When you are thinking about a farm, what is the first image that comes to mind…a big red barn? Richlands Dairy Farm has a big, beautiful red barn! It also has a rich history. This farm has been family-owned and operated since its purchase in the mid-1700s when it was a homestead and a tobacco farm.
Fast-forward to 1954 when Mr. Jones (Grandpa Jones to all who live here) decided it would become a dairy operation. Now Mr. and Mrs. Jones, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live and work on this beautiful 800 acres, along with the 500 animals who reside here. Among the treasured animal residents is Quasi, their beloved retiree who can easily be tracked because she has a Swiss cow bell on. They grow corn, triticale and rye grass to feed the cows. They also grow pumpkins for their month-long Fall Festival during October and they use four acres for their amazing fall corn maze – there is a different theme each year. Plans underway include the addition of a creamery on the property.
Not only is Richlands Farm located near the Dinwiddie County-Nottoway County boundary, the line actually runs through the farmhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Their granddaughter said that when she was a little girl there were two telephones in the house, one in each county.
Farm tours can be scheduled during May, June and October where visitors learn what life is like for the cows that live here, what they eat, where they sleep. The Fall Festival on October weekends is a wonderful time to visit, go to the calves’ barn, go on a hayride, milk a cow, see if you can make your way through the corn maze. They love school and youth groups. They also have a Homeschool Day.
Early in the summer they hosted Dinner on the Dairy and working with neighboring farms they were able to offer a complete “farm-to-table” event with everything locally grown. They took it one step farther; it was actually “farmer-at-the-table”. Check the calendar for future dinners.
The new generations are adding much to the life at Richlands and they are welcoming visitors to experience it!