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Farmer Focus: 13th Generation. Massachusetts Farmers Rely on Sustainability and Community for Dairy’s Longevity

April 21, 2021

ARLINGTON, VA – Darryl and Lucinda Williams operate the Belden dairy farm in Hatfield, MA. Their family has been farming the land since 1661. Over the course of 360 years and 13 generations, much has changed – from the development of electric power to the innovation of methane digesters, one of which now produces 2.5 kilowatts of electricity per year on the Williamses’ farm. What has stayed the same is the family’s dedication to their community and stewardship of the land.

“We can’t be expected to continue to work with 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s technology – just like we’ve got our cell phones and no longer use the old rotary that we had,” Lucinda says. “We can’t continue to thrive as an industry without moving into the new world.”

In the latest Farmer Focus, the Williamses talk about how they use their digester on a smaller farm and what it takes to keep a long family tradition intact.

For more Farmer Focus stories, co-sponsored by NMPF and the FARM Program, check out NMPF’s Sharing Our Story page, which also includes its Dairy Defined thought-leadership series and CEO’s Corner, a monthly column from NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.