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Westmeadow Dairy
Address: 251 North Comrie Ave Canajoharie , NY, 12095
Email Address: admin@westmeadowfarm.com
Phone: 518-705-4562
About Us
Westmeadow Farm is so much more than just a farm. When owners Tom & Patricia Vaughan decided to throw their lot into upstate NY, their vision was much broader than simply milking their Jersey cattle. It was also much bigger than just making cheese from that milk. For Tom, Westmeadow Farm is a way of life. It is serving plants, animals and soils with the respect they deserve. It is educating a community that has drifted nutritionally from the beaten path our ancestors forged for us. But ultimately, it is respecting Nature and the bounty she has given us.

An Irish native, Tom unwittingly set off on this path when in the early 90's, his infant son began showing severe skin allergies after moving to the US. Back then the internet simply didn't have the masses of information it has today, so Tom and Patricia made it their mission to find a cure for their son the old fashioned way, wearing out shoe leather, lots of reading and conversation with really knowledgeable naturopaths. After a long search, they finally had their surprising answer; their son was allergic to processed corn. This may have sounded like a simple treatment fix, but when they thought about it, SO MANY THINGS are made, lined with or contain processed corn - not regular sweet corn you’d find on the Thanksgiving table; the genetically modified highly processed variety.

This revelation brought Tom back to his childhood on his grandfather’s farm in Ireland. Tom’s grandfather was part of the generation who witnessed the change from natural fertilizer, typically seaweed and cow manure, to what he called “artificial” fertilizer – the current generation petro chemical based nitrogen intensive granular variety. Use of the latter grew exponentially in the late 1960’s and exploded from the 1970’s onwards. Early results looked almost miraculous in terms of bountiful crop yields, which fueled great confidence in “artificial”. To be fair, few were thinking about, or measuring the impact these intensive products and practices were having on the soil microbiology, flora and fauna in the longer term, with the exception of a small number of distinguished pioneers such Dr. Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring" in 1962.

By the late 1970’s, it was becoming increasingly apparent that year on year, more “artificial” was needed to achieve the same crop yield. Then a newer phenomenon – the crops were less hardy than before, exhibiting less disease resistance than before and ultimately, even with ever increasing fertilizer inputs, the crop yields plataeu'd and some began to decline, as did the wildlife count. Tom vividly remembers his Grandfather lamenting the disappearance of the Corn Crake from their barley fields, although he was too young to realize the significance of that at the time. The current awareness of the dreadful dead zones off the Gulf of Mexico, and other river outlets, largely proven to be farm run off of concentrated nitrogen and phosphorus materials, is evidence of the real, longer term harm the use of “artificial” is causing. It’s a topic that should concern every citizen on the planet.
Practices
OUR FARM:
Located in rural Canajoharie, NY, Westmeadow Farm boasts a milking herd of 150 Jersey cows. We treat our animals, plants and soils with the reverence Nature demands, giving us the means to create exquisite products for our customers.
CONDITIONS:
The herd lives and roams freely between fresh luscious pasture and a comfy compost bedded pack.
The cows are milked using an automated state-of-the-art robotic system, which we know they prefer!
True herd association and socialization is achieved when combining the robotic milking system with the bedded pack and fresh outdoor pastures, substantially lowering cow stress levels, lameness and other common health woes. A healthier, happier herd!
Our colleagues can better utilize their time focusing on both the health and well-being of the herd as well as their own.