Sweetgrass Creamery Succession Opportunity

51 Mattern Rd, Preston, CT 06365

200 acres available for farming

Sweetgrass Creamery Succession Opportunity

  • 51 Mattern Rd, Preston, CT 06365

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The Land

Is the farm currently in operation?

Yes

Type of Property Poster

Farmer or farm family

Type of Farm Operation

  • Dairy
  • Field crops
  • Other

Farming Practices

  • Sustainable

Water Sources

  • Drilled well
  • Pond

Soils

The farm has a variety of soils that are classified as prime and locally important agricultural soils. Many areas mapped as not prime farmland have been improved over the years of management. The soils would support a variety of enterprises in addition to the field crops, hay, and pastures they currently support.

Soil Map

Tenure Arrangement

  • Lease with option to buy
  • Partnership
  • Employment for a period of time then transfer ownership
  • Owner-financed sale
  • Other

Are there any other current leases, partnerships, or arrangements on your property?

No

Is the farm presently listed with a realtor?

No

Additional Information

Other Farm Amenities

  • Access to electricity
  • Access to water (irrigation)
  • Barn
  • Fencing
  • Living space for farmer
  • Milking facilities
  • Other facilities available
  • Parking space for farmer
  • Space for heated hoophouse
  • Storage shed (enclosed)

Farm Infrastructure

  • Equipment
  • Farm buildings
  • Housing
  • Livestock

Is the farm land protected under any conservation easements or other programs?

No

Have you applied for a restoration grant for the property?

No

Description

Company Description

Sweet Grass Creamery is a small, family-owned farmstead dairy and creamery situated in Preston, CT on 200 acres of lovely New England landscape. Our goal is to reconnect the consumer and farmer. We milk a closed herd of 25-30 Jersey cows. From this sweet, creamy A2:A2 milk, we produce all-natural dairy products on site in our creamery. Our products include creamline milk, flavored milks (chocolate, coffee, maple, mocha), yogurt, labneh, and soft cheeses. We have a small farm store on site where we offer our dairy products along with other locally produced items (baked goods, beef, pork, eggs, maple syrup, honey, and more) to our local community. We also sell to markets and restaurants in our area that are committed to supporting local, sustainable farms. Our wholesale accounts make up the biggest part of our revenue stream. 

Our Cows are humanely raised on a pasture-based diet without sub-therapeutic antibiotics or growth hormones. Their diet consists of grass and hay, and some corn during the winter months (grown and harvested on our farm) along with a ration of grains, vitamins, and minerals to support their nutrition. We plan to transition to a fully grass-based diet over the next several growing seasons.

Our (Abridged) History

Our farm has been in the family for three generations and supported farming enterprises including orchards, cattle sales, commercial dairy, and now a value-added creamery. In the mid-90’s the farm was divided and a portion sold off, along with the dairy herd managed by Ed Mattern. In 2012, Ed was inspired by visits with Liz McAllister and Mark Gillman of Cato Corner Farm bought a small herd of Jersey’s to develop his own value-added dairy operation on the land that remained. His partner Carol got involved in the operation and developed some of the best tasting dairy products around. Fate would have it that in 2014, Ed and his uncle had the opportunity to purchase back the land that was previously sold and make the farm whole once again. Eight years later, the farm has an excellent reputation for delicious milk and dairy products (especially the yogurt) and seeking ways to bring the farm into the next generation.

The Offer

Sweet Grass Creamery is at a tipping point, with both Carol and Ed considering how their life on the farm will change in the later years of their life. This transition comes at a time that the farm is well set up to expand and create an opportunity for the next generation of farmers to bring their ideas and skills to an operation well positioned for growth. As it stands, Sweet Grass Creamery cannot meet the current demand for our excellent products and have limited personnel capacity to expand their creamery. The farm has a beautiful cheese cave to expand into making hard and aged cheeses, potential for agritourism activities, and openness to expanding their retail store on a busy state road that abuts the property. Furthermore, Carol and Ed are willing to consider other farm enterprises that will add value to our operation and our land has the potential to support vegetable production, orchards, additional livestock species, and more.

Sweetgrass Creamery needs an individual or a couple with experience and drive to move the operation forward. Compensation will be commensurate with experience and dependent on the proposal brought to Carol and Ed to expand Sweetgrass’ operation. A private house is available on site and will be included in the compensation package. After a trial period of one year in which Carol and Ed will train the incoming farmers in the operation of the farm, the incoming farmers may be eligible to gradually assume ownership of the operation through sweat equity and gradual transfer of farm assets. Carol and Ed are engaging with Land For Good, conservation partners, and estate planners to make this process as smooth and equitable as possible.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest to sweetgrasscreamery@gmail.com detailing their relevant experience, their vision and goals for the future, and their experience working, learning, and collaborating with a team. Please provide three references who can speak to the content of your letter. Qualified applicants will be invited to visit the farm and conduct a working interview. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please feel free to share widely in your networks.