Dairy Farm expands herd with 7 Wildcats

It’s 5:30 p.m. Farm chores are done for the day, but the  farmers are still in the barn. They are waiting and as they do, they scrape some stalls, push up feed, and pat a few cows on their heads. A truck towing a trailer pulls into the yard, after a three hour haul, to drop off the newest residents of Barstow’s Longview Farm. The trailer backs into the barn, the gate held aside. The door opens and silently, yet sure footedly, seven Wildcats join the dairy herd. 

The University of New Hampshire in Durham is home to many Wildcats, and also The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center. The campus dairy farm has about 90 milking-age cows and approximately 70 growing, replacement animals. In order to expand our herd, Barstow’s Longview Farm purchased seven of these up-and-coming milking cows.

The heifers are all healthy, pregnant, and UNH Wildcat alumni. 

Barstow’s Longview Farm has been in operation since 1806 and is run by sixth and seventh generation Barstows. This innovative dairy farm uses five robotic milkers to milk and monitor their herd of 300 dairy girls. That nutritious, local milk is picked up by the Cabot AgriMark Cooperative every other day, made into Cabot products, and shipped to regional grocery stores. Barstow’s Longview Farm cares for a herd of 600, stewards 450 acres of crop land, produces 7,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually with an anaerobic digester, and leads more than 200 farm tours by appointment each year. 

It typically takes two weeks for a new cow to settle in with her herd and surroundings, but these Wildcats were thriving in just a few days.

Barstow’s Longview Farm must be a good habitat for Wildcats–these cows aren’t the only ones on the property!

Seventh generation farmer Denise Barstow, UNH Class of ‘14 along with her partner, Dylan Manz, UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics Class of ‘13, are Wildcats too. 

Denise left the farm for UNH and thought she’d never look back. While in the Granite State, Denise built on the core farm value of hard work. Sometimes a little distance, a worthy challenge, and an amazing community will point you right back in the direction you came.

There’s no place like home in the opinion of Denise and Dylan, who settled in at Barstow’s Longview Farm just two years ago. Dylan works as a Business Analyst for a local property development company (building density instead of building onto farmland!) and Denise is back to her roots. In addition to the farm, the family runs Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, which serves up a local lunch, working breakfast, amazing baked goodies, and an assortment of local crafts and grocery items. You can usually find Denise in the store, feeding the calves, or soaking-up everything her hometown has to offer. 

Even though she didn’t study Animal Science in school, the fact that UNH had a dairy program was an important factor in Denise’s decision to head north.

Raised on a family farm committed to animal care, land stewardship, and engaging with their community, UNH felt just like home for the daughter of a dairy farmer.

Fairchild Dairy at UNH has received numerous Milk Quality Awards, been cited as a Dairy of Distinction, and is a national leader in milk production quality. These may not be the types of credentials a high school senior is searching for in a college, but Denise knew that an institution closely connected with the land is one that honors tradition, discipline, and hard work. 

We have been brimming with joy to have these new arrivals on the farm! We are glad to share our story with our community.

Dairy farming is an important part of our New England cultural heritage–and our regional food system. It connects us with the land, with our roots, and sometimes even with our alma mater!

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