Meadowburg Farm in Richmond, RI
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Richmond, RI - Meadowberg Farm is a dairy farm in Richmond, Rhode Island. It is owned and run by Francis Kenyon. Like many farmers, Francis took over Meadowburg Farm from his father. Unlike many local farmers, Francis has always supported his family and himself from the farm.
Francis's parents originally rented a farm in Exeter and raised dairy cattle there. They bought the present farm in Richmond in 1954.
The farm is quite old, going back to the 1600's. Francis is full of stories about its history. It was originally called Lillabridge Farm. According to Francis, Rhode Islanders were once called "Rouge Islanders" because they were expelled from Boston. They came to Rhode Island settling on a piece of land which might be described in the deed as "going to the old oak" on one side and "the dead bird" on the other. Francis said land was so plentiful that a man might trade a piece of land for a tankard of beer or a good feather mattress.
When his parents bought the farm it had been deserted for several years. Neighbors warned that the house was haunted. But this didn't deter the Kenyons and the farm has flourished ever since.
Francis raises his cows for milk, cheese, and butter. He has sixty Holstein cows, but also keeps 6 Jersey cows, which he says produce a slightly different tasting milk. He raises all the corn needed to feed his cows on his own land. The cows graze in his own pastures. The process is all organic and Francis has complete control over the feeding and raising of his cows. He often shows them at County Fairs winning numerous prizes. Francis also is involved in local 4H clubs and every summer kids from the clubs come to Meadowburg where they can "adopt" a calf. By coming to the farm regularly and learning to care for their calf.
All of the milk from Meadowburg is handled by Agoil Mark, a company that pick up the milk and delivers it to Cabot in Vermont, the makers of Cabot cheese. Cabot processes the milk then turning it into milk, cheese, and butter.
But several years ago Francis joined with 4 other local dairy farms to form Rhody Fresh ( a Rhode Island farm cooperative). His milk goes to both Cabot and Rhody Fresh. All 5 farms raise their cattle locally, and organically. By buying Rhody Fresh you get the freshest possible dairy product and also support Rhode Island farms, helping them to continue serving Rhode Island.