmer George and I met in high school. We were high school sweethearts. Both of us grew up on Dairy farms in Dutchess County. We had our own cows at a young age, and each year we would show at the County Fair and work hard with our animals. I also loved to ride horses, and I spent many hours riding through trails, out on various games teams, eventing and adventures on horseback.
After college and various work experiences, George and I put our lives and backgrounds together to continue what our families had done before us. We have our cows together and have made a family, home and farm for our children. Today, George works hard day and night caring for the animals. There is always something to do with the animals or in the fields, and there is never enough time to do all the work. I help to get off to the markets and develop relationships with market customers and CSA members, so I can help create a better life for the children.
General Cochran Farm originated in upstate New York. Doctor Cochran was born in Pennsylvania in 1730, and served as a surgeon in the Colonial Army. He was a close friend of General Washington. Following the Revolution, General Cochran was appointed by Washington as Commissioner of Loans, a position he continued in until disabled by a paralytic stroke. He then moved to the General Cochran Farm house at St. Johnsville. General Washington was a visitor to General Cochran's farm, and it is recorded that he stayed at the farm as a guest.
It is at this farm and this location that my memory of dairy farming begins. C. Baird Hammond, my grandfather, farmed and managed a herd of Holsteins with the Jackson family. He frequented the State Fair with prized Holstein cattle, and worked to develop superior blood lines of cattle recognized in the Holstein industry. The first cow that I fell in love with was a Reserve All-American named Cochran Ivanhoe Ivy. An impressive way to start as a child in the dairy industry!
My father, Dr. David Hammond, grew up on General Cochran's Farm in St. Johnsville. After my father graduated from Cornell University as a Veterinarian he relocated to Dutchess County, started his farm and expanded his herd of Holstein cattle. Many of the cattle that had begun on General Cochran's Farm moved south to our new General Cochran farm in Dutchess County.
As time marches on, and change continues, I hope to continue to participate in the dairy industry and bring into your homes the rich dairy products I have known all my life.