When George Kempton was a young farmhand, he had to cut ice out of the pond to cool the milk and used horses for most of the farm chores. Today, the Kemptons’ farm is most decidedly in the 21st century and George is still involved, although his son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Dawn, and their two sons, Dylan and Will, have taken over the day-to-day operations. The farm, which milks about 300 cows, has earned the distinction of being the only one to provide milk for the award-winning Cabot Clothbound Cehddar, aged nearby in the Cellars at Jasper Hill.
The family holds an annual open house for the community to show friends and neighbors what dairy farming is all about and they often welcome school groups and other visitors. “It helps to let people know what we’re doing and show them a slice of life on a dairy farm,” says Matt. “The kids seem to like it and it helps them understand where their food comes from.”
Will and Jackie are happy that they can raise their two little girls on the farm. “Chloe and Piper love the young cows,” says Jackie. “Having animals around and just the way of life is wonderful.” Dairy farming isn’t just a job, explains Jackie, “it’s a lifestyle. It really makes you appreciate the food you put on the table and the animals that you see on a daily basis. It’s really rewarding to see our farm grow into a family business that teaches all of us about really working hard and shows this will continue to be in the lives of future generations.”