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Farm History

cow in Fletchers Fields

When Bob & Cheryl Fletcher moved to Southampton, Mass. in March of 1989 they recall a friend commenting that there were more cows in Southampton than people and at the time it was true! There were thirteen operating dairy farms in town but today, in 2010, the Fletchers are one of two remaining dairy farms. The Fletcher’s found the farm with the help of the state’s Agricultural Preservation Program after Bob’s family’s farm in Westford, MA was sold for development in the late 80’s. After moving from the eastern part of the state with then two year old Nicole in tow, along with 100 or so heifers and farm equipment, the Fletcher’s started by purchasing an entire herd of milking cows from a neighboring farm who was discontinuing dairying. After leasing the farm for several years, Bob & Cheryl purchased the farm in March of 1995. Today, the farm consists of 100 acres, 125 holstein and jersey cows shipping milk to Agri-Mark. In addition to the cows and milk production the Fletcher’s operate a successful retail business at their farm, most notably pick-your-own pumpkins in the fall which started when the Fletcher children were small.

Third and Fourth Generation

third and fourth generation dairy farmers

Many people ask why dairy farming, so much work, 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Bob is a third generation dairy farmer who is passionate about his cows and would not dream of doing anything else! It is not a profession but a way of life. He loves teaching the many school children who visit the farm about the cows and has passed down his love of dairying to his children, Nicole, Elizabeth & Matthew. All three Fletcher children have grown up participating in Massachusetts 4-H, breed associations, showing their cows at local, state and regional fairs. Nicole recently earned her dairy science degree in college and has returned full-time to work alongside her Dad.

Agriculture Preservation Program (APR)

tractor

The farm on Gunn Road is protected under the state’s APR Program and is a recent grant recipient from the Agricultural Improvement Program which is committing funds to capital improvements on farms for long term succession. It is an exciting time on the farm to be building a new facility for their dairy herd.