2006 Clear View Dairy

The Clear View Dairy story is a remarkable one. In 1990, Michael Pollack, Jr. bought this 79 acres of abandoned farm land, which contained only a broken-down trailer and old gambrel barn with pig stalls in the basement. He and Rebecca married in 1992, and by 1996 they had repaired and remodeled the old barn, renovated the weedy fields into productive cropland and pastures, built a new barn, a new house, and were milking 24 cows. Today the milking herd has grown to 70 with an additional 40 head of young stock, and the family has grown to include four children. The Pollack's rent about 120 acres in addition to their own 79 acres to support their operation.

The farm's selection as the 2002 NYS Environmental Stewardship Award winner is a testimony to the Pollack family's commitment to the environment, which they see as a cornerstone of successful farming. As a result, conservation practices were incorporated into the farm's development and growth. They installed a roof water runoff control system using drip trenches to capture clean water and outlet it to a grassed filter area. A curbed concrete pad with bump walls for easy cleaning was installed on the barnyard, meaning cleaner cows and no run off-and the same design features were used when they built their heifer barn.

Both the milking herd and heifers are rotationally grazed, a land use practice that minimizes erosion. The farm's nutrient management system balances nutrient spread with soil needs and eliminates runoff. When installing a culvert to keep farm activities out of a stream on the property, they laid it higher than the stream bed to create a small pond and wetland behind the road with the culvert serving as the overflow. Land along both sides of the stream is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which includes grasses filter strips.

The Pollacks have been proactive in their approach to conservation practices from the beginning. These dedicated farmers certainly had a "Clearview" of what their farm could be.

Last updated September 25, 2015