In 1976, Ron and Carol Sweet started Bedrock Farm. In the early ‘90s, the farm paved the way for organic dairies by becoming one of the first certified organic operations in the state. Ron passed away in 2013; his son, Ron II, was born on the farm and now runs it.
Carol worked with VLT to sell a conservation easement on 122 acres as part of transitioning the land to her son. The proceeds from the sale will be invested in the operation to strengthen the business.
“My Dad was a bit of a pioneer,” explained Ron. “He saw that the organic market presented an opportunity for a small farm such as ours to stay small and to stay in business.”
The scenic Bedrock Farm, located on Ballard Road, has 90 acres of high quality farm soils and 35 acres of forest. Ron milks 50 Jerseys and uses intensive pasture rotation to keep the cows healthy and content.
“I feel that I am a ‘steward’ for the land and the animals, caring for them as my Dad would,” said Ron. “Taking care of the land goes hand in hand with that—the richer and more bountiful the land, the better the animals will do on it. My favorite day of the year is the first day of pasture season. Ever seen a group of young heifers go on pasture for the very first time? Ecstasy!”
Bedrock Farm is the seventh farm in Georgia to be conserved. To protect water quality, land along a half-mile stretch of a tributary of Stone Bridge Brook will be left to grow into a naturally vegetated area that will help filter nutrients and sediments from the farm.
Funded by VHCB (with matching funds from USDA NRCS). (May 2017)