In 1979, Southborough, MA. with the help of a state grant purchased 88 acres of mostly former orchard. In order to keep invasive plant from completely overwhelming the entire orchard, the farmer Ray Davis purchased some belted galloway cattle to police about 30 acres of the orchard. By 2004, Farmer Davis was wheel chair bound and unable to manage the cattle so we had started a non-profit to help and took over the management of the herd. He passed away the following year and so me and my wife decided to purchase what was left of the farm and continue the lease and the herd. Neither of us had farm experience so it has been a fairly steep learning curve. We were able to get a USDA grant, Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) to clear out the invasive plants outside the cow pasture. We now run about 20 cows and sell about 5 per year to cover (most) costs. We started a community garden with about 60-70 families participating. Along the way we have had many young (and older) people come through the farm. We host a department of youth services (DYS) group who earn credits to go on field trips. Ours is one of their most popular trips and we have been impressed by how respectful the boys have been. While participation is never compulsory we have done some of the following projects with these kids, dry laid stone walls, split rail fencing, electric fencing, cattle management and sorting, fruit tree pruning, composting, feeding and care of livestock.
Our mission is local sustainable food production, community participation and education. While I work full time, my hope is to more formally establish an education program. I hope to find models here to be able to use. Any suggestions are welcome and I welcome anyone to come see our farm.