Don and Sherry McNeil both grew up on local dairy farms in the rich farming community of Ellenburg Center, New York, just a few miles south of the Canadian border. In 1984, the couple started renting the property that would become Don-Sher Farm when they bought it two years later. Sherry’s mother had lived on the same farm, then known as Bilows Potato Farm, when she was a child. “The place was perfect for us,” Sherry says.
The McNeils began building their family at the same time as their herd. Initially, they milked mostly Ayrshires, a red and white breed known for longevity and hardiness. They raised their three children on the farm and added Holsteins to the herd over the years. The McNeils take great pride in their carefully bred cows, showing animals at competitions, fairs, and expos in New York, New England, and even at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin. “I love working with the animals,” enthuses Sherry. “It is one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a dairy farm.”