V Riva and Laura Smith raise Certified Grassfed by AGW sheep and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle at Stark Hollow Farm in Caledonia County, Vermont.
Stark Hollow Farm was born from a vision to return to the land while V and Laura were both living in Oakland, California, in the mid-2000s, having spent many years working in corporate America. In 2006, their yearning led them east to Vermont, Laura’s home state, where they purchased their first three Icelandic ewes and a ram lamb. Soon after, they bought an old 78-acre farmstead in Danville, where they now manage a flock of around 55 Icelandic sheep and America Milking Devon beef cattle.
The sheep and cattle at Stark Hollow Farm are rotationally grazed on pasture in the warm growing seasons and over-winter outdoors with local organic grass hay and natural legumes. “We believe the fresh air, the sun, the outdoor activity and exercise contribute to our sheep and cattle being healthier and stronger,” explains V. “All this results in very happy critters and eventually translates into more and better wool, leaner and tastier meat, and flavorful products.” Both the sheep and beef cattle at Stark Hollow Farm are Certified Grassfed by AGW. This is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees that food products originate from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage fed, raised outdoors on pastures or the range for their entire lives, and are managed according to the highest welfare and environmental standards on an independent family farm.
V and Laura are passionate about sustainability and minimizing the farm’s environmental footprint: “Our mission is to create and manage a small farm in sync with nature, producing healthy, sustainable farm products from animals whose quality of life is our passion,” says Laura. “Our animals have been selected as suitable for the climate and geography of Vermont, and we pay special attention to soil, plant and nutritional needs of these beautiful animals. We maintain land use optimization and sustainability through rotational grazing, promoting symbiotic livestock relationships, and employing methods of sustainable building and resource development to support our mission.”
V and Laura would like to refine their operation to focus on added specialty meat products, an expanded wool and fiber products line, and a more diversified wholesale and retail operation.
Stark Hollow Farm’s Certified Grassfed by AGW beef and lamb is available direct from the farm, as well as seasonally at select retail stores and farmers’ markets. For more information about Stark Hollow Farm, visit www.starkhollowfarm.com, or contact V and Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-734-0180. Follow Stark Hollow Farm on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StarkHollowFarm and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/starkhollowfarm/.