Ann Starbard

Goat Cheese Farmer, Crystal Brook Farm

I did work with goats with Heifer Project so I got familiar with that animal when I worked on the farm in Rutland. So that was my initial exposure. I was born and raised with dairy cows, worked with cows all through college. We milked cows here for years and years. What got me into goats as my current profession is that I wanted to make cheese. I didn’t want to work off the farm, I wanted to work on the farm and we were milking cows at the time so I was actually looking into making cow cheese. So I went around to the few cheese makers that were around here at that point in time, and one person that I knew, she was milking goats and making goat cheese. So I went and visited her just to see that aspect. And as fate would have it she wanted to sell her business, she had about 30-35 goats and the cheese-making equipment and a small business set up. So, it was, in many ways, it was more attractive to buy her business and bring everything here and sort of just go from there. And so that’s what I did and that is how I landed into goats.

Ann Starbard is a 53-year-old woman who was originally born in Pennsylvania, but found her way up to Worcester County due to her farming skills. This Penn State graduate had grown up on a dairy farm her whole life and when she was ready, moved up to Sterling, MA, in order to find her career in goat cheese making on Crystal Brook Farm. She is a very uplifting and always laughing kind of person, who has a real calling for animals of all kinds; however, goats seem to be her favorite. She spent seven years of her life working for St. Vincent Hospital in the city of Worcester yet found out that her true passion was in the rural life with her farm animals. She understands what it means to take every day as it comes and to not sweat the small stuff with the life she lives. She is extremely experienced in her career and uses that to her advantage in everyday life, allowing her to give her all to whatever comes her way.

Interview
Interview Date: 
November 13, 2015
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