Mayval Farm   

Family farm history

In 1778, Noah Parsons III moved with his family to farm on what is now Easthampton Road in Westhampton, Massachusetts. 225 years later, the Parsons family still owns and farms that same land. Today, the farm is run by brothers Henry III and Edward Parsons. Henry manages the dairy herd while Ed oversees the crops, maple sugaring, and equipment. All of the hay and corn silage fed to the cows is grown on land around the farm. Currently the milking herd consists of about 100 registered Holstein (the majority), Brown Swiss, and Jersey cows.

As the farm has passed from generation to generation, it has seen many changes. A sawmill was built in the 1840's and remained in operation until the early 1970's. Henry and Ed's father and mother, Mahlon II and Bertha, instigated the switch to registered cattle in the 1950's. With a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts, Henry began concentrating on genetics for type and production in the 1970's. A new freestall barn and milking parlor were constructed in the early 1980's. At this very moment, we are constructing a creamery in which to pasteurize and bottle milk and to make yogurt and cheese. Please check back soon for an update!

Parsons brothers
Bertha and her four sons: Dale, Henry, Mahlon, and Ed (left to right).

The present company...

Besides Ed and Henry, several others are involved in making the farm run smoothly. Henry's wife, Margie (also a UMass AnSci grad.), is our maple cream and sugar maker and often milks and helps with other chores. Recently retired Westhampton treasurer and accountant, Margie also handles the farm's finances and bookkeeping. Trina, Edward's wife, is a manager at Ben & Bill's as well as an entrepreneur. The younger generation includes, on Henry and Margie's side, Ethan and his younger sister Kate, and on Ed and Trina's side, Clint and his younger brother Lee. Ethan is a researcher at MIT, while Kate is the Berkshire County district conservationist for the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service. A Cornell Ag. school graduate, Kate is based in Pittsfield and regularly pitches in. Clint, a UMass NRE graduate, is currently an Agricultural Specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He keeps an eye on New York's border with Canada. Lee works in excavation and construction and often helps out with weekend chores and maple sugaring.

Parsons farm family
From left to right: Clint, Trina, Lee, Kate, Margie, Ethan (standing); Ed, Henry (kneeling) and Bear.

And a little glory...

Henry and Ed Parsons
Outstanding Dairy Farmers Ed and Henry Parsons

A few years back, Henry and Ed were named the Massachusetts Outstanding Dairy Farmers. In competing for this coveted award, farmers are judged on the basis of farm management, crop management, milk quality, and service in the dairy industry. The award was widely recognized to be the result of the brothers' attention to detail, meticulousness in monitoring their cows' environment, and paying the utmost attention to feeding and breeding. The Parsons family was honored along with the winners from each of the other New England States at an awards ceremony held at the Big E.

Mayval Farm
149 Easthampton Rd.
Westhampton Massachusetts