Mark & Dahlia
Mark and Dahlia were two of few "farm kids" raised in the same small town of Lee, New Hampshire. Dahlia grew up on both a dairy farm, and a full time farm where her parents raised grass fed Belted Galloway beef cattle, produced hay, and grew market gardens for cut flowers (Check out Pinewoods Yankee Farm, owned and operated by Dahlia's parents Erick and Tina Sawtelle). Mark grew up just a couple miles down the road where his parents, Chuck and Lisa raised replacement dairy cattle, and had a custom haying operation.
After becoming "high school sweethearts" they realized their shared dream of continuing in the field of agriculture, and pursuing farming as a lifestyle and career. They both attended the University of New Hampshire for agricultual studies, and during and after, held many jobs that contributed to their ability to launch their own farm business. After attending UNH, Mark was hired as the full time crop manager for the UNH Organic Dairy farm, and Dahlia managed a 40 horse boarding/training/lesson facility, as well as worked as a large animal veterinary assistant. In the mean time, they began to grow their own farm business, with the establishment of their herd of Belted Galloways (coincidentally the same breed that Dahlia was raised with), and hay and maple production on rented ground in their home town.
In 2015, Dahlia and Mark were married at Chuck and Lisa's farm in Lee. Shortly after, the opportunity to propose a purchase of the Chandler Pond Farm property came about. Growing up, both Dahlia and Mark spent a significant amount of time visiting their "second homes" with extended family on their Northeast Kingdom farms, so the opportunity to own and operate their own farm in the NEK felt like a match meant to be, in an area that had already stolen their hearts from a young age. They are blessed by the guidance and support of family who understand the passion of farming, despite the constant challenges, and have encouraged them to push onward with their dreams of an ecologically responsible farm, while fostering a well-rounded understanding and respect for diverse, local agriculture.