Lucas and Kristina Vaughan operate LizDick Farm in Newbury, Vermont. The farm is named after Lucas’s grandparents, Elizabeth and Richard, who purchased the operation in 1955. The Vaughans have 117 acres where they grow hay, corn silage and haylage and tend 40 milking cows and 30 young stock. The herd is primarily made up of Holsteins and they also have a dozen Ayrshire cows, which are distinctive for their red and white markings. When Lucas first proposed to Kristina, he offered her an Ayrshire calf as a gift. Since then, the Ayrshires have become a prominent part of their herd.
Lucas’s father, Stewart, grew up on the farm, and he ran it with his wife Tammy until 2009 when they turned it over to the next generation. Lucas always planned to be a dairy farmer and returned to the farm after spending ten years as a mechanic with a John Deere dealership.
The farm sits on a hilltop at the end of a quiet road, and it’s a beautiful piece of property. Says Lucas: “This is a great place to raise our family. Our daughters Lizzie and Amy help out in the barn every day. They are comfortable with the animals, run around the farm and get fresh air, and already have a love for the farm.” The operation truly is a family affair. Lucas’s parents live in a log cabin behind the farm, and Stewart still helps out every day. Kristina works full-time at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and pitches in every chance she gets.
Dairy farming for the Vaughans is more than long hours, tending cattle, and growing crops. For Lucas, it means tractors. Lots of them! Lucas has been buying vintage John Deere tractors that need a tender touch since he was a youngster. His passion is to repair and restore these old beauties to their past glory. All totaled the Vaughans, (Kris, Lucas, his parents and grandparents), have nine tractors dating from 1927 to 1955.
The family also stays busy in the spring when the sap begins to run. Three generations of Vaughans have taken part in the annual Vermont tradition of sugaring and making maple syrup. They have about 450 taps and sell the syrup from their farm, relying on word of mouth. It's just another way the Vaughans work and play together.