All posts by juboberg

Sprout Creek Farm Independent Field Trip

For my independent field trip, I visited Sprout Creek Farm in Dutchess County. Sprout Creek is a working farm that encompasses 200 acres and raises free-range cows, sheep, goats, free-range turkeys, guinea fowl, chickens, and pigs. When I visited with my friends, however, we mostly focused on the goats as there were about 40 recently born goats penned up together, waiting to be pet. Upon arrival, we thought we might have reached the wrong place. Nobody was in sight; animal pens and the occasional passing chicken were all we could see. After wandering around for a while, a woman walked out of one of the barn doors with her arms full of farm tools, pointed to an animal pen across the way, and said “Feel free to go inside and pet the little ones!” Nothing more needed to be said. We let ourselves into the pen and played with the baby goats for at least 45 minutes. They’d try to climb up on us and eat our clothing and hair, and my friend ended up getting a little trampled by them, but it was great! I even took a selfie with one of them as we have been instructed to do for this class. After the goats, we went into a separate barn to say hello to the cows, and then went over to the pig pens to take a look.IMG_3296

We didn’t get a chance to really speak with the farmers there, as they seemed very preoccupied. However, I loved the place so much that I did a lot of research on it upon my return home. The farm has very clever business practices, expanding beyond the realms of animal farming. Sprout Creek is a market, selling cheese, farm-produced meats, local milk, eggs, vegetables, crafts, and gifts. It is too an educational center, offering programs for children and young adults to get hands on experience with agriculture in the Hudson Valley and learn about their personal relationships with food. The farm too hosts Sunday brunch once a month, in which they serve an elaborate meal using their own freshly made and home grown food.


After researching, I realized that the fact that my friends and I were allowed to just let ourselves into the baby goat pen is also a big part of their business strategy. I followed their Instagram after visiting, and on it they constantly are posting pictures of newly-born animals and telling their followers to come to the farm to pet them and play with them. That’s why my friends and I originally went, because we were told by another friend of mine that there were baby goats there to pet. After visiting to pet them, I followed them on Instagram, am planning on going to one of their Sunday brunches, buy their cheese and sometimes other food when I can, and have promoted the farm and its baby goat petting to several other Vassar students. It’s clear that Sprout Creek Farm, despite its relatively small size, is making local, small-scale farming a prosperous and popular business. My friends and I completely bought into their whole pitch.