The White Rock Farm in Randolph, Vermont, is operated by Tim and Janet Angell, and it is well named. It has a massive quartz rock – about half the size of a house – dominating its main pasture. And that’s not the only thing that makes this spread distinctive. The farm has been in Janet’s family since 1791, the year that Vermont became a state. In fact, in 1991, when Vermont celebrated its own bicentennial, the White Rock Farm was honored as one of only seventeen bicentennial farms in the state. It’s an old farm with a great story.
While the farm dates back more than two centuries, and Janet, her parents, and many generations of Janet’s ancestors before her were raised there, Tim is a relative newcomer. The son of a university professor in Vermont, Tim felt the call of the land throughout his youth and wanted to become a dairy farmer. He and Janet did just that when they took over the family farm in 1988 and chartered a course for one more generation to work the land. They raised their three adult children on the farm, and Matthew, the oldest, still works there full time. Joseph recently purchased his own herd and rents a farm in Vermont, and Amanda is studying to be a veterinary technician.
The Angells have 60 registered Jerseys and some 45 young stock. Dairy farming is their main focus, but they know they need other avenues of income to offset the wild fluctuations of an unreliable milk market. So they also log timber from their forested acreage during winter, run a small sawmill operation on the side, and tap about 1,100 maple trees in season for their maple syrup business. No day is ever the same, and they are busy serving the land while the land serves them to make a living.
And as busy as the Angells are, they are never too busy not to welcome visitors. Whether it’s a classroom of school children or just passers-by asking for a tour, their doors are always open. Tim also serves on the local school board, has been a member of the fire department for 35 years, and sits on Randolph’s Capital Budget Committee.