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Family Farm Dairy Business Booming
During a time when small to medium-size dairies are caught in a hard place between lower milk prices, higher-priced equipment and land, and a dwindling labor base, Shaw Farm Dairy in Dracut, Mass. has found a solid niche. Warren Shaw says the pandemic has increased their dairy and food home delivery business 200 percent since March, 2020 and he doesn’t see it dropping off anytime soon.
Shaw notes that when the pandemic first hit, people stayed home and welcomed a reliable source of milk, meat and dairy products, delivered to their homes. Pre-pandemic their farm handled deliveries with one van, but the uptick in demand since March required a second van, and he’s already looking for another one.
Shaw’s vehicles deliver milk, ice cream and meat once a week to customers in 15 villages near the dairy, which is about 40 minutes northwest of Boston. Milk from the 100-cow Shaw Farm herd is processed at their own plant. About half of it is sold in glass bottles, which are re-used, and some of their milk is certified organic. Customers order online, pay by credit card.
“We’ve always raised excellent cattle, grown our own feed, taken great care of the land and provided an excellent environment for our herd so they produce well,” Shaw says. The Shaw operation owns about 160 acres, rents small parcels nearby, and is financially self-sufficient.
While other operations have closed or sold to developers, Shaw sees their farm as a permanent fixture in the community. Visitors are welcome to tour the barn and bottling facilities during special events.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Shaw Farm Dairy, 204 New Boston Road, Dracut, Mass. 01826 (ph 978 957-0031; www.shawfarm.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1