Photo Caption: Jacob, Lydia, Olivia and Logan VanEvera of Windcrest Farm and Jim Becker, CEO MIDTEL and SEEC Resiliency Fund Chair.
COBLESKILL, NY – SEEC has awarded another Resiliency Fund loan, this time to a family-owned dairy farm to expand their offerings direct to consumer and make capital improvements to accommodate farming practices.
Windcrest Farm, located in Cobleskill, NY is owned by Jacob and Lydia VanEvera. Together, they milk a small herd of Registered Holsteins. In addition to producing milk, Windcrest began to sell beef, pork, chicken, and eggs directly to the public. As a true family business, Mr. and Mrs. VanEvera’s children, Olivia and Logan VanEvera also have a small herd of Registered Nigerian Dwarf goats that they show locally.
The pandemic had a direct impact on the farm’s business. Due to the nationwide closures and supply chain disruptions, the VanEvera’s were forced to dump some of their milk resulting in a dramatic shift in monthly income. With costs of fuel and feed production very high, typical animal nutrients unavailable and other products in short supply, the VanEvera’s are working toward finding more efficient and diverse ways to operate.
“We pivoted last summer to sell meat directly to consumers which worked really well for us,” commented Lydia VanEvera. “We are willing to feed a few more animals in our daily farm chores to supplement the monthly milk check.” The VanEvera’s have pre-booked, months in advance, USDA meat processing appointments to satisfy regulatory requirements for selling direct to consumers.
The VanEvera’s will maintain the dairy cooperative contract but expanded their livestock and need to make modifications to their production processes to transition. The VanEvera’s will be allocating Resiliency Funds to purchase a round bale wagon, round bale slicing knife and to make capital improvements to one of their barns.
The VanEvera’s are also participating in the SUNY Cobleskill Dairy Incubator program and await label designs to introduce their small batch cream-line products.
SEEC’s Resiliency Fund launched May 2020 as local pandemic relief program providing grants and loans to
local businesses. A SEEC Board allocation of $125,000 was made available for all business sectors and
geographic areas of Schoharie County. More than 30 local organizations received allocations to-date.