Fourth-generation New York dairy farmer Lissa Chambers feels lucky to work closely with her father, Bob. “Since I was little,” says Lissa. “I was always in the barn with Dad, on the tractors, feeding the calves.” Farming, she says, is so deeply ingrained in her that it’s “in my soul.
Lissa did leave to go to school for an agricultural business degree but moved back to the farm after her first year and commuted back to finish up. “Going away definitely made me see that I wanted to be home,” she reflects. “I always knew I’d work here. I never missed a beat. The farm is the heart of the family.”
Maple sugaring is also a significant winter and spring enterprise on the farm. At Dry Brook Sugar House, which Bob operates with his brother-in-law and nephews, visitors can see how syrup, candy and maple cream are made. During Open Houses in March, Lissa’s mom and Bob’s wife, Kathy, leads the mixing and flipping of thousands of pancakes to accompany fresh maple syrup.