Fairmont Farm East Montpelier & Craftsbury, VT
More Family, More Farm
When she was growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Clara Ayer often rode her horse up the hill to a beautiful stand of tall pines where she later got married. Clara has returned to work full-time on the farm alongside her brother Ricky Hall, and their first cousin, Tucker Purchase, as the third generation of family farmers. They have joined Clara and Ricky’s parents, Richard and Bonnie Hall, who had gradually taken over from Richard’s parents. While Clara still treasures the special spot on the hill, she doesn’t have quite as much time to get up there as the family juggles three different milking locations around the area.
Clara has started a popular summer camp at one farm location, which she runs with invaluable assistance from family including her mother, grandmother, younger sister and Tucker’s wife, as well as teens in the 4-H club led by her parents. The camp is a natural extension of the family’s commitment to education and youth. “I love seeing the kids take an interest, especially because most aren’t from farms,” says Donna Hall, Clara’s grandmother. “It spreads the word and we like that.”
“Deep down I always dreamed that maybe I’d end up here, but I didn’t know how much room there’d be,” says Clara. “It’s just really nice to be able to work with family. I love the animals, love being outside. You really feel you’ve accomplished something at the end of the day.” Her brother Ricky adds, “I just love working with the cows. It’s rewarding to see animals grow from birth.”