Dairy farm celebrates 300th anniversary
Source: American Dairy Association North East
Montgomery County, NY - The year is 1723. The Queen of England deeds Warner Dygert 50 acres of land in Palatine Bridge, New York. He turns it into a dairy farm. More than a half-century later, Dygert Farms burned in battle on October 19, 1780, during the American Revolutionary War.
Three hundred years later, Dygert Farms is still going strong. The owners currently caring for the land and continuing the dairy farming legacy, Robby and Shannon Dygert, with their four children, are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: the farm’s tricentennial!
“It’s 13 generations. We’re excited about it and we’re inviting people to come out and visit the farm, experience the store and see what we offer, and we hope the younger generation wants to follow in our footsteps,” says Robby Dygert. Like Dygert Farms, more than 94 percent of dairy farms are family owned and operated.
Robby and Shannon, with the help of their children, milk about 300 cows, mostly Holsteins, and farm about 650 acres dedicated to crops. “It’s very important for our family to take care of the land so that it’s here for future generations,” Shannon says.
“Here at Dygert Farms, we’re all about fresh and local. We grow 75 percent of the feed right here on the farm,” Robby says. Even more important to the family is quality, every step of the way. “Quality is number one here on our farm. Making sure that the land can provide the feed for our animals so that cows can provide that high quality milk that we pride ourselves on,” Shannon says.
The Dygerts also bottle their own milk in a processing facility they built in 2019. “Our milk is very fresh, it’s very local and it goes from cows to consumers in 24 hours or less,” Shannon says. Consumers can confidently reach for a glass of milk, with its 13 nutrients per serving, and know they’re getting quality milk.
Just two years into processing their own milk, the Dygerts received the silver medal for top quality at the 2022 New York State Fair.
In addition, the Dygerts deliver milk to over 70 local stores and offer home delivery. “The customers can go right online, place their order and get the delivery the following week,” Robby says.
“When I grow up, I want to do the dairy business and bottle milk and stuff that my parents do,” says the Dygert family’s oldest son, 10-year-old Dylan. Robby and Shannon are doing everything to ensure the farm continues to thrive in hopes that their children choose careers in dairy farming.
“It’s very important for us to leave not only the land but this dairy farm for our future generations, for our kids to be able to come back and work on the farm so it can be a 14th generation, or 15th generation farm with their children,” Shannon says.
And maybe, just maybe, the farm will see future generations of Dygerts celebrate the farm’s quadricentennial anniversary.