Cart 0

Our Farm


 

Over 150 years ago, High Lawn Farm was built by Elizur Smith, achieving production on what was recognized to be formerly “poor acreage.” Today it’s hard to believe the 1500 acres that are High Lawn were ever considered poor in any way. The fields are lush and green, and our Jerseys thrive on the crops we grow here.

Let us take you on a journey through the story of our farm. Explore this page to learn about High Lawn Farm’s history and commitment to excellence in Jersey breeding, see how we care for our herd, and get an inside peek into our milking parlor and state of the art processing plant.

 
DJI_0904.jpg

THE HIGH LAWN WAY

 

a note from the owners

Here at High Lawn Farm, it’s always been about the cows.

Since our grandparents decided, back in the 1920’s, to build a dairy farm of only Jersey cows, it has been first and foremost about them and achieving excellence in all regards, from respecting the Jersey heritage and breeding to the quality of milk produced at High Lawn.

We are proud to say—though they would humbly defer any praise—we believe they achieved what they set out to do.

Today our family is dedicated to preserving their vision and tending to that which they so carefully built— the finest Jersey herd anywhere. We are committed to contributing to the betterment of the breed, in order to produce the highest quality, best tasting Jersey milk products possible for our neighbors and beyond.

Our family’s dedication has never been limited only to our Jersey herd, however. High Lawn is an extended family and we are all parts of a greater whole. And from the rolling hills of High Lawn, where we enjoy what some have called the most beautiful views in the Berkshires, to the greater community of Berkshire County, to all of Massachusetts and to nearby New York and Connecticut, we are invested in the successful continuation of a way of life our ancestors believed in and dedicated their lives to—small-scale, family-run farms.

Our family-run High Lawn Farm is one of the few remaining intact dairy farms in Massachusetts, but our dedication to preserving the past in no way precludes investing in the future. When it comes to what is best for our Jersey cows, the sky is the limit. It’s all about the cows. And you can taste the Jersey difference.

Thank you for choosing High Lawn and being a part of the wonderful story of our farm.

 

EXPLORE THE HIGH LAWN FARM TIMELINE GALLERY BELOW.

 
4D48FF07-624A-489C-80B9-B4E2D82ACC61.JPG

THE JERSEY DIFFERENCE

 
high_lawn_farm_jersey_cow_912

There’s a bunch of reasons why we love Jersey’s so much.

Their milk is packed with nutrients and the abundance of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats don’t just make it a healthier choice for you and your family, they translate into the taste as well — giving the milk a rich and creamy texture that’s naturally sweet.

And these smaller, brown cows use less land and resources, which contributes to a more sustainable operation, leaving a smaller carbon footprint. 

Oh, and did we mention that Jersey’s are the friendliest, most personable breed of cow? Their curious and loving disposition certainly plays a part in the delightfully lush quality of the milk they produce…or at least we like to think so!

Our Commitment to

Excellence in Jersey Breeding

The Jersey cow originated from the Isle of Jersey, the largest of Great Britain’s Channel Islands, and has long been in demand by dairy farmers seeking to improve their herds.

High Lawn Farm’s Jersey herd — bred for health, longevity and superior milk production — is nationally recognized, with some cow families’ direct lineage traceable more than 15 generations.

Our herd has always been highly esteemed, sought the world over because of the quality of our breeding practices, and Jersey milk is increasingly in demand by anyone who appreciates taste and quality.

The farm’s nationally recognized excellence in Jersey breeding and milk production began with the foresight and vision of our grandparents and modern High Lawn founders Colonel H.G. and Mrs. Marjorie Field Wilde. Beginning in the 1930’s they carefully built a herd from the very best of the breed with an eye to production progress.

Their contributions to the genetic improvement of the breed over many decades were honored more than once, including with Master Breeder awards from the American Jersey Cattle Association—to Colonel Wilde in 1960 and to Mrs. Wilde in 1977, making them the first couple to ever receive the award in separate years.

Today our family preserves their vision and dedication to the integrity and quality of the Jersey cow and our herd’s breeding. At High Lawn our Jerseys graze on fresh grass in the summer months, and almost all of their winter feed comes straight from our own corn and hay fields. Our customers know that our milk is not only an all-natural and free-of-artificial-hormones product, it is actually better for you than other milk.

And perhaps we are prejudiced, but we believe the Jersey cow has the most beautiful, doe-like face of the entire bovine kingdom.

Click here to learn more about how Jersey milk dairies work to conserve resources and reduce environmental impact.

 
queen_of_quality_logo

queen of quality

Jersey Quality Certification

Since 2008, the Queen of Quality™ mark has been placed on products made from 100% pure Jersey milk. It distinguishes Jersey milk from all others and tells you that you are purchasing some of the finest, most healthful milk on the market.

The Jersey breed of dairy cattle naturally produces milk with higher concentrations of protein and calcium than average milk. More protein and calcium not only boosts the nutrition of Jersey products, it also adds a richer taste, even to skim milk. And, Jerseys are the most efficient breed in converting feed into milk nutrients, producing 17% more protein and 20% more calcium per unit of feed than do average cows.

When you purchase High Lawn Farm products with the Queen of Quality™ mark, you can be sure they come from the finest quality milk naturally, healthfully and efficiently produced by Jersey cattle.

 

 

cows grazing in the fields.JPG

HOW WE CARE FOR OUR GIRLS

 

In the heart of the Berkshires, the 1500 unspoiled acres of High Lawn Farm provide an idyllic setting to raise our Jersey herd and produce our Jersey milk and milk products.

We grow most of the feed for our cows at the farm.

Corn, alfalfa and grass are the main crops supporting the health and nutrition of our Jerseys. Our herd enjoys the pastures from late spring through late fall, or as long as the grass is growing here in the Berkshires.

Our Jerseys eat well, and they eat a lot! A Jersey cow’s basic ration may contain grass, alfalfa, hay, haylage, corn silage, minerals and grain. And we plant corn, alfalfa and grass annually as an essential part of their feed.

We use 100% of our cow manure as a fertilizer

for our corn and forage crops and when needed, we supplement manure fertilization with commercial fertilizers to perfectly balance the needs of the soil for healthy crop production.

The entire herd receives regular attention from our veterinarian and our nutritionist to ensure the feed ration is in balance for each individual’s health.

We never use any synthetic growth hormones, commonly known as rBST hormones, to increase our milk production.

In the rare instances a cow is ill, she is separated from the herd, and just as you would for your sick child, an antibiotic may be prescribed. No milk is used until her system is clear of all traces of antibiotics.

We do not use any animal byproducts in our cows’ diet.

 
 
high_lawn_farm_jersey_cow_waterbed

Our Jerseys are part of our family and they:

  • have waterbeds to sleep on

  • have their udders cleaned with every milking

  • graze seasonally (remember, we live in the Northeast!)

  • are never given rBST

  • are given antibiotics only when absolutely necessary

  • have some of the best views in the Berkshires — or anywhere!

Because we take such good care of our herd, our cows have a life expectancy that is twice that of many other dairy farms. The beautiful Berkshires and fresh air likely contribute to their longevity.

The High Lawn Way is happy, healthy, award-winning Jersey cattle, since 1923. 

I’m so grateful to High Lawn Farm for having the best practices for milking cows. I’m an animal lover, and it’s wonderful to know that you care about the cows. As you know, they have feelings too.
— Aurora, via web

 

47DC82AA-8AEA-44B5-8BB3-867246083DBE.JPG

THE MILKING PARLOR

 

Our cows are milked at will.

And “at will” really means at the cow’s choosing! Our state-of- the-art Lely Astronaut robotic milking system allows for the cows to be milked gently and quickly, when they’re ready. They line up on their own, and there’s always a line waiting patiently. They receive a snack while they’re there. See a video of the cows at the Lely (right).

A recent New York Times article illustrates the benefits of the system. The farm described in the article, in upstate New York, has seen the same results from installing the robotic system that we have — our Jerseys are happier, more relaxed and playful, and we actually get to spend more time with them, rather than, as the farmer in the  article says, at their hind end milking.

We also have robots — they look a little like a modified R2-D2, but they don’t talk! — that help us clean and nudge food to the cows. 

 
 
 

 

26772729924_6e7ce53474_o.jpg

OUR PROCESSING PLANT

 

In 2015 High Lawn Farm completed construction of an entirely new, state-of-the-art milk processing facility. With computer-controlled management of every step, the facility is designed to bring the highest quality, freshest product to the market, and with the new loader and conveyor reduces much of the manual labor employees had been responsible for.

The raw milk enters the plant and is continually tested and graded through the pasteurization process. Strict temperature control and monitoring take place during this important stage. This is the process invented by Louis Pasteur 150 years ago to kill harmful pathogens, and as always High Lawn uses a lower allowable temperature to maintain safety, quality and taste. 

Once the milk has been pasteurized it is then passed onto the bottling line where nearly every step of the process is automated. Clean, new bottles are labelled, filled and capped during this phase. Each bottle is hand inspected and packed and the final product is stored immediately in the refrigeration room until it ships. To ensure complete sterility and cleanliness, incoming milk crates are sterilized before re-use.

The processing plant is an important milestone in High Lawn’s proud 100-year history, allowing a more streamlined delivery of the best Jersey milk to market.

 
 

 

C86D62B2-B4A7-4F7A-8538-A9AF9FA05F33.JPG

PARTNERSHIPS

 
berkshire_grown_logo

We’ve been dedicated to preserving the Berkshire landscape as well as our beautiful farmland and buildings for nearly 100 years. We are committed to not only keeping the Berkshires green but also partnering with our neighbors and supporting the principles of organizations like Berkshire Grown.

Here are some of the organizations we partner with and support in the Berkshires:

  • Adams Agricultural Fair

  • Berkshire 4-H Youth Fair

  • Berkshire Grown

 

 

Lexi with calf.JPG

EDUCATION

 

At High Lawn, we love to have children and adults experience the life of our family-owned, small dairy farm, one of the few remaining in Massachusetts. It’s vitally important that we all know where our food comes from and that we understand the process behind its production. Too often we become disconnected from the reality of the source of the very food we’re eating.

Students of all ages visiting with their school will be greeted by one of our High Lawn Farm team, then walk down to the barns to meet the cows and calves—our Jerseys are really the friendliest of the bovine kingdom— and to see our state-of-the-art robotic milking system. Non-stop questions and answers happen throughout! Of course, the visit would not be complete without samples of High Lawn products.

We wish we could welcome schools and other visitors at any time, but because we’re a busy, working dairy, all tours must be pre-arranged. To schedule a visit for your school, just call our office at 413-243-0672. Our office staff will be delighted to arrange a tour for you.