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Featured Farmers: New Hampshire’s Johnson Family
Sanctuary Farm in Sunapee, NH was awarded with the annual, prestigious New England Green Pastures Award for New Hampshire. Susan and Dr. Jolyon Johnson are proud of their family’s success.
Left to right: Ethan (nephew), Jared (son), Susan, Jolyon, and Beck (son).
Jolyon is a veterinarian! So what’s the advantage of running your own dairy farm?
The obvious, of course, says Dr. Jolyon Johnson matter-of-factly. “You don’t have to hire a veterinarian,” he points out with a laugh.
He adds that despite being a 9th-generation dairy farmer, it was his training as a veterinarian that gave him access to hundreds of farms as a student and young practitioner over the years — and that experience has been invaluable. “You learn something new everywhere you go,” he points out.
The farm has remained in the family for the past century.
The tradition of family management on Sanctuary Farm continues. The dairy is managed by Jolyon and assisted by his older son, Jared, 26, who recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire Dairy Program. Jolyon’s wife, Susan, helps run the veterinary clinic and operates an ice cream parlor on the farm with their youngest son Beck, who also helps occasionally on the farm. Forest products, a maple sugaring operation, and anything else to help support the operation have been part of the history on Sanctuary Farm, a testament to the tradition of entrepreneurism among dairy farmers.
Proud to be a New England Green Pastures Award winner!
The awards are given out annually to one dairy farm from each of the New England states. To be considered as an award-winning candidate, the farm must:
- Be run by a full-time farmer;
- Be run efficiently and operate in an economically sound manner;
- Have a quality dairy herd in relation to milk production, breeding, and animal health;
- Display acts of environmental improvement; and
- Exhibit leadership and contribute to the community.
The Johnsons see the honor as recognition of their commitment to the farm and the family legacy. “The award does help to shed light on the dairy industry, and small farms in particular,” Jolyon says. And that positive exposure is a pat on the back for families like the Johnsons, who work to make their farm successful enough to pass on to future generations.
Meet the Johnsons!
Visit their ice cream parlor!
They’re social! Check them out on Facebook.
The dairy barn houses 40 registered Holstein cows.
The farm is spread over 800 acres.
They offer forty flavors of ice cream in the parlor.