Jennifer Huntington, Interviewed by Kate Webber, November 1, 2015
Location of Interview: Cooperstown, New York
Jennifer Huntington is the owner of the Cooperstown Holstein Corporation in Middlefield, New York. She was born in Cooperstown in 1962. She has spent her life in the Cooperstown area, apart from four years studying Dairy Science at Cornell University. She inherited her farm from her father, and has worked it for the past 25 years. In this story, Ms. Huntington talks about why it is important to farmers to protect the land.
JH: I can’t farm if I deplete all the soils and everything like that. I can’t grow. I can’t grow any crops, and I can’t farm. So it’s all integrated. The same thing with taking care of your animals; if your animals are taken care of poorly they’re not going to produce milk and you’re not going to be sufficient or sustainable. So definitely. And again working with some of the government agencies on land that isn’t on a steep slope—because of the number of animals I have I’m under CAFO requirements, Confined Animal Feeding Operation requirements. And the state and federal government keep track of me to be sure that I stay away from wells, I stay away from water, all sorts of things that make sense to protect water and sources and things like that. And we’ve put in—planted trees along the Susquehanna for erosion control, lots of different things. We have a CRP wetland area, which as I went by today the eagle was—the bald eagle, we have one now—one or two, I can’t tell them apart—that come visit our area. So that’s been nice to see. My dad, I don’t believe my dad ever saw a bald eagle. He passed seven years ago, seven or eight years ago.