What you’ve been waiting for. . .
all about the cows!
Liberty Hill Farm’s Robeth Holstein Herd
Robeth (Robert and Elizabeth) is the prefix for our registered herd, so you could say this is the only Robeth Holstein herd in the world! Our herd has been one of the leading milk producers in the State of Vermont for most of the past 27 years. Robeth Holsteins are known for their excellent genetics and have received the Progressive Breeder Registry Award from the Holstein Association for the past 20 years. While the numbers vary, we generally have 270 head of animals all together, cows, calves and heifers, with 120 of those being the milking cows.
Cows of Distinction
When we bought the farm from John Hunt, he had a cow named Pearl, a direct descendent from the famous Dunloggin herd from Ellicott City,Maryland, considered the premier dairy breeding stock in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Most of our current herd is descended from Pearl. David has traced the lineage of our cows back to the 1880’s when they were imported from Holstein Friesland, an area between Germany and the Netherlands.
A Vermont Dairy of Distinction
Liberty Hill Farm is a Vermont Dairy of Distinction, as judged by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. Our farm has won numerous awards over the years from Vermont Farm Bureau, Agrimark, Inc., Vermont Dairy Herd Improvement, New England Green Pastures and the White River Soil Conservation District. We were recognized for the Green Environmental Business Partnership in 2009 and the White River Conservation District Farm of the Year in 2011 .
A Brief History of Liberty Hill Farm
1780 – John Emerson founds Liberty Hill Farm.
1787 – John Emerson constructs the oldest part of the present barn.
1837 – Dr. Charles Wesley Emerson, founder of Emerson College Boston, Massachusetts,
is born on Liberty Hill.
1884 – Dr. Emerson comes home to Vermont and reacquires his grandfather’s land in Rochester.
1888 – Dr. Emerson purchases the present day weathervane in Cambridge, MA, and brings it by train to Rochester. The last leg of the journey is on Rochester’s fabled Peavine Railway which had the Emerson “whistle stop” on Liberty Hill Road explicitly for Dr. Emerson visits.
1889 – The Big Red Barn is completed by Dr. Emerson.
1894 – Most of the Emerson grant land is sold, and Dr. Emerson remodels the farmhouse next door into a showcase summer house.
1908 – Dr. Emerson dies and his summer residence on Liberty Hill passes to his niece, Eleanor Jones Hutchinson.
1890-1930 The farm is owned by the Eastman family.
1920 – 1950’s Kezar family own and farm the property, then known as Kezar Farm.
1960 – John and Esther Hunt move to the farm after their barn on Liberty Hill burns.
1979 – In March, Beth and Bob Kennett purchase Liberty Hill Farm from the Hunt family as a turn-key operation. John Hunt milked one night, Bob started the next morning.
1984 – Liberty Hill Farm opens its doors as a farm vacation destination. The first guests, the Kerwin Family from New Jersey, continue to return on a regular basis. Liberty Hill Farm has welcomed guests from all 50 states and from around the world, many of whom return year after year. New generations are now among the guests.
2007- Both Kennett sons, Tom and Dave, decide to farm with Dad!! We need to increase the herd to provide for the whole family. The neighbors help us add onto the barn, creating the “Habitat for Bovinity”!! The cows mooove in to the new portion in January.
2008- Yankee Magazine featured Liberty Hill Farm as one of the Top 5 Places in New England!! Christina Tree, renowned travel guide, was asked “If she could stay overnight at only five places in New England, where would they be?” Liberty Hill Farm was on the list!!