Lily is a first year student at the UConn, studying animal science. She was raised on Fort Hill Farms in Thompson, Connecticut.
The land that Fort Hill Farms sits on has supported farmers since the 17th Century. Lily’s parents, Peter and Kristen Orr, acquired the farm from Kristen’s parents in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Under the care of the Orr family, the farm is now famous for its lavender gardens, a corn maze and ice cream, in addition to a herd of Holstein and Guernsey cattle. It’s no surprise Yankee Magazine has given Fort Hill Farms their “The Best of New England” award multiple times.
Lily is studying animal science at #UConn. Someday she’ll take over the family biz: Fort Hill Farms. #FarmerFriday http://ow.ly/MjgdM
This week, Lily took a break from studying for finals to answer our Farmer Friday questions. Thanks Lily!
Has being away at college changed your sleep pattern?
Normally back on the farm, I’m used to waking up at 4:30 in the morning on the weekends to go out and feed the calves to get my day started. Now that I’m away at college my weekends are very different. I try to sleep in, and sometimes I’m able to, but most of the time my internal clock wakes me up earlier than I want to because I’m thinking I have to go out and work. It’s not fair – when I go back home I struggle to get up before dawn now, but once college ends I’ll be right back on schedule!
What do you miss most about the farm?
Being with the animals is definitely the thing I miss most about the farm. I miss the happy little calves and seeing their excitement when I come to feed them. There’s nothing better than seeing your animals satisfied.
What do you miss least?
I can’t really think of something that I miss least, because I miss it all. But I guess if I had to choose something, I surely don’t miss when the animals act up or give me attitude which makes my job harder. Animals that don’t cooperate are not always my favorite.
Ever visit local farms?
Occasionally I will visit other farms, of any kind. I have many friends that live on farms so when I go to their house, I visit with their animals, too. I also go to farms to get vegetables or fruit because local is better!
Do you still help out when you’re home on vacation?
Of course! When I come home for weekends or vacations I help out on the farm. Working when I come home is actually something I look forward to.
Do you see dairy farming being part of your future?
I definitely see dairy farming in my future because my goal career is to be a large animal nutritionist that focuses on dairy nutrition. I can’t imagine growing up and not having dairy farming being a part of my life.
Is there an aspect of dairy farming that has helped prepare you for college?
Dairy farming has taught me to work hard for what I want. This helps me to focus on what’s important in college and to get my schoolwork done no matter how rigorous the courses are. Also, because I am pursuing a degree in animal science, having the dairy farming background helps me in the classroom because of the experience I have.