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Following the lead of their parents whose farm was protected a year earlier, the three Ziehm brothers conserved their newly acquired farm in order to be able to realize the dream of farming in Washington County.
Tiashoke Farms began a partnership with ASA in 2004. Three years later, owners Frank and Terry Ziehm conserved their 244-acre farm in Buskirk. This year in September, their sons followed suit and protected their 343-acre farm in Easton.
In 2001, after their three sons Brian, Eric, and Stuart graduated from Cornell and returned to farm with their parents in Buskirk, the need to grow their family business became readily apparent. They would need to produce more milk in order to provide the quality of life they sought, which meant more cows and more land to grow feed.
Their nutritionist told the Ziehms about Jack Lundberg, a farmer who was milking 150 cows in Easton and wanted to retire. “The farm had high quality soils,” Brian recalls. “It was also located in a strong community with a rich agricultural base that we recognized as having long term potential and an opportunity for us to reach the public.”
Tiashoke Farms Part Two: A Sequel as Good as the Original
Brian, Eric, and Stuart purchased the farm and its cattle that same year with the intention of protecting the farmland.“From the start, conserving the land was a key component to our business plan,” Stuart said, “and by doing so, it allowed three young brothers with little equity to purchase a farm on our own and realize the dream of farming here in Washington County.”
Today, Tiashoke Farms milks 500 cows. Mature dairy cows are housed and milked in Buskirk, while the Easton farm has the young-stock and replacement heifers, as well as a pumpkin stand.
Working with Washington County, ASA successfully applied for a combination of state and federal funding to conserve the Easton farm.
“Land is the backbone of any productive farm,” Eric explained. “You can have dreams of growing and expanding, but it can’t happen if the land isn’t there.We were very fortunate to have been able to purchase this farm when we did and protect its productive soils from development.”
“We looked into several organizations but most of them were interested in preserving the land for open space and not productive farm use. That’s where ASA is different,” said Brian. “ASA has a strong, long-term mission and is dedicated to agriculture in our community, not just the land.”
Thanks to the commitment and forward thinking of the Ziehm family, the land they rely on for their family business will also be an asset to the members of their community forever.
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