Cheryl Bowen-DiTommaso lives on a farm in Scituate, Massachusetts that has been in her family since 1861. In the early 2000’s she found an article in the Boston Globe about rare livestock breeds and how they need to be helped. This struck a chord with Cheryl, so she decided this was going to be the direction of her farm.
She began by contacting Plimoth Plantation’s Rare Breeds department and eventually became one of their satellite farms. They gave her a breeding trio of Arapawa Island goats. They’re believed to be the closest living relative to the old English milk goat, which was what the Pilgrims had.
Cheryl then referred to the Livestock Breeds Conservancy to determine what other rare breeds she could help.
"They do an animal population census every year to see who’s endangered and what their category is. They have different categories whether it’s critically populated, some are recovering, threatened," says Cheryl. "So, whenever I go to get a new animal to add to the farm, I always consult their census list, because I try to get the most critically-populated animals that they have so that they can be getting exposure."
Over time, Cheryl added rare breeds of pigs, sheep, rabbits, and poultry. She also hosts farm tours and community events to raise the awareness of these animals.
"I refer to them as ambassadors of their breed. So everybody retires here, nobody is ever eaten because they are used for education primarily, that’s what they are here for," says Cheryl. "They’ve grown up with people so they’re friendly, they’re non-aggressive, and I want them to leave positive impressions."
Due to weather, the farm is only open six-months of the year for tours, but Cheryl says they have a country store at the farm and online to help fund their mission of preserving rare livestock.
Learn more about Dalby Farm and Cheryl's work with rare breeds
Be sure to visit the Dalby Farm Country Store
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