Lin Huntington Reflects on Lifelong Success in Dairy Industry

Spending his entire life on a farm, Linwood Huntington, owner of CR Farms in Newbury, VT, is a veteran in the dairy business. His father began the family business in the 1930s and he has continued the tradition of dairy farming ever since. In 1954, Huntington purchased his first farm in partnership with his father. Following in the same footsteps, he, along with his own son, bought CR Farm in 1988.

Originally, CR Farm had only Ayrshire cattle, but since those early days, the farm has expanded to include Holstein and Lineback breeds as well. Today, CR Farm has 90 cattle, made up of 61 Ayrshires, 25 Holsteins, and four Linebacks. The addition of the Holstein and Lineback breeds were not part of the original plan, however. “We only took the Holsteins in for a friend, but then decided to add the breed to the farm,” says Huntington.

After 29 years of dairy farming, this spring will signal a new direction for CR Farm, and they will be selling off their cattle. The sale will take place at CR Farm, located at 3661 Route 5 North, Newbury, Vermont on Saturday, April 29. Beginning at 11 a.m., it will conclude when the last cow is sold.

While the sale of the cows was not an easy decision, Huntington realizes that without an heir to pass down the family tradition of dairy farming, the farm must change its focus. Once the cows are sold, CR Farms will turn their business model to focus on raising crops for other farmers.

Huntington expects the sale to go well, especially for the Ayrshires. The breed is one of the most cost-effective for dairy farmers thanks to their excellent milk production and adaptability to cold climates and rugged environments. They produce milk high in fat and protein, making them ideal for cheese-making. They also reproduce easily, are known for their longevity, and are typically free from genetic disease.

Ayrshires are smart, too. “My cows learn very quickly what you want them to do,” Huntington says. “We have bred them to be good at production. They are healthy, well taken care of, and gentle animals.”

While the sale is bittersweet, Huntington reflects back on his life in the dairy business with a smile in his voice, “We are proud of our cows. We have done well.”