HOWARD COUNTY, MD
As a 10th generation family farm we take the care and stewardship of our land and resources very seriously. In 1986 we entered into an agreement with Howard County ensuring that our farm will never be developed, or used for any purpose other than agriculture. Our intent, and our greatest desire is to stay here and to leave the farm in even better condition for the generations that follow us.
We have made a number of improvements to the farm over the years that enhance the environmental quality of the farm. We have established forested buffers along all of the streams and wetlands on the farm, and have fenced all of the streams so that our cows do not have access to them. Instead, the cows now drink our clear, clean water from stock watering devices. We have put gutters on all our farm buildings which keeps rainwater from running through the barnyard and carrying excess nutrients into the streams that feed the Patapsco River and from there the Chesapeake Bay. If you ever drive by and wonder what the huge dark blue cylinder in the front of the barns is - well its a manure pit. We milk up to 120 Holsteins twice a day 365 days a year. And as they wander around the barnyard they frequently do what cows do - they relieve themselves. All of that waste drains into the manure pit where it is stored, and turns into a liquid fertilizer. Several times a year that fertilizer is injected directly into the fields, providing needed nutrients for our crops and virtually guaranteeing that the manure does not end up in the streams. In addition we have used no-til planting for years and participate in the cover crop program to further protect the bay.
Our farm is not a "show place". We are a working dairy farm, with an emphasis on working. But we have gone out of our way to adopt every best management practice possible. Unless we take care of our environment, our farm will not be able to support our family and provide fresh, local food to your family!
In the 1920's, Ridgely Jones took over the farm
from his Grandfather, John Thomas Ridgely.
He established a successful dairy herd and farmed his entire life with his sons, John and Phil Jones. Today, Phil continues to farm with his son, Tim, Tim's wife, Mitzi, and their children, Shannon and Jacob. We hope that by branching out into the cheese making business, we can continue this legacy for many generations to come.
In the mid 1700's, John Hood Jr. and Elizabeth Shipley married and began their home at Bowling Green Farm near Sykesville, Maryland. Through the years, three generations of Hoods, one generation each of Jervis' and Ridgely's, and five generations of Jones' have kept up the successful farming tradition. The children you see showing cows at the Howard County Fair are living and working on the same land as their Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents. Whew! That's a lot of history.
The Jones family has been raising Holstein dairy cows since 1938. Along the way, we have learned to produce milk that is good for you and for our cows. All of our cows have access to pasture all day, every day. We do not use BST hormones and only use antibiotics when it is necessary for a cows health. We raise our Holsteins from calves, and when you have known an animal that long, you become pretty attached. Rest assured that it's a sad day on Bowling Green Farm when one of our cows (the ladies) passes away.
We believe that the care we give to our cows shows up in the quality of the milk we use in our cheese. Once you try our cheese, we think you'll agree!