The Naughtaveel Farm in North Conway was recently awarded New Hampshire Dairy Farm of the Year by the New England Green Pastures Program. This program started in 1948 to recognize improved pasture management. Now, it acknowledges outstanding accomplishments in business management, crop production, herd performance, environmental practices, and community leadership. They award one winner from each of the New England states annually.
Justin and Julie Hussey operate the Naughtaveel Farm in North Conway, New Hampshire. This was a life-long dream that started when they dated as students at the University of New Hampshire. They were both in the dairy program and wanted to ultimately marry and farm on their own. There was a farm in Justin’s family, but it was not available at the time.
After graduation in 2001, Julie went to work with her brother, Mike Tanguay, in Vermont. Justin began working for Northeast Agricultural Sales in Lyndonville, Vermont, and he became a certified pesticide spray applicator. After a custom heifer raiser closed, they started raising heifers at one of Justin’s grandfather’s farms in North Conway. They began with 13 calves and 20 acres in 2003. In 2007, Al Sherman of East Conway, approached them about buying his herd, and Julie had the bright idea of buying the cows and renting the facilities and they all agreed. The Sherman’s already had established a retail glass bottle business. They hauled their milk to Maine and assisted with the bottling and brought back the bottled milk. Justin and Julie continued with this for the next six years and then Justin’s grandfather’s farm became available for purchase on the other end of town in 2013. It had not been vacant for many years and used for storage, so they had to clean things up, add free-stalls, and recondition the milking parlor.
Now they operate a commercial dairy farm milking 185 cows with 175 head of heifers. The milk is shipped to Agri-Mark. Their herd average is 24,000 with 1,000 pounds of fat and 715 pounds of protein.
Justin and Julie work as a team and hire three employees. They raise 250 acres of corn and 250 acres of hay crop. The farm is in the Saco River Valley in the beautiful Mount Washington region.
Animal care and comfort is Julie’s area of interest as well as Justin’s, who also focuses on raising quality crops with an emphasis on environmental preservation and following Best Management Practices.
In addition to the dairy operation, the Hussey’s also have 19 Percheron show horses and actively show at fairs around the country. They compete in shows from Maine to Colorado. In 2016 they were 6-horse hitch national champions at the Indiana State Fair, and their children, Allie and Sawyer, drive as well and enjoy the friendships they develop around the country. They keep a few mares and raise a couple of colts each year.
Being the only dairy farm in the area, the Hussey Farm does a lot of agricultural education, and they and their children enjoy teaching other kids about what happens on their family’s farm and are respected as a valuable resource to the community.
Congratulations to Naughtaveel Farm!
(Photo courtesy of John Porter): The Hussey Family - Julie, Sawyer, Allie and Justin.