Graywall Farms, operated by Robin Chesmer and his son Lincoln, started business in 1989
when they leased a 185-acre dairy farm and purchased 80 dairy cows and farm equipment.
The farm real estate was purchased in 1992 after the owner sold the development rights
to the State of Connecticut therefore making the land more affordable for farm use. Graywall
Farm has grown to include 700 acres of owned land, 400 dairy cows and 280 calves and
heifers, mostly Holsteins. They grow corn and hay to feed their animals. Significant
capital investment has been made in new cattle barns, milking facility, feed center and
a manure management system. Six employees help them on the farm including Robin’s
son-in-law, David Hevner who manages the calves and young stock. Facility design places
high emphasis on labor efficiency and cow comfort.
Graywall Farm has been honored in many ways. The farm was selected as a Connecticut
Dairy Farm of Distinction in 1991, and was named the Connecticut Dairy Farm of the Year
for New England Green Pasture Program in 1998. The Chesmers hosted a visit from Secretary
of Agriculture Ann Veneman in 2002, and recently hosted the Celebration of Connecticut
Farms, Food, Wine & Art event to raise funds for farmland preservation with honorary
chairs Meryl Streep, Faith Middleton and Jacques Pepin.
|Lincoln & Robin Chesmer
|Lincoln Chesmer is the General Manager of Graywall Farms.
Lincoln manages all aspects of the dairy farm operation including the milk herd, growing
crops, and managing employees. He majored in Architecture at the Rhode Island School
of Design, and utilized his architectural skills in planning and designing the building
projects that include a new milking center, free stall barns and manure separation & storage
facilities. He and his wife have three young children.
Lincoln and Robin were both founding members of Very Alive. Acting
as the managing member of The Farmer’s Cow, LLC, Robin brings a diverse background
to the job. He operates a popular retail business, The Hoot, with his wife Kathy and
daughter Lisa, and has also worked in marketing and construction. He studied Business
Administration at The University of Connecticut, but owning a farm has always been a