I’ve gotten to travel to a lot of really beautiful farms — Carnation Farms out in Washington, Arethusa Farm in Connecticut — the facilities are just immaculate. But I really want to be able to have something that anyone can come to and see that a beautiful homestead and farm and a working homestead and farm can coexist and live in a community.
I’m the youngest of three, so when you’re the youngest, you kind of want to do what everyone else does. Every event we went to was farm and agriculture related when I was a kid, and it kind of becomes a way of life.
After I graduated college, I worked for John Deere for a while. Then I moved back to the farm in 2012. There were other career opportunities here that aligned with that, but the real impetus was getting back to the farm.
My dad passed in 2016, and since then, my wife, my mom and I, we have just been walking a path that makes sense to us.
We had some older facilities. We had a dairy herd, but it was too much to do everything, dairy and beef. My wife and I worked off the farm, and my mom’s a retired teacher. The business side of the dairy didn’t support the updates we wanted to do, and we had a little one on the way that was born in 2019. So we identified people that we were going to sell to, and got the gears in motion to sell the dairy cattle and ramp up the beef.
We had to choose one or two things to focus on, and I didn’t want one of the things I didn’t choose to be my family.
It’s been going pretty well. We’ve steadily supplied some restaurants in the area, and then COVID kind of took the wind out of our sails. It just got difficult for us to get beef processed, so we’ve scaled back the beef cattle and converted some land from row crops into hay so that we can more cost-effectively raise these cattle year-round. We’ve put some infrastructure dollars behind fencing systems so we are rotating these cattle more frequently over less ground.
We’ve spent a lot of time fencing stuff off this year.
It’s good for the cattle — they stay out on ground more, and the less days we feed them beyond what the pasture provides the more financially viable the operation becomes.
We sell products that have been USDA and FDA approved, so we can sell individual packages. Most people order by filling out an inquiry form on the site, but toward the end of this year and into next that process will be changing. We’re going to be working with a company to allow people to see quantities in real time and order from there.
I help people build things for a living. I design robotic milking facilities, so I can always picture what something is going to be. I have that vision for the farm, and the fun is in executing that vision and getting it there.
— Craig Blough, co-owner, Woodsbrook Farm, with wife Jessica
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This summer, we're taking a look at some of the small farms and urban gardens you'll only find in Goshen! More stories to come through September.
Written and edited by Wendy Wilson
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