Chaseholm Farm

Farm/Brand HeadquartersPine Plains, NY
ProductsFluid milk, yogurt, cheese
Market AreaNY
Total Score1580

Chaseholm Farm is a sibling effort in family farming. Sarah manages the dairy herd and their grazing lands, while Rory turns the milk the cows produce into delicious cheeses. We are third generation farmers whose relationship to the land is built on principles of sustainable agriculture.

Sarah had been involved with the day to day operations on this farm since childhood and took over in her own right in March of 2013. It was then that she began the years long process of transitioning the farm to organic management and grass based production. The principles of grass farming require that the farm system be thought about in a holistic way. We work to create active and healthy soil microbiology so that soil can support healthy plants that can be grazed by cows. How do we assist in creating active soil microbiology? By grazing cows! It’s a complex and also delightfully simple cycle (no herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers!).

Sarah stopped feeding grain in 2015. The farm was certified Organic and 100% Grass-Fed in 2017. The original motivation for raising dairy animals on an all-grass diet was to try and reduce inputs and longterm expense. With each transition season, Sarah’s perspective has deepened into an appreciation of the complex management puzzle grassfed farming presents – and the lifetime of learning – in front of her. She is working towards selecting for bovine genetics compatible with her management system and the building of vibrant, productive soils. The farm is guided by Holistic Management decision making principles in both farm system and business management. For more information on Chaseholm Farm, see our farmer spotlight.

This farm is certified by the Real Organic Project:

real organic project logo

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1580
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
100Family farm
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
100Single farm
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
100Brand only markets organic dairy products
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
100Real Organic Project
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
100100% grass fed, was certified by PCO
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
100Excellent pasture compliance
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
95Milked every 18 hours
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
100Very low cull rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
100Closed herd
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
100Calves stay with mothers
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
100No hormones used
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
100Single farm
All ingredients sourced from inside the organization or on the farm receives the highest points. Ingredients from confinement factory farms and/or imported ingredients receive the fewest.
Procurement of Ingredients
100No outside ingredients used
Various levels of extra credit given for 1) providing full organic systems plan, 2) providing details on all farms (multi-farm brands, details on largest five required), and 3) sourcing feed on-farm or domestically.
Extra Credit