Kevin and Barb Nedrow
Before there was Spring Hope Dairy, there was the Nedrow Dairy Farm. Before that, there was the Linhurst Farm, a dairy & vegetable farm. Before that, the Linehan brothers were poor Irish sharecrop farmers.
“I’m going to keep farming until I retire. Then I’m going to farm some more.”
– Kevin Nedrow’s response when asked about his future plans.
The Linehan brothers farmed the original 300 acre home farm in the town of Hopewell (that later became the base for Spring Hope Dairy), from the mid 1940’s until the late 1960’s. In 1968, the German Nedrow family was looking for a farm to purchase. James Nedrow and his family had just sold their farm near King Ferry, New York to NYSEG and were looking for a new place to farm. They bought the original 300 acres from the Linehans. They brought with them 45 milking Guernsey and young stock.
It must be noted that the next generation of these farm families: Barb Linehan and Kevin Nedrow met through this sale. It may not have been the best conditions to meet. It’s always hard to give up a farm. So, you wouldn’t think they would be likely to fall in love. Yet, eventually they did. They both attended Cornell University. Kevin came back to the farm and then they married in 1976. Over the next 20 years they grew their farm and family. Barb, Kevin, and their three daughters (Alicia, Katherine and Abby) worked hard building a dairy of 150 Guernseys. Eventually, their herd grew to 160 milking cows, predominately Holsteins. They did this in anticipation of modernizing the dairy. Barb says, “We love good cows. No matter what color they are.”
All of the Nedrows were very active in the Guernsey Dairy Breed Association, 4-H and various youth activities. All of them also have great interest and knowledge in science and agriculture. All three Nedrow daughters continue to demonstrate this with their academic studies and careers.
Eventually, it was time to modernize the dairy, farm smarter and take better care of the cows. Yet, they just could not work any harder. The physical work was getting harder with the old system. It didn’t help that they lost three of their best workers: their daughters. Their daughters had graduated from high school and were away at college. It was time to adapt, in order to continue. Simultaneous to these thoughts, conversations began with the Muellers at Willow Bend Farm. After much consideration, from everyone involved, a partnership was created and Spring Hope Dairy was born. That was in 2003. Barb said forming a partnership was “the best option to move forward, accomplish more together and to get into the 21st century.” The Nedrow family’s approach to the dairy business has always been, “If you take care of your cows, they will take care of you.” When reflecting on this time, Kevin says, “They were hard times. We wanted a better life for ourselves and our cows.”
The Nedrows have also always been intrigued by registered breeding stock. They have continued to build their own herd of registered Holsteins within the Spring Hope Dairy herd. In 2009, DNA analysis first became available for genetics and genomics. This tool has accelerated the Nedrows’ progress on building this herd. You can learn more about this at http://holsteinworld.com/springhope.
Kevin and Barb Nedrow are still working very hard and are still involved in the day to day operations of both Spring Hope Dairy and Willow Bend Farm. Barb has great talent when it comes to herd health and knowing what it takes to give the animals the best care. She is often seen working side by side with the veterinarians, working towards that same goal. Kevin’s strength is in agronomy. He’s the one to go to with soil and crop questions. Thus, you’ll have a hard time finding him during planting or harvesting season. He’ll be out in the field, doing what it takes to get the best quality yield from each seed. And there sure have been plenty of seeds planted on that land in Hopewell, over the years!