The View From the Farm

On Cabot farms around New England and New York, these past few weeks have been anchored by reassuringly familiar rhythms. Our farmers are caring for their cows, their families, and their employees. They continue to produce the highest quality milk, which is being picked up by milk trucks and taken to our production plants to be made into the Cabot cheese, yogurt, butter, and other products that then make their way to grocery store shelves near you.

But, of course, dairy farmers are also part of the wider world.

Cabot farmers are still doing what they do best: caring for their cows and producing the highest quality milk to turn into cheese and other dairy deliciousness for you and your families. Click To Tweet

“It’s been a weird mix of unnerving, but also extremely calming, that our day-to-day has not changed very much,” acknowledges Amanda Freund of Freund’s Farm in East Canaan, Connecticut. The Freunds not only run their third-generation dairy farm, they also have a busy farm market and bakery, and produce award-winning, biodegradable, seed-starting CowPots from recycled dry solids of composted manure.

Amanda’s mother, Theresa, has been making sure the market is stocked with staples as well as cooking up vats of shepherd’s pie, macaroni and cheese and meatballs for curbside pickup. Amanda’s sister, Rachel, helps with the market and has also been focused on seeding and transplanting in the greenhouse. Amanda and her father, Matt, in turn, have been responding to the significant demand for CowPots as more people aim to grow food for themselves.

The Freunds are grateful for the unexpected gift of family dinners with parents and all four 20- and 30-something “kids” around the same table. They also deeply appreciate that they can play a role in the food system in a number of ways—and recognize that they could not do it alone. From grain and vet supply deliveries, to the milk truck driver and the robotic milking machine technician, to the workers in Cabot plants, Amanda says, “I have never been so acutely aware of how many people and companies we rely on. We are overwhelmed with appreciation for them all.”

In Schodack Landing, New York, Nate Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm couldn’t agree more. “It’s putting a fresh perspective on all the people who do the kinds of jobs we sometimes don’t think that much about: farmworkers, truck drivers, the people in retail and in restaurants,” he says. “None of us can be replaced. Everyone is critical.”

Nate and his team continue to care for the farm’s milking herd while he and his wife also adjust to 24/7 parenting duty for their own smaller brood of three kids. Jill Chittenden, a high school math teacher, is one of millions of teachers now engaged in the significant task of instructing their students long-distance from home. Luckily, Anna, 8, Jonathan, 10, and Zach, 13, “have a humongous outdoor playground,” their dad says. “They can come with me to the farm, which gives their mom a quiet house for meetings and work.” Like all siblings, they have their moments, but Nate adds proudly, “They’ve done a pretty good job of pulling together.”

For 21-year-old Lilla Tilton-Flood, who grew up on Flood Brothers Farm in Clinton, Maine, her senior year at the University of Maine is a little different than she expected. Her mom, Jenni Tilton-Flood, recounts that Lilla will finish her coursework online, but is back in Orono working with the herd at the university’s teaching and research Witter Farm, also a Cabot coop member. “The animals cannot remote-work,” Jenni notes with a chuckle. “They cannot mail it in.”

Back at Flood Brothers, Jenni’s husband, Dana, and the rest of the team are working as hard as usual to keep the farm chugging along. “They’re taking care of the cows, making sure everything is as high quality and sanitary as they always do,” says Jenni. “We are here to ensure there is always good food for people.”


Jenni has also appreciated that she has a bit more time to help out in the community. “I helped pack 860 meals for seniors in our local Meals on Wheels program. It really made me smile for the first time in a while. Nobody is an island. As socially distanced as we are, we are not alone,” she says. “Being able to help my neighbors this way, or helping them find milk—we aren’t just feeding people, we truly are nourishing our community. I hope that when we look back on this, that is what we remember.”

A Message to Our Communities
Our farmers are dedicated to making sure those on the front lines have nutritional support – turning April as National Volunteer Month into a time to support workers saving our lives. All month long, we invite ER nurses, EMTs, and all front-line health workers to register for a shipment of our individually wrapped 3/4 oz. snack bars and snack sticks. We’ll continue to ship until we run out.

Click here to request a shipment.

Comments (21)

Janice Molfese | April 09, 2020 | 3:32pm

Thank you ALL….for all you do and continue to do to keep the food, milk, etc. coming to us everyday….
God bless you.
Blessings to you this Easter

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:17pm

    Thank you Janice for supporting our farm family owners! ~Rachael

Roxanne M Simpson | April 09, 2020 | 3:49pm

Thank you for this! I love seeing pictures of the cows and farms and all the people taking care of them!

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:17pm

    Thank you! We appreciate your support of our farmer owners 🙂 ~Rachael

Phyllis Marcell | April 09, 2020 | 3:56pm

Best Products in the World
Thanks for what you do

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:18pm

    So glad you enjoy our products Phyllis! Our farmer owners appreciate your support. ~Rachael

Jayne Paffhausen | April 09, 2020 | 4:19pm

Wondering if u have any idea if when you will be getting the cheddar Shakes will be back? We live that product and have been anxiously waiting! Thank you

G | April 09, 2020 | 6:29pm

Love hearing farmers in NE are doing well. Grew up on dairy farm in MA & it was the best way to grow up. On my Grandparents farm, my Dad & his 2 younger brothers were farm hands & milkmen for the surrounding area. Wonderful memories. Blessings to you all.

Karen Belle Conklin | April 09, 2020 | 7:23pm

Do you ship any of your products? I cannot get to the supermarket because of health issues. With the Coronovirus restrictions in my state, it’s definitely best I don’t go out. My 2 sister’s living with me are stage 4 cancer survivors, and we can’t risk any of us going to a public place. I do have a neighbor who will shop for our basic food items. However the local store has a very limited selection of your cheese’s. I’d appreciate a response. I love your products. There are some I haven’t tried. Looking forward to that.
Have a great weekend, be safe and healthy. Have a blessed and Happy Easter. Thank you so much, in advance.
Karen Belle Conklin

RICK TOMAZIN | April 09, 2020 | 9:08pm


Colleen | April 10, 2020 | 7:25am

Good article – Thank You for all you do –

Victoria Davis | April 10, 2020 | 8:22am

Really nice post. And a nice offer to healthcare workers. I’m so tired of reading about milk being dumped…there always has to be a better way than waste.
Anyway, thanks and be well.

Kristin Haskins | April 10, 2020 | 10:32am

This picture is beautiful! It should be in something like Vermont Life magazine, or any farm, really! Beauty–as far as the eye can see!
I also think your “front-line” offer is super- kind, but I’m not surprised, really. From the little I DO know, I sense Cabot is-well-just what you DO,

Tammy Reynolds | April 10, 2020 | 1:20pm

Thanks for all you do to provide nutritious foods in NY!! I am a dietitian and appreciate the healthy options available. Thanks for the front-line gift you are sending out. That means a lot to those of us working in health care. Stay safe and healthy!

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:31pm

    Thank you Tammy for the kind words! We appreciate all of the MVP’s working in healthcare on the front lines right now – stay safe & be well 🙂 ~Rachael

Claire Guiduli | April 10, 2020 | 4:19pm

Thank you for the lovely Vermont pictures; I do miss Vermont Life Magazine; it was part of my library for continue reading. Any chance Cabot can send your wonderful POWDERED cabot cheddar? I served it for years and it became my GO TO GIFT for my Florida neighbors…….for popcorn, veggies and dips.. Looking forward to your reply, Claire Guiduli, The Villages, FL 32159

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:30pm

    Hi Claire! We don’t currently have our cheddar powder for sale, but we hope to have it back soon, although we don’t have a timeline currently. Thank you for supporting our farm family owners! ~Rachael

Diane Brewer | April 11, 2020 | 9:03am

Your message and pictures are very calming, caring, and helpful for the soul during this difficult time! Should make us all more appreciative during the good times as well. God bless farmers and those related to that profession, not only in New England, but across our nation and world, for continuing to care for us and supply us with our daily sustenance. You rank right up there beside the health professionals and other First Responders. And, since I’m a First Grade teacher working from home, I’ll also take this opportunity to send out continued prayers to students, families, and teaching colleagues everywhere. STAY STRONG and pray the internet can handle the increased workload!!! 🙂

    Rachael | April 28, 2020 | 2:29pm

    Thank you Diane for your kind words! Our farmers are grateful for your support. We appreciate all of our teachers too – working so hard right now to make sure our kids are still learning! Thank you for all that you do 🙂 ~Rachael

Ashley Covelli | June 19, 2020 | 7:11am

I always love getting a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on behind the food we love so much. It’s so nice seeing how much love and care goes into taking care of the cows that bring us such delicious cheese, milk, butter, yogurt, and more! Thank you, farmers!

Leave a Comment

Become a Cabot Insider