Have you ever seen a cow run? In the spring at Hanson Farm, the community comes to watch the cows for their annual “Spring Fling”.
David and Margaret Hanson own the Hanson Farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts. They have 220 acres, 60 milking cows, and some 45 young stock. The farm has been in the Hanson family for five generations, since 1912. David was raised on the farm and has been milking cows since his early teens. Margaret married into dairy farming, and she loves it to her core. They raised their three children on the farm and are proud of all that the land and dairy farming has taught them.
“We do rotational grazing, which means that cows, after milking, get to go to a new section of pasture to lay down and relax,” explains Margaret. In the spring, spectators go to the farm for its annual “Spring Fling” where they watch the cows go out to pasture for the first time after staying cozy in the barn during the winter months.
No day is ever the same on the farm, and every once in a while some of the cattle will find a way to wander off the property. This doesn’t happen often, but the neighbors love it when it does. They gather a posse together to find the renegades and herd them back to the farm. One neighbor, in fact, often comments on how much fun this is and how he always looks forward to it whenever it occurs.
Dairy farming, of course, is mostly hard work and long hours. “We have had perhaps two vacations in the past twenty years,” says Margaret. “That just goes with the territory, and if you’re in this business, it’s more than a part-time commitment.”
Image and some information courtesy of Cabot Creamery Co-operative