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SUNY Cobleskill Graduate brings “Progressive” and “Successful Ideas to Ghent, NY Angus Beef FarmJune 8, 2018
Brookby Farm: A Family-Owned Raw Milk Operation
In a culture ruled by fierce individualism, powered by industrial agriculture, and characterized by disconnected families, Brookby Farm is an anachronism. The fifth-generation family dairy farm, in eastern Dutchess County’s Harlem Valley, is run by Steve Vincent, his wife Jaime; and their three adult children, Steven, Will, and Elyssa; and supported by a community of countless nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends who volunteer their time. The Vincents’ passion and collective effort has steeled the farm’s future against the caprices of the economy and is paving the way for a long, fulfilling future.
Brookby Farm has been in the Vincent family since the early 1800s, when nearly 400 acres were given to Steve Vincent’s great-great-grandfather as a wedding present. Until 1980, the farm operated as a commercial dairy, with 80 cows. Over the farm’s lifespan, parcels have been sold, leaving 45 acres of pastures, four barns, and the original 1850 farmhouse. While Steve and Jaime’s kids were growing up, the family had a large garden, a single milk cow, and a small operation of beef cows, pigs, and hay, which Steve ran alongside a full-time job at the local gravel bank.
But the milk barn sat idle until 2007, when the Vincent’s younger son Will left Pace University after realizing his life’s calling was to be a dairy farmer. Together, the family decided to reenter the dairy business. Will transferred to SUNY Cobleskill to major in agricultural business management; on weekends, Steve and Jaime travelled throughout the Northeast, buying calves and growing their herd. By the time Will graduated in 2011, they were ready to start milking.
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