Final ‘cow Crossing’ Held At Hillside Farms

May 16, 2019

Cows at the Lands at Hillside Farms moved into a new home Thursday. Suzanne Kapral, director of marketing and development for the Lands at Hillside Farms, called it the “final cow crossing.” The dairy herd will now live in Dr. Doug Ayers Dairy Barn in the pastures near Hillside Farms’ education building in Jackson Twp. The barn is named in honor of Ayers, the farm’s founder. The conservationist, environmentalist, educator and veterinarian died Sept. 12, 2017 after a battle with leukemia. It was Ayers’ dream to have a barn to benefit the dairy herd. He wanted the cows to have more space, live without chains and not have to cross the busy Hillside Road four times a day to graze. “This new barn provides spacious and comfortable living for the herd as well as access to pasture,” Kapral said. “The cows will not live in stalls or are chained.” Each grazing season, Kapral said the herd crossed the busy Hillside Road 700 times to get to their pasture. After Ayers death, Hillside Farms executive director Chet Mozloom and others committed to keeping Ayers’ dream for the barn alive. An anonymous donor soon emerged to help. The donor pledged to donate $2 for every $1 raised by the community, up to $600,000. Within a few months, the public raised more than $300,000 for a total of $900,000. Kapral said the final crossing on Thursday was “met with mixed emotions as this has been tradition for many years.” “However, Hillside Farms is excited to provide an excellent new barn for the herd to call home,” she said.