This is the story of how to sailors became dairy farmers. Stacy grew up riding golf trucks. And so he always knew he wanted to do something in the dairy industry. I had never done anything like that, but I was willing to learn. In 2010, we found 40 acres north of Chula. There’s a wonderful property with lots of potentials. That first year we camped on the farm and then the farm waited. The next year we built a little shack and lived in that. Little did I know how much building was in my future. This was a cozy place to stay as we worked on projects while going back and forth from wherever Stacey was stationed. And the farm waited. In the meantime, we acquired equipment. Most of it required a little work. The first and most important improvement we made to the farm was getting water. We sought out learning opportunities on other people’s diaries. We had our farm plowed and seeded to grass.
Our first crop was weedy rained-on hay, but it was our weedy rained-on hay and we were proud of it. And the farm waited. We even took a trip to the island of Jersey to see where the jersey cows came from. Then we did more for things like soil samples. In 2013 we made some great improvements on our farm, including installing the windmill and building our machine shed pole barn. We continued to work on other dairies in visiting and talking with other dairy farmers. And the farm waited. We got the land certified organic, and then we built some fences, a lot of fences,s and all that old equipment we’ve been acquiring, it was time to start fixing it up. We overseeded some pastures, planted some trees, got a weather station from the University of Virginia got a brand new shiny tractor. We harvest some hay. We lost some hay to the rain, and the farm waited.
We learned a lot about the different wildlife and plants on our farm. We even did a workshop learning about driving draft horses. We work some more on our buildings and painted lots and lots of painting. We finally got making hay down and put up a good crop. All the while Stacey was in the Coast Guard and moved around and continue to work and network with other farmers. And the farm waited. We bought 12 1971 Kenworth, which was one of my dad’s old milk trucks. And we got septic installed Virginia was very excited about that. We worked on other projects that would bide our time. And then, before we knew it, it was time to design and build our house. As a side note, Virginia vowed never to do concrete again. And the farm waited. Finally, after years of planning and hard work, it was time to bring light to the farm.
And we started with our four jersey cattle. We put up a good crop of hay and addition was added to the house. And we were excited to have my mom moved to the farm. The calves became this TV his teenage heifers and we made it through the winter and the farm waited. The heifers continued to grow. And then we needed to build a barn. After 20 long years in the Coast Guard, I finally retired and I’m looking forward to many years ahead as a dairy farmer. We’re excited to be launching our new dairy business this summer and are very happy that the farm no longer has to wait.