Seven cows sunned themselves in a patch of grass in New Paltz, New York, relaxing in the early autumn breeze. When Nimai Pandit, the owner and chief farmer of Gopal Farm, stepped into their enclosure, a slim, tawny cow approached. Her name was Yogamaya, and she wanted a head rub. “They can’t massage this,” he explained as he scratched deeply behind the rough tuft of hair at the top of her head. When he stopped, Yogamaya nudged him with her nose. “Oh, they love petting. They like human touch.”
On 90 acres of land in the Hudson Valley, Pandit and his wife, Ashley Scott, started Gopal Farm in April 2016 with one guiding principle: love for the cow, something they found lacking at other farms. But selling milk requires permits, infrastructure, and money, so the couple started Gopal as a vegetable farm first, in order to establish themselves and raise funds to take on milk production. With the 2019 growing season over, Pandit is moving his efforts toward dairying.
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