1. You want to live on a small farm with lots of cows
It’s a beautiful dream, but producing milk isn’t going to get you there, as Andy Kehler and his brother Mateo learned in 1998 when they bought the 213-acre plot of land in Greensboro, Vermont, that now houses Jasper Hill Farms. That same year, 30 percent of Greensboro's dairy farms shut down. "The dairy economy is brutal," says Andy. "Cows are very expensive to maintain. You have zero control over what's going to happen in Russia or New Zealand, the global factors that affect national milk processing. And here in Vermont, we only get about 90 days between frosts.” Basically, Vermont is Norway, so the brothers had to...
2. But you actually want to run a business
...figure out a way to "make a decent living, send our kids to college, pay for retirement, to make sure the farm could support the current generation and the next one,” continues Andy. The way was cheese. A company that started in 2003 as two guys hand-packing and loading onto FedEx trucks twice a day, seven days a week (with zero days off for 18 months), now boasts 43 employees and rakes in $8 million-a-year. That is also a lot of cheese.