FarmLove – Escobar Farm, Green Pastures Award Winner
“I’ve had farmers I looked up to who’d say, ‘This is what I’ve been doing for 40 years and this is the way I’m going to keep doing it,’” Louis says. “I’m never going to have that mentality. If you do exactly what you did the previous year, you’re not making progress; you’re spiraling down. Even at my age, about to turn 79 years young,” he chuckles.
Louis is only a year younger than the family farm where he grew up doing the work he loves and watching the landscape change around it. The couple milks 90 Holsteins and manages 95 acres with their full-time farm manager and some hired help. This has become more challenging since Louis became paraplegic after a tractor accident a couple years ago. “Some people would be disgusted, disgruntled, depressed,” says his wife, Jane, “but Louis knows you have to move on. He still troubleshoots really well. He has a power wheelchair and he’s all over the place. He wore the first set of tires right out. He’s even used it to chase down cows.”
Louis was instrumental in creating a line of RhodyFresh local dairy branded products that are sold around the state. The family also operates a very busy fall agritourism program with a corn maze run by Louis’s daughter, Lori; a pumpkin patch with hay rides and a festival the last weekend of September. In addition, they put on a big fireworks display every July 4 for the whole community to enjoy. To take advantage of the flow of tourists in the area, they also created an inn in a classic New England farmhouse across from the farm, which is run by a hired manager. “Every little bit helps,” says Louis. Plus, his wife adds, “It’s all about bringing people onto the farm and letting them see a real farm, see what goes into it.”
Watch the trailer for “Forgotten Farms” featuring the Escobars as well as Lorraine Stuart Merrill of Stuart Farm in New Hampshire, another co-op member farm.
When you buy RhodyFresh milk and other dairy products in Rhode Island, you’re supporting Escobar Farm and other Ocean State dairy farms.