The design is unmistakable. You can’t help but notice the newly plaid-painted barn at Dellavale Farm in the Mohawk Valley region of the New York State of the Thruway. In celebration of the farm’s 100-year history, and Cabot Cheese’s own upcoming Centennial, Cabot chose the farm’s barn to feature its signature red-and-black plaid. Cheese lovers excitedly recognize it as Seriously Sharp Cheddar.
Dellavale Farm belongs to fourth generation dairy farmer Terri Phillips and her husband, Tom Nelson. The couple milks about 45 cows, with help from nieces and nephews. The farm was established in 1918. The barn has been in the family even longer. “It’s a 1903 barn,” says Terri, “and before the Thruway was built and opened, the barn was part of my grandmother’s family farm, which was later sold under eminent domain.” The barn was moved and eventually sided with red. Even so, until the barn’s makeover in August 2018, the couple called it the “gray” barn, by its original color. Now it’s the “plaid” barn, she says.
The project was quite the undertaking, Terri says. Her nephew, Kyle Nelson, painted the undercoating, then artist Abby Manock and her team took over to complete the mural. It covers two whole sides of the barn. Seven days later, the barn was transformed. “It was awesome to see. It came out pretty amazing!” says Terri.
“Dairy farming is something I grew up with and it’s something that I hope we can keep doing,” says Terri.
The couple, part of the Cabot Creamery Co-op family for the last 10 years, is grateful to Cabot for the barn makeover and the co-op’s acknowledgement and appreciation of their hard work. “Dairy farming is something I grew up with and it’s something that I hope we can keep doing,” says Terri, whose family is among the two percent of farmers left in the nation.
The barn is already drawing admiration and support for dairy farms. Near and far, people have made lots of positive comments about the barn, says Terri, and it’s helped open-up conversations about what farmers do, how they do it, and why they do it.
Terri and Tom plan on having the additional two sides of the barn painted in plaid next spring.
You can spot Dellavale Farm’s plaid barn from the Pattersonville Service Area, along the New York State Thruway, between the Schenectady and Amsterdam exits.