Joneslan Farm was once home to more than 500 cows. But soon some 1,500 goats will take their place as the Hyde Park farm becomes a goat milk supplier for Vermont Creamery.
Goat milk production has been increasing in the Green Mountain State for five years as consumption of goat cheese has been steadily rising. Meanwhile, according to the Vermont State Agency of Agriculture, Vermont has lost 25 dairy farms in the last four months.
Steve and Brian Jones, the fifth-generation owners of the Joneslan Farm, decided the only way to compete with other dairy farmers is to grow their own operation.
“It’s certainly going to be a learning curve for us, it’s a different animal. it’s the same but different, you still milk them twice a day it’s certainly a different animal to care for than a cow is,” said Brian Jones.
The prices, production, and consumption of cow’s milk had already been decreasing for years. Combine that with COVID-19, and the brothers decided they need to make a change.
“We did a business plan with UVM Extension and the numbers certainly look good if they pan out the way they should,” said Steve Jones. “We are getting with the transition we are getting some help from the work and lands grant program so we got a grant from them to help out with the transition.”
The brothers say they’re excited and optimistic about the arrival of their new coworkers.