A true labor of love for our family that is now seven generations strong, the Danforth Jersey Farm began with the dreams and hard work of Nahum and Esther Danforth. They built a farm that they passed down to their son George Washington Danforth, who died at a young age leaving the farm to his wife Martha. Martha was Shannon’s great-great grandmother and her amazing story of strength and ingenuity was the inspiration for us to create Cowbella. Having been widowed with six young children she made butter to both support her family and keep the farm in operation, persevering to become the original Danforth "milkmaid". She even sent her butter to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, where it won the Award of Excellence that still hangs in the farmhouse kitchen. Her only living son Everett took over when he was old enough to run the farm. In 1919, Everett bought the first Jersey bull and heifer, the founding animals of our herd that today is the longest established Jersey herd in the country. In 1925, he and his wife Anna endured a fire set off by a lightening strike that burned the original barn, but they persevered and rebuilt enabling their son George Russell Danforth and his wife Marietta to continue on. George and Marietta’s daughter Gail and her husband Dave Peake had a daughter Shannon who grew up on the farm with her parents, Uncle Russell, and beloved Grandpa George. When he passed away at 88 years of age, Shannon joined forces with Russell to run and manage the farm. She and her husband Hamilton are raising their children Gus and Daisy as the 7th generation to grow up on the farm. In 2010, we built our Cowbella processing plant right up our road from the barn to begin making butter and yogurt (and now milk and kefir!) with the goal of making our farm more sustainable. We are striving to maintain the quality of life that our farm has always provided for our family and our animals, and yet help it grow through Cowbella to provide a stronger future for our children. As the farm has been handed down in our family, traditional knowledge has come along as well and we still do many things the old-fashioned way that has worked for us for so many years, but we have also embraced modern environmentally conscious practices such as rotational grazing and using solar power at our processing plant. There are three generations of us that live under one roof and work together to make our farm and Cowbella totally family owned and operated.
1) Our century farm award 2) Martha's butter churn 3) Martha's butter award 4) The gold medal awards we won for our butter in 2011
5) Grandpa George in the barn 6) Grandpa George on the tractor 7) Shannon as a little girl 8) Daisy with Daisy "calf" on the cover of the Jersey Journal