Tim and Katlyn Kinsella own the Birch Mill Farm in Falls Village, Connecticut where they milk about 40 cows twice a day and have some 30 young stock. They started the farm four years ago and merged their two small herds of registered Brown Swiss and Ayrshires and then purchased some Holsteins to add to the mix. They have been expanding the herd ever since. This past August, Tim and Katlyn also merged their lives even more closely when they got married.
The Kinsellas farm about 150 acres of hay and corn crops. Tim and Katlyn have worked on farms all their lives and now have a spread of their own. Tim works full-time on the farm and also does custom fieldwork and harvesting for other local farmers. Katlyn takes care of herd health and animal care on the farm, but she has also been a milk tester for Dairy One for the past six years. This means she goes around Litchfield County and visits about fifteen farms in the area each month, draws milk samples to send to the lab to test for somatic cell counts, fat, and protein, and then prepares reports for each farm to better manage their herds. "I get to visit lots of farms and help them with their herd management, while also getting to learn about many different ways to manage a dairy," says Katlyn. "This helps Tim and me on our own farm, and we discuss everything about crops and herd management." They are also very fortunate to have great farm support, and both families help out on the farm whenever they can.
Tim and Katlyn are keenly attentive to their cows and do everything they can to keep them stress free and comfortable. In fact, they recently remodeled the barn and installed waterbeds for each cow. They called it "Operation Comfy Cow," and each cow has her own stall with her name on it. The Kinsellas love their farm and their herd and treat every cow like a family member. The care they give the cows pays off. The Kinsellas strive for great quality milk, and it shows with the numerous awards they have won from both Agri-Mark and Dairy One.
Even though their work on the farm and for Dairy One goes from dawn to dusk most days, the Kinsellas still find time for the community. They show their cows at the county fair and at the Big E, and they are always there for the local 4H group and Ag Department. Katlyn often has 4H groups at the farm and teaches local dairy handling teams how to prepare and show their cows. "The dairy farming community is this area is very close knit," says Katlyn. "Everybody is willing to share information and lend each other a hand when needed. That's one of the reasons Tim and I enjoy dairy farming so much. We wouldn't give it up for anything."