The Orr family continues to look towards the future, honoring their motto to “Farm On.”
Fort Hill Farms is a fourth-generation diversified dairy farm business in Thompson, CT. Farmer Kies Orr always knew that she would return to the family farm. Alongside her mom Kristin and boyfriend Jared LaVack, the family runs the dairy, a 3-season farm store and scoop shop, lavender business, and seasonal cornmaze.
With over 200 milking cows, Kies and her family take pride in taking exceptional care of their herd in order to produce quality milk. As part of the fourth generation, Kies’ favorite thing about being a dairy farmer is “caring for the cows and knowing that when they’re born, they have the promise of a future and a good taken care of life. At the end of every day, it’s hard work but it’s worth it.”
Kies’ mother, Kristin Orr, runs the farm store, lavender business, and seasonal cornmaze. In the farm store customers can find a range of products including The Farmer’s Cow ice cream, Cabot cheeses, and other local products. Each year the family comes up with a new theme for the cornmaze. To engage and excite the community, Kristin shared that “we want our cornmaze themes to teach about the history and importance of agriculture.” The Orrs are part of The Farmer’s Cow, a small group of Connecticut farmers who process and market their own dairy products, and are also part of the Agri-Mark Co-Op that produces Cabot products.
After the loss of Kies’ father Peter several years ago, his legacy continues on through the family’s dedication to farming and their family motto “farm on.” The Orr family continues to look towards the future with plans in 2020 for a new robotic milking barn and an anaerobic digester.