In the heart of the Berkshires, the 1500 unspoiled acres of High Lawn Farm provide an idyllic setting to raise our Jersey herd and produce our Jersey milk and milk products.
We grow most of the feed for our cows at the farm: Corn, alfalfa and grass are the main crops supporting the health and nutrition of our Jerseys. Our herd enjoys the pastures from late spring through late fall, or as long as the grass is growing here in the Berkshires.
Our Jerseys eat well, and they eat a lot! A Jersey cow’s basic ration may contain grass, alfalfa, hay, haylage, corn silage, minerals and grain.
We plant corn, alfalfa and grass annually as an essential part of their feed.
We use 100% of our cow manure as a fertilizer for our corn and forage crops, and when needed supplement manure fertilization with commercial fertilizers to perfectly balance the needs of the soil for healthy crop production.
The entire herd receives regular attention from our veterinarian and our nutritionist to ensure the feed ration is in balance for each individual’s health.
We do not use any synthetic growth hormones, commonly known as rBST hormones, to increase our milk production.
We do not use any animal byproducts in our cows’ diet.
In the rare instances a cow is ill, she is separated from the herd, and just as you would for your sick child, an antibiotic may be prescribed. No milk is used until her system is clear of all trace of antibiotic.
Our cows are milked at will. And “at will” really means at the cow’s choosing! Our state-of- the-art Lely Astronaut robotic milking system allows for the cows to be milked, gently and quickly, when they are ready. They line up on their own, and there is always a line waiting patiently. They receive a snack while they are there. See a video of the cows at the Lely, above.
A recent New York Times article illustrates the benefits of the system. The farm described in the article, in upstate New York, has seen the same results from installing the robotic system that we have—our Jerseys are happier, more relaxed and playful, and we actually get to spend more time with them, rather than, as the farmer in the article says, at their hind end milking!
We also have robots—they look a little like a modified R2-D2, but they don’t talk!—that help us clean and nudge food to the cows.
Our Jerseys are part of our family and they:
- have waterbeds to sleep on
- have their udders cleaned with every milking
- graze seasonally (remember, we live in the Northeast!!)
- are never given rBST
- are given antibiotics only when absolutely necessary
- have some of the best views in the Berkshires—or anywhere!
Because we take such good care of our herd, our cows have a life expectancy that is twice that of many other dairy farms. The beautiful Berkshires and fresh air likely contribute to their longevity.
The High Lawn Way is happy, healthy, award-winning Jersey cattle, since 1923.