Coon Brothers Dairy LLC
We are family oriented, we care about the people who work here. We strive to make sure everyone is happy, the cows and the people. We milk at 3 in the morning and at 2 in the afternoon, so that everyone can get home to their families for dinner.
– Andrew Coon
As a recent graduate of the Animal Sciences program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, Andrew has studied the dairy industry in depth. Combined with having grown up on his family’s stunning Smithfield Valley farm, currently operated by three generations of Coons, that gives him considerable perspective.
“At Cornell, we focused a lot on getting highest production, greatest health, longest life. Those help us decrease our carbon footprint,” he says. “If we’re going to have cows in the Hudson Valley, where land is limited and costs to the farmer are higher, we need to make them as efficient as possible.”
The Hudson Valley is also an area where people have considerable concern for their environment.
“My family is very progressive on these issues,” Andrew says proudly. “My dad always talks about using best practices to get our carbon emissions down, incorporating new technology that improves efficiency, and because we produce all our own feed, really focusing on soil management, keeping as much organic matter as we can so we can rely on supplemental fertilizers less.”
He sees Hudson Valley Fresh as a model for other small farms to survive and even flourish. “You have an emphasis on cow care and comfort that translates into the quality of the milk, and you have access to urban populations to support it. It’s a model that could be applied other places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, even California.”
Notable Awards and Community Involvement:
- Recipient of the Conservation Farm of the Year Award from the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District in 1977 and 2001.
- Winner of the 2000 New York State Environmental Stewardship Award.
- First farm in Dutchess County to focus on nutrient management.
- Named the “Champion of Conservation” by the Conservation Technology Information Center in 2005.
- The farm has been on the Honor Roll list of the DHIA since 1963, a recognition of their long-standing commitment to milk quality.
- One of the tour stops of the 2004 National Guernsey Convention, host farm of the 2018 New York State Guernsey Picnic.
- Have hosted students from New York City to tour the farm multiple times.
- Family members are active members of Farm Bureau and regularly volunteer for 4H sponsored events.
Coon Brothers Farm