1. How did you get into farming? Andy - As a kid we always had a few animals growing up. I lived near the Hayes family dairy farm, pretty much grew up there as a kid. So animals were always a part of my life.
Aimee - My mother's father was a dairy and Hereford beef farmer in South Windsor. One aunt and uncle had Herefords and I fell in love with them. As a child, I loved Sunday afternoon trips to South Windsor and always hoped that I could help Uncle Jack with chores. I showed dairy cows leased from the Hayes Family as a 4-H'er (there is a story behind this, ask me about it). We moved to Loomis Street into Andy's childhood home and Stephen bought two Saanens from Dorothy Hayes and everything took off from there.
2. What's your favorite product/service that you produce? Having animals for 4-H'ers to lease who would otherwise not have an agricultural experience. We also like eating local farm raised meat and being able to provide this meat to the community.
3. What will your farm look like in ten years? About the same as it does now, hopefully with a new barn and less goats.
4. How does the community benefit from agriculture? Open spaces, fresh meat and produce, basically agriculture provides the food that is consumed three times a day or more.
5. From whom did you learn the most when you were getting started? Dorothy and Stanley Hayes plus their children have been consistently supportive of all our efforts. When we started with the first Hereford, Andy's oldest brother Rodney, farm manager at Delaware Valley College, provided a wealth of knowledge.
6. What do you wish more people knew about farming? How many hours it consumes and how hard the work is. No matter the weather, the animals need to be taken care of at least two times a day. They need to be fed and have fresh water to drink.
7. What's on your farm's wish list? A new barn! A tractor sure would be nice too.
8. What's the biggest issue facing agriculture today? The weather disruptions affect the price of grain which then effects the prices of goods sold. When locally raised products are sold, consumers do not understand that they are paying more for products due to the freshness and quality of the product.
9. What's next at your farm? Baby goats, some calves and hopefully an early spring that will bring piglets.
10. What's the most amazing thing you've seen on your farm? Sharing in the miracle of birth and watching the new born animals rise to their feet so quickly.
11. What's the best thing about farming in Granby? For the most part the community understands farming and the benefits that farming brings to the community. The community is interested in learning about farming.