Graywood Farms, LLC,
Family Members: R. Steven and Victoria Graybeal and their children, who farm with them, Lisa Graybeal; and Byron Graybeal and his wife, Carol, and their children, Nathan and Claire.
Number of Milking Cows: 720
How long have you been involved in dairy farming?
I grew up on the family farm and worked there until leaving for college in Boston. After college and a 10-year stint in newspaper journalism, I returned to the farm.
What inspired you to become a dairy farmer?
Dairy farming is something I’ve known all of my life and I enjoy the daily challenges. But I most enjoy working with my family to accomplish our business goals. Cows are pretty neat animals, too!
What’s your favorite part about being a dairy farmer?
My favorite part about being a dairy farmer is being a part of continuing our family tradition. My grandparents established our farm in 1942. I have watched our farm grow into a efficient farming model over the years as the second and now third generations have taken over. I love the idea that we are farming the same ground my grandparents did but with methods and technology that are consistent with having a successful modern dairy farm today. Perhaps one day I will see my nephew and niece return to the farm.
Share your favorite farm family memory.
There are so many memories, but probably one of the favorites is when we moved in to our new barn and milking facility 12 years ago. My family decided to expand the herd and build to accommodate up to 700 cows from about 450. We also installed a double-15, parallel milking parlor. I remember the day in January when we herded our milking cows up the hill from our old facility into the new one. How nice and clean and new everything was! It was so much fun to watch the cows snort and sniff in their new surroundings. But it took a lot of persuasion to get them to enter the new milking parlor.
Questions answered by Steven Graybeal.