Tucked away in a corner of New Hampshire is the small town of Hinsdale, population 4,000. It’s like a lot of quaint little towns in this scenic area, but it’s also home to Echo Farm and its remarkable product.
Founded in 1990, the dairy operation at Echo Farm is what one family member describes as a “4-H project gone haywire” The Hodge and Schofield families had planned to raise a few horses and other farm animals, but the introduction of cows — the Schofields loved Jerseys, the Hodges bought Milking Shorthorns – upped the ante and an iconic New Hampshire dairy brand was born.
The two Hodge daughters, Beth and Courtney, were in their teens when they convinced their parents to go into dairying, and together they now run the operation and oversee the growth of the Echo Farm Puddings brand.
All natural, and produced on the farm, Echo Farm Puddings has developed quite a following nationwide, thanks to online sales, and in the region’s retailers. Flavors include an Echo Farm cow’s name — Miracle’s Chocolate, for example, Miracle’s Chocolate Pudding is made with cocoa from the Ghirardelli company. The farm even produces Indian Pudding, a New England tradition that includes blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Naming rather than numbering cows is only part of the ‘personal’ approach Echo Farms takes with its herd.
The other facet of the operation is to encourage the next generation of dairy farmers. Beth Hodge is active in New Hampshire Farm Bureau, serving on her county board and chairing the New Hampshire Young Farmer Committee. Beth also is actively involved in Echo Farm’s 4-H Club, perhaps hoping she can encourage yet another ‘haywire’ 4-H experiment!
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