Cricket Creek Farm sits on approximately 500 acres of historic agriculturally protected land. Jersey and Brown Swiss cows leisurely roam the lush pastures, 300 of which are devoted to the herd and to hay production. Cricket Creek’s diverse farm operation ranges from selling raw milk, cheese, beef, pork and chicken eggs.
Owner and operator Topher Sabot, says he likes his herd of Jersey’s and Brown Swiss because “they are both very good grazing animals and since we are a rotational grazing based operation they need to be good at eating grass and they have good feet and legs because they need to be able to walk a lot ”. He also likes that Jersey’s produce milk high in fat and protein, perfect for their artisanal cheeses made on the farm. Sabot finds that the docility and gentle nature of these breeds are what makes them enjoyable to work with. Currently, Cricket Creek is milking 22 of their 40 dairy cows using the milk for their raw milk sales in the store and their selection of cheeses. He feels raising animals humanely and creating a sustainable system is important to his business. “Trying to address some of the issues we have with food production in this country and actually do something about it by producing food in a sustainable way that treats the animals properly, that creates a very high quality product, and that’s healthy- it’s rewarding to be a part of that” he proudly stated.
Surprisingly, the Sabot family did not originally come from an agriculture background. Dick and Jude Sabot bought the land from their neighbors in 2001 hoping to find a way to preserve the land, and keep it thriving as one of the oldest dairy farms in the region. As an economist and former professor at Williams College, Dick Sabot created the dream of making the farm work economically. With some changes made to the farm, such as installing a New Zealand style swing parlor, a post-and-beam event room, cheese-making rooms, and a vat pasteurizer from Holland, the dream was coming together. In the spring of 2004, Cricket Creek began milking cows. In 2005, Dick Sabot suddenly passed away, but his dream is still carried out today by his family by continuing to expand their operation in a sustainable way, and always looking to improve business practices. They have recently introduced the classic glass milk bottle in place of the plastic milk jugs. The plastic containers were creating much unwanted waste, while the glass bottles can be returned, cleaned and reused.
Topher Sabot feels it is the farmers’ ethical duty to treat their animals humanely. “They are beings that are alive, feel and can suffer and I believe it is our responsibility that they don’t (suffer) because we are in a position where we can control that. Also, I feel that on a food production stand point we are basically using their services and if we’re are going to benefit from them, then they need to be treated with respect and care.” Not having grown up on a farm, Topher learned about farming by visiting other local farms and consulting with others that had worked in dairy farming for years. He makes sure his cows are kept happy and healthy and says he can
tell when they are content. “They are very relaxed. When you walk out in the pastures and they are happily out there grazing, and there is a lot of space and we also have a lot of space in the barns, there is rarely any stress coming from them” he explained.
Cricket Creek cheese is sold at restaurants, cheese shops, and at their farm store. They recently won 1st place at the American Cheese Society’s competition for their raw cows milk aged 60+ days called “Maggie’s Round”. Cricket Creeks plans to expand their herd and work towards milking 30 cows in the near future.
To learn more, visit their website at: Cricket Creek Farm
For information on where to find other Certified Humane® products in your area, visit the “Shop” page of HFAC’s website.