450 acres of land at Mapleleaf Farm are protected from development, providing a home to deer, coyotes, ravens, and bald eagles and ensuring that the land will remain in agriculture for generations to come.
Mapleleaf Farm has operated in Hebron, CT since 1903. Today Mapleleaf Farm milks 230 cows, but fourth-generation dairy farmer Ned Ellis remembers when their operation was much smaller. “When I graduated from high school, we had 21 cows. Today we’re milking over 200 cows and our old smaller milking barn is heifer kindergarten now.”
For Ned, his love of farming comes back to his love of the land. Mapleleaf Farm has 450 acres protected from development, providing a home to deer, coyotes, ravens, and bald eagles and ensuring that the land will remain in agriculture for generations to come. On the farm, they prioritize practices that are environmentally safe, including high quality manure management practices. The farm also has solar panels that generate 40% of the electricity needed to operate the farm.
Each day on a dairy farm is different with new challenges and projects arising. “I’ve always liked challenges and figuring out the best way to do things for our farm, cows, community, and the land.” Despite the everchanging nature of life on a dairy farm, Ned’s dedication to the health and wellbeing of his herd never wavers.
Ned opens the farm to visitors throughout the year; he’s eager to share his knowledge and his love for what he does with others. Mapleleaf Farm is part of the Agri-Mark Co-Op and is one of 6 farms that own The Farmers Cow.