We’re having a Cow! It’s Calving Season at Red Gate Farm…
Spring is a sacred season on any farm. Produce farms can finally put their seeds in the warm ground, chicks are hatching from eggs, and livestock graze on lush spring pastures. At Red Gate Farm, spring arrives with a hundreds of babies mooing.
Located down the road from Kriemhild Dairy in Hamilton, NY, Red Gate Farm is our sole milk supplier for our seasonal Meadow Butter. It is the second-largest grazing dairy in New York State and is owned and run by the Rivington family who practice holistic grazing management for over more than 1,500 acres of land.
The typical dairy farm produces milk year-round, meaning that calves are born throughout the year on a staggered schedule. Being a seasonal dairy, Red Gate Farm goes about breeding and parturition differently. All the cows at Red Gate are bred in the same span of time and therefore give birth in one short period at the beginning of spring. As you can imagine, it is the busiest time of the year on the farm.
The dairy farm lingo for a cow that has given birth is “fresh”. At Red Gate Farm over 350 cows freshen over a two month period. At this time, the farm transitions to a maternity ward. It is the birth of the calves that begins the cows’ natural lactation which will peak through the bountiful grazing season and continue until December.
On Saturday, April 28th, Red Gate Farm is hosting Calving Day.
Calving Day will run from 11am-3pm at Red Gate Farm, 730 state route 12B, Hamilton, NY. This is a free, family friendly event sure to entertain and educate visitors of all ages. Calving Day will be filled with farm tours, up-close calf interactions, door prizes, and kid's activities. The Bueno Tacos Truck and other brunch fare will be available for purchase. At 3pm, visitors can watch the daily milking of the herd in Red Gate Farm's unique open air milking parlor.
Whether or not you have visited the farm before, Calving Day will be a great time to make a trip. It will be a special event highlighting the natural cycle and processes that surround seasonal grass-fed dairy farming. We encourage anyone who wants to know more about where their food comes from to join us at the farm to celebrate the start of the season.
As the Butter Churns
Author: Ellen Fagan
Farm and Outreach Coordinator