Dutch Hollow Farm was established in 1976, when the Chittenden family moved from Paul's home farm, Fair Weather Farm, in New Lebanon to a farm in Schodack Landing.
Though the farmstead's mailing address is Schodack Landing, it is actually situated in the historic town of Stuyvesant, about 15 miles south of Albany. Legend says Stuyvesant was the first landing site for Henry Hudson after he made his way up the Hudson River from Manhattan. The area was home to many of the early Dutch settlers, and thus the name Dutch Hollow was chosen for the farm.
Dutch Hollow Farm is operated today as a Limited Liability Corporation. The partners are brothers Brian, Alan and Nathan Chittenden, and their parents, Paul and Melanie.
Alan manages the dairy herd while Brian is responsible for the field work. Nathan oversees calf and heifer raising and helps his brothers when they need assistance. Melanie feeds baby calves and does book work for the farm. Paul floats between assisting with the cows and running equipment. Alan's daughter, Emily, is the first of the third generation to return full-time. She assists with herd management and the calf program.
Other family members involved with Dutch Hollow Farm include Brian's daughters, Cassie and Meagan; Alan's wife, Donna, and their other children, Maxwell and Lydia; and Nathan's wife, Jill, and their children, Zachary, Jonathan and Anna. All are an integral part of the business, physically and morally. Off the farm, the children are active in 4-H and spent a lot of time exhibiting cattle at fairs in the summer and The All American Junior Jersey Show in the fall.
Dutch Hollow is blessed with a dedicated team of employees -- some who have grown up on the farm -- that helps keep the wheels turning on a daily basis.
Zachary and Paul doing what they like best
. . .keeping an eye on the cows.
Registered Jersey Herd
Over the years, the herd has grown from 55 cows to 800 cows. About 650 heifers are raised on the farm as well. Dutch Hollow Farm is the second-largest Registered Jersey herd in the state.
Dutch Hollow Farm was honored with the AJCA's most prestigious honor - the Master Breeder Award - in 2012. The farm is the second generation to receive the award as Paul's father, Stanley, earned the distinction in 1983. The Chittendens also received the National Dairy Shrine's Distinguished Cattle Breeder Award in 2014.
The herd is enrolled on the American Jersey Cattle Association's (AJCA) REAP program and is a contract advertiser in the Jersey Journal. The 2019 lactation average is 19,942M, 1,023F and 737P on 695 cows. Actual production is 19,351M, 969F and 700P, marks that rank fifth for milk, fourth for fat and sixth for protein nationally among herds with 300-749 cows.
An active flushing program has helped Dutch Hollow Farm multiply the best cow families and create marketing opportunities for Dutch Hollow Farm genetics. More than 80 bulls bred by Dutch Hollow Farm have been sampled through A.I. organizations, including Dutch Hollow Berretta Choice-P, Dutch Hollow Brendon-P-ET, Dutch Hollow Honour-P, and more recently, Lexicon and Oliver-P. Dutch Hollow Farm regularly consigns animals to The All American Jersey Sale, the National Heifer Sale and the Pot O'Gold Sale and supports the New York Spring Sale, the New York State Sale and the New England Jersey Sale with consignments.
Dutch Hollow Farm ranks among the top herds in the country for Jersey Performance Index (JPI) with an average JPI of +16 (4/20) on 786 cows.
Each year, Dutch Hollow Farm sponsors the Best Bred and owned award at The All American Junior Jersey Show and features photographs of winners in its Jersey Journal advertisements in January.
The main barn and parlor at Dutch Hollow Farm were built in 1995 and have been renovated and expanded to accommodate herd growth over the years. A second milk cow barn was completed in 2009. A third milk cow barn was completed in 2018. A new barn for open heifers was built in 2014.
All facilities have been designed with maximum cow comfort in mind, while allowing for labor efficiency. Cows lay on mattress beds with a layer of sawdust, are cooled with fans and fed a diet designed by a professional nutritionist. The parlor is equipped with an AfiMilk system, which provides production, activity and conductivity on every cow as well as a basic record-keeping system on each cow.
Although the economics of our business force Dutch Hollow Farm to continually strive for higher production, both from the cows and the land, the Chittendens are committed to management practices that keep the welfare of their cattle a priority and are environmentally sound for their land.
The Dutch Hollow cropping operation encompasses about 2,000 acres of land in the towns of Stuyvesant, Schodack Landing and Kinderhook. An additional 500 acres are custom harvested for local customers.
About 800 acres are set aside for corn. Another 250 acres are planted in soybeans and 100 acres are earmarked for small grains. The farm also includes 850 acres of alfalfa and mixed grasses. Alfalfa is primarily harvested for haylage, while grass is baled in big square bales. Some of the excess small grains, shell corn and dry hay are marketed locally.
Dutch Hollow Farm is a member of Agri-Mark, a northeast farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative that owns the "Cabot" and "McCadam" brand names. Although some of the 4,500 gallons of milk we produce each day are used by the Cabot butter plant, the majority of our milk is used by other processors and reaches store shelves under several other brand names.
Fellow Massachusetts Jersey breeders High Lawn Farm of Lenox and Mapleline Farm of Hadley supplement their own production with our milk and bottle under the "All-Jersey" label.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese in New York City also uses our Dutch Hollow milk in the creation of their cheeses, which include Dutch Hollow Dulcet, a Jack-style cheese made exclusively from our milk.
Four Fat Fowl, Stephentown, NY, makes its well-known, triple cream cheese, St. Stephen, exclusively with our milk.
Hudson Valley Fresh
Dutch Hollow Farm is also a member of Hudson Valley Fresh, a local cooperative of 10 family farms in the Hudson Valley that processes its own milk. Milk is sold within an 80-mile radius of the processing plant, located in Poughkeepsie, NY, with a guarantee of 36 hours from farm to consumer. For more information visit their website or their Facebook page.
Day at the Dairy
Throughout the year, Dutch Hollow Discovery Center hosts school trips and guided tours for people to visit the farm. The center is Dutch Hollow Farm's educational facility, with information pertaining to the dairy industry, Jersey cattle and relevant agricultural practices. Click on the link at the top of the page to learn more.
The dairy also opens its doors to the public during the summer for their "Day at the Dairy" event. Visitors are invited to tour the facilities and talk to other people involved with the agriculture industry. For information on this event, stay tuned to our Facebook page.