A Bit Of History & How We Operate As A Family...

written by

Dave Stoltzfus

posted on

April 19, 2024

OK, today we will get into details a bit more with some history of the farm, who we are, and what do as a family business... :)

Today all six of us brothers are involved in our farm business one way or another. There are five sisters as well but not all of them are involved directly with the family business. It's been a blessing for us as a family what we have seen the last years from very supportive customers like you that care where you spend your food dollars and choosing to support your local family farms!

Thank-you for helping us on our mission to restore a vibrant food system with regenerative farming, one bite at a time! We do realize that none of this would have been possible without your support... :)

A Bit Of History
So back in the early 90's my Dad (Alvin), decided that the conventional methods of farming are not working plus he was sensitive to the chemicals that were coming out for farming at the time. He decided to take a step out in faith and try the grass-fed organic way of farming which was actually a weird way of farming back then.

Fast forward: The trend keeps reversing in the right direction as we see it.We have the younger generation of farmers that are calling left and right for guidance on how to do this kind of farming or if they could possibly produce something for us... There is more and more education and information available today that really perks the next generation's interest!

This is exciting folks, to see that the younger generation of farmers are ready to take the next step in farming differently because they see the harm of chemicals/pesticides and they realize that the conventional milk prices are controlled to the point of barely covering their costs of producing the milk anymore. It doesn't look very promising to continue this kind of farming unless something changes drastically!

Anyway, kind of running off on a bunny trail here...

Making The Switch
So once Dad switched to the organic/grass-fed way of farming he started shipping his milk bulk to a local organic co-op for a while then soon started up with selling directly to wholesale accounts like stores, markets, etc... After a while we connected with a few people that wanted to start buying directly which fledged into a pickup route consisting of about 4-6 stops in the Philly area.

Our wholesale accounts continued to be about 70-80% of our business but over the years gradually down to about 10% of our business. Today we are 100% retail and direct to the consumer with an on-farm store, 22 pickup locations throughout NJ/NY, and we offer UPS Home delivery nationwide.

The year of 2017 was a year of major revamp of the way we sold to customers which resulted in selling more and more direct to the consumer with a better marketing plan. We also kept increasing the variety of products that we offered as requests came in... Selling directly vs. through a store or co-op, lets us connect personally with the people that actually eat our farm food! :)

As most of you may know, we have partnered with other farms over the years that meet or exceed our standards and protocols, to help produce REAL foods for the ever-increasing demand from health-conscious consumers like you.

The most rewarding part of this farm food enterprise for me is watching local family-oriented farmers thrive and survive, keeping their families on the farm, and farming regeneratively using beyond organic practices...

Who We Are

Like I mentioned before, there are a total of eleven siblings in the family which are six brothers and five sisters. All six of us brothers are involved with the family business and below is a description of our parents, each of the brothers and their family, and what they do...

Dad and Mom (Alvin and Elizabeth Stoltzfus): Married for 40 years and on the farm ever since, although they do not live in the main farm house anymore. Dad is still actively involved in the fulfillment part of things assembling shipping kits and sitting in brothers meetings giving fatherly advice... :)

Dad is the visionary founder of Dutch Meadows so he gets the credit for taking the plunge into something different many years ago. There was times when we as a family wondered if this whole thing is even worth doing anymore! :) But through lots of trial and error, patience, and celebrating the milestones along the way, we got to where we are today...

Myself (Dave): Married to my wife Anna Ruth for 10 years. We have five wonderful daughters which are Amanda Rose (9), Miriam Ann (8), Sally Marie (6), Marilyn Sue (3), and Bethany Grace (17 mo.) I manage the marketing/fulfillment side of things with a team of 30-35 wonderful employees that really make it happen around here managing inventory, packing orders and everything in-between....

Raymond: Married to his wife Fannie Mae for 5 years. They have two sons Abner Wayne (4), Samuel Luke (2), and one daughter Linda Grace (6 mo.). Raymond manages the on-farm creamery with a team of 8-10 employees processing milk, yogurt, butter, etc... They also have the home farm milking about 45 cows, raising 24-30 pigs per year, with a side hobby of raising Morgan horses...

Alvin Jr: Married to his wife Naomi for almost 3 years. They have one daughter Ava Lyn (13 mo.) Alvin is our Operations Manager here at the warehouse/fulfillment center, and also helps to manage the on-farm store.

Solomon: Married to his wife Martha for 2 years. They one son Kevin Matthew (16 mo.) Solomon is our logistics manager with a team of 4-5 wonderful delivery drivers making deliveries, local pickups, and running the pickup location routes. He also manages our cold chain solutions for UPS Home Delivery... Solomon is also the one that will be doing the walking farm tours this summer.

Henry: Married to his wife Lydia for 1 year.  He helps manage the on-farm creamery with our brother Raymond. Henry is also actively involved with the operational side of things. He also raises meat rabbits on grass for Dutch Meadows.

Nathaniel: (Single) He helps out part time at the farm store and works part-time at a local shed manufacturing shop as well. He is planning on coming on full-time as store manager in the near future as well...

We really enjoy working together as a family helping many farmers in the community and providing a healthy atmosphere for people to work in. It's a true blessing for sure! :)

So there you go, hopefully you didn't leave me on this story before now but I would've understood if you did get bored reading my scribbles! :) Anyway, thanks for reading and we hope to continue giving you insight on how everything works around here! Stay tuned...

Blessings wished,
Dave at Dutch Meadows

P.S. Feel free to reply with any comments. We may not reply to every email but we do read every single one... :) This is truly the best part of sending out a newsletter! :)

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