Richardson Family Farm has 65 Jersey milking cows and about 50 young stock on 450 acres in Hartland, Vermont. The farm is now home to the family's fourth generation. James and Gordon's grandfather purchased the farm in 1905, and their father bought additional land in the early '40s and late '50s. Gordon, Scott, and Reid operate the farm as a partnership. Their wives are involved, too. Gordon's wife Pat plays an essential role in financial management; Scott's wife Amy is one of the milkers, and works on the dairy-side everyday; Reid's wife Audrey helps manage the maple business. Scott and Amy's three sons, all teens, work on and help around the farm nearly every day, throughout the year. Gordon's sister Anita lives in the historic farmhouse and assists with various farm projects as well as keeping an eye on the rest of the busy family. Several other family members live close by and enjoy the farm on a regular basis.
Since the farm supports so many people, the Richardsons look to revenue streams beyond dairy farming. Each year they produce at least 3000 gallons of maple syrup on about 8200 taps. They also produce split-rail fencing, a mile of which has enhanced the grounds of fellow Cabot farmers at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont, since the early ’80s.
The Richardson Family Farm is a source of pride for the family. It received the New England Green Pastures Award in 2009, which in Vermont made them Dairy Farm of the Year. The award is based on the production and quality of the herd, the crop work, and overall appearance of the farm.
“We work hard to operate our farm in harmony with the community around us. We consider the resources around us related to environment, economy, and community.”
-Amy Richardson (Farmer Friday Blog)
Obviously, the Richardsons are quite good at what they do. “We treat our animals with great respect and give them the best care possible,” says Gordon.
The family is also active in the community. Amy, Scott’s wife, is the Farm to School Coordinator for four local districts of the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union. Scott serves on the School Board and as an AgriMark Voting Representative. Gordon is the Chair of the Selectboard. Reid has held office with Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Pat is the Town and School Moderator and a justice of the peace.
Visit Us: Richardson Family Farm
Take a tour of Richardson Family Farm, courtesy of Must Be The Milk: