Hello, we are the Finch Family. We are a small family farm in Marathon, NY. The farm is owned and operated by me, Dakota Finch, and my 4 children: Memphis, Weston, Aspen, and Carson. I started my farming adventure in November 2017.You may ask, how did I come to farming? Well, I grew up on my grandpa's small dairy farm, throwing...or dragging hay bales at a young age then working near full time through high school and beyond. At Grandpa's we milked about 60 cows and harvested a couple hundred acres of hay and corn. It was there that my passion for farming and livestock began. I never thought I would be a full time farmer. I always said whatever I ended up doing: mechanic, teacher, police officer, whatever it was going to be I would have a small hobby farm.After high school and a year of college I joined the United States Air Force in March 2010. My first duty station was in South Carolina. My first two kids, Memphis and Weston, were born there. As an F16 aircraft mechanic I was deployed to South Korea and Jordan. It was during my time in Jordan that I figured out what it was I wanted to do with my life. I was going to be a farmer. I discovered organic farming, grassfed livestock, and regenerative agriculture in my search for how I was going to make farming a profitable reality in the current farm economy. A farm economy where the farmer receives on average just fourteen cents on the dollar for products sold into the commodity market.I made plans to separate from the Air Force to ultimately become a diversified livestock farmer. During my last year in active duty service I went to South Korea. After coming home in January of 2016 I enrolled in classes at SUNY Cobleskill where I would eventually get my Bachelors Degree in Animal Science in December 2017. I also joined the New York Air National Guard, doing maintenance on C130 aircraft. Oh, I almost forgot, my youngest two were born in the summer of 2017. Twins were a surprise but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Aspen and Carson are amazing.In November of 2017 I started to farm in South New Berlin, NY. I was milking 24 cows, shipping milk to Maple Hill Creamery. I would not have been able to start farming without the great generosity of a good friend, the owner of the farm that we leased in South New Berlin. I met her during my college internship. When I found out she may be interested in selling her cows and leasing her farm in the near future I began to get excited at the prospects of getting a good, solid start into farming. She was so very generous and willing to work with me and to get me on my feet. I am eternally grateful.
After two years at the farm in South New Berlin we were milking 32 cows and raising pastured pigs and selling meat. That was when I was able to buy the farm in Marathon, NY.
We are focusing on regenerating soil and improving our land through regenerative agriculture, holistic management, organic practices, and grass-fed and pastured livestock.
Currently we have 40 dairy cows and 35 replacements of many different breeds including Jerseys, Linebacks, Shorthorns, Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, and Holsteins. While the farm began with a dairy herd I knew that I wanted it to be diversified. I began to raise a few beef animals along side the dairy herd as well as pigs and a brief stint with chickens.
The pig experience began in January 2018 with just two little piglets. We raised one for our own freezer and one for future breeding purposes. After not getting the female bred we decided to sell her and stick with raising piglets up to butchering age and size. In January 2019 we got our second batch of piglets, this time 4 of them. After that went well, we once again doubled our numbers and raised 8 in the summer of 2019. This 2020 season we plan to raise 12 pigs at the new farm with hopes of growing even more in the future.
During the grazing season (May-November) the cows are rotated to new pasture every 12-24 hours and they do not return to the previous spot for 30-45 days. This rest allows the grass to regrow, both above the ground and below. The above ground growth is used as forage for the cows and the below ground growth(the roots) remain in the soil as carbon. Thus, we use the cows to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, all while getting high quality milk and beef.
The pigs are raised on pasture and in the woods with ample amount of room to roam and express their natural pigness. What is their natural pigness? It is foraging for food, eating grasses and other forbes, finding and eating bugs in the soil. We are careful not to leave the pigs in the same spot for too long. We rotate them to a new pasture, much like we do the cows in order to prevent destruction of the soil in their pastures and wooded areas. Our pigs also eat some of our grassfed organic milk and have free choice Non-GMO hog feed available at all times.
What is bulk meat sales? Bulk/half or whole is a hog bought by a customer and cut to the exact specifications of the buyer. A whole pig equates to about 200 pounds of meat in the freezer. Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter for availability of bulk pork and pork by the pound.
We have been selling grass fed organic ground beef right here on our website and at a farmers market or two since Spring of 2019. We now have our beef and pork available for sale online. In 2020 we plan to make a monthly appearance at the farmers markets in Homer and Oxford.
Our goal is to continue to diversify and provide our valued customers with more and more options in the future. Those possibilities include fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, chicken, eggs, rabbit, lamb, raw milk, and goat.
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