LE ROY, N.Y. (WROC) — The family farm is still alive and well across the region, but as the years have gone on, more changes are being made to how these farms operate.
“98 percent of dairy farms are owned by families, the problem is we’re getting bigger. It’s just about consolidation if we can do more with less,” said Natasha Sutherland, a third-generation dairy farmer.
Sutherland now owns the farm she grew up on in Genesee County and has helped bring new practices and perspectives to how the farm is run thanks to her time studying at Cornell and abroad.
She spent 7 years working and living in New Zealand, where she said she learned how to be the farmer and manager she wanted to be.
During that time she was also witnessing a massive growth in the technology available to farmers. The new technology helps to ensure her herd is eating, drinking, and happy on the farm, while also working to track the cow’s health to ensure the disease doesn’t enter the herd, noting that biosecurity is one of the most important aspects of modern farming.
Outside of her day-to-day duties on the farm, Sutherland takes pride in the fact that a lot of her product goes right back into western New York. For many, even though they’ve never heard of Stein Farms, they’ve consumed milk from it.
“If you’ve ever eaten a piece of pizza, you had my milk. We go to the Sorrento plant in Buffalo almost every day of the week and we go right into a shredded mozzarella line, which then feeds out to Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Mark’s Pizzeria, it all is locally consumed,” said Sutherland.