The Story of Sherman Farm

The Story of Sherman Farm

Located along the winding Saco River valley in East Conway, New Hampshire, Sherman Farm has been family-owned and run for more than half a century. Today three generations of the family are actively involved… and the fourth generation is already starting to learn about what it takes to run a family farm.

 

At Sherman Farm, our mission has always been to produce high quality, great tasting farm food products. As thoughtful and committed stewards of our land and our animals, we produce our products in the most progressive, efficient way possible, with the utmost respect for our community, our customers, our employers and our family. Education is an integral part of what we do, and we make every effort to honestly educate our customers on the methods and philosophy we use in producing these products.

The History of Sherman Farm

Sherman Farm was started in 1964 as a small dairy farm by Al and Phyllis Sherman. Over the next two decades, the dairy expanded slowly and the farm evolved, with farm-grown fruits and vegetables sold at a farmer's market and at the farm.

 

Al and Phyllis, with the help of three daughters—Cheryl, Kathy and Debbie—were very progressive. Farming takes a deep level of knowledge of many things—the soil, planting, harvesting, pest management, animal husbandry, farm management, weather and so much more—and a commitment to lifelong learning. Always open to trying something new, the Shermans experimented with new products, always listening to their customers and changing as their customers' tastes and needs changed. At the forefront of the family's commitment was—as it is today—to always produce a quality product that looks beautiful and tastes great.

 

In the 1990s, Kathy became a full partner and now manages the operation of the farm with the help of her children, Michele Hatch Dutton and Jeff Hatch. Michele is in charge of the accounting, marketing and social media relations, while Jeff is the head of production. They work together to oversee the day-to-day operations, and make all major decisions as a family. Phyllis has recently retired and is enjoying her great grandchildren and knitting.

 

Today the farm is even more diversified than it was in Al and Phyllis' day. The farm grows approximately sixty acres of vegetables and fruits; raises over forty head of Angus beef cattle and 30 pigs; hauls and delivers Sherman Farm milk in glass bottles; and operates the farm market, which is open daily year round. In addition, the celebrated 12-acre Corn Maize is open for six weeks every fall.

Continuing Al Sherman's Legacy

Sherman Farm is the successful farm it is today for one reason: Al Sherman and the vision he had. Al Sherman grew up on a farm in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and dreamed of owning his own farm. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Animal Husbandry, he married his college sweetheart, Phyllis Rawlins. He worked as a herdsman for several years and in 1964 bought the old “Shirley Farm” in East Conway, New Hampshire. He moved to the farm with his bride, two young daughters, several dogs and a few cows on May 8, 1964.

 

Innovation was very much Al’s way, from the collaboration with neighbors, sharing equipment and labor, to the adoption of new technologies before they were widely used. Realizing the dairy business would never be anything but volatile, he went to his second love, growing fruits and vegetables. Under his gentle guidance the business has become what it is today, and with his legacy of always striving to do better we are determined to continue to improve.

 

Not only was Al a great farmer, but he also took interest in the community around him. He was a lifelong member of the Fryeburg Lions Club, serving two terms as president and for many years the site chairman; and he was active in the East Conway Fire Department, serving for several years as chief. He was also involved with agricultural committees from the Extension Service to cooperative organizations, still leaving him the time to become involved in family activities.

 

On March 18, 2008 Al passed away peacefully in his sleep, just as he would have wished. He leaves us with the legacy of patience, good humor and the will to always do a little bit better.

 

Sherman Farm in the News

NH Homes feature article

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Farmer for a Morning

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Book Mobile by Believe in Books

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Farmer for a Morning

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