“We work to be a modern dairy farm that produces milk of the highest quality with the most efficient and environmentally sound practices available.”
Bohanan Farm was established in 1907 along the banks of New Hampshire’s Contoocook River. Jamie and Heather Robertson operate the farm with their three sons Si, Nate, and Bram. The brothers are the fifth generation to operate Bohanan Farm. They all graduated from the Thompson School of Agriculture at UNH and are excited to continue the tradition of dairy farming together with their parents.
You may recognize these bearded brothers from HISTORY’s original show The American Farm which premiered in April 2019.
Heather grew up on Bohanan Farm and picked up the love for dairy farming from her parents, Glenn and Adele Bohanan – who ran the farm previously. They also live on the farm and enjoy helping out where they can.
Jamie’s dad worked on Bohanan Farm as well. In 1988, Jamie started working on the farm – three years later he and Heather got married and their goal was to continue the farm too.
“I really never wanted to do anything else, and I don’t really know how to do anything else. I certainly enjoy working with the animals and my family every day,” Heather said. “With Jamie on the farm – we were looking toward the future generations and being able to continue the tradition and the legacy.”
Evolving and growing over the years, the farm consists of more than 440 acres of land and is home to 200 milking cows. In early 2011, the farm made the decision to launch Contoocook Creamery to combat low milk prices. Using the milk from their own cows, they produce and sell cheese and glass-bottled milks. Today the farm makes 2,000 gallons of milk per day that feeds the New Hampshire community and beyond.
Modernization and careful planning has allowed the farm to be successful and grow. Ivan Bohanan, the second generation on Bohanan Farm, was considered an innovator when he purchased the first milk bulk tank in the state that allowed the farm to store and cool their milk in a large tank. Before bulk tanks, farmers had relied on 10-gallon metal cans to store milk and was labor intensive. The bulk tank ushered in a new era of farming that made milk collection and transport easier.
“The thing that really keeps us going is the weight of the past generations and the future generations – we want to keep it going if they choose,” Jamie Robertson said. “It’s a noble career feeding people and we take a lot of pride in providing healthy food to the community.” –
Like Ivan, the family members at Bohanan Farm continuously update their practices to do what is best for their land, their cows, and the environment. The farm utilizes environmentally-sound practices in their fields such as cover crops and no-till planting, and their land is conserved by an agricultural easement which prevents productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses. They also utilize modern-day cow care techniques in their barns to keep their animals well cared for.
“We work to be a modern dairy farm that produces milk of the highest quality with the most efficient and environmentally sound practices available,” explained Si Robertson. “The well-being of our cows is the most important factor here at Bohanan Farm. We understand it takes happy, healthy cows to produce the high-quality milk we take so much pride in.”