Krebs Organic Dairy Farm
David and Billie Jo Krebs started the 500-acre Krebs Organic Dairy Farm in 1979. This beautiful spot in the town of Starks, Maine sits in the shadow of Mount Blue State Park, a haven of peaceful tranquility.
David comes by his occupation honestly, as a fourth generation dairy farmer. He and Billie Jo have passed on this heritage to their four children, who work alongside them, as does David’s mother, Marcia, and his sister, Darlene. Darlene’s son, Danny, is also part of the operation, which includes a mixed heard of Holsteins and Jerseys, 70 of which are milkers.
The Krebs are proud of the fact that they have been practicing organic farming since the early 1990s. The farm was certified organic in 2006. “We became interested in organic practices because we like to do things the natural way,” says Billie Jo. They don’t use any commercial fertilizers or sprays on their fields, and they don’t treat their animals with medications, instead focusing on natural remedies.
“Since we decided to go organic,” says Billie Jo, “we’ve noticed an improvement in our animals’ health and the quality of their milk.”
In an effort to inform their community about farm life, once a year the Krebs open their farm for anyone to come and enjoy. There are hayrides and barn tours, field mazes and hay forts. And of course, they offer samples of their organic milk and Cabot cheddar. In addition to community visits, the Krebs are active in conducting tours for local school children, who learn about farming and sustainability first-hand.
“We truly believe that farming is one of the best ways to live,” says Billie Jo. “We love the peace and quiet, and the serenity of working with the animals. Our Kids learn to respect their food – farming teaches them there is more to it than just going to the grocery store. We’re proud to be part of the Cabot Cooperative family and we love knowing that our milk goes to making The World’s Best Cheddar!”
Here are Billie Jo Krebs’s answers to our Farmer Friday questions. They are short, sweet, and to the point!
What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farm family?
My favorite thing about being on the farm is being able to work with my family and bring my kids up in the country.
What is your family’s favorite meal? Care to share a recipe?
Our family’s favorite meal is Maine Mac & Cheese (it’s on the Cabot website!) and one of our favorite desserts is peanut butter bars:
2 cups of Graham cracker crumbs
2 sticks of Cabot Butter melted
1 cup of peanut butter
16 ozs of chocolate chips
Mix Graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and peanut butter together and put in a 9×13 pan Then melt chocolate chips in microwave and add a tablespoon of peanut butter and mix together. Pour chocolate mixture on top of Graham cracker mix and put in freezer for 20 minutes.
What is your least favorite farm chore?
The least favorite farm chore around here is working on broken equipment. It seems like whenever we are trying to get something done a piece of equipment breaks on us!
What is your favorite time of year on the farm?
My favorite time of the year is spring. I love seeing all the new plants starting to grow, with the fields greening up and the leaves and flowers starting to poke out.
What is one thing you would like people who have never experienced farm life to know?
The one thing I would like people to know is cows are very sociable. They like attention and they are very friendly to be around.