Five generations strong, Coldsprings Farm in Carroll County, Maryland has been a family endeavor since 1869. Today, Matt and his wife Debbie are at the helm and lead the daily operations for the 2,200-acre dairy farm. Their three daughters Courtney, Brook, and Alicia are involved on the farm and are active in 4-H. Courtney is attending Cornell University studying dairy science and considering graduate schools with an interest in research in nutrition and dairy cattle welfare.
Every day, their Holstein cows are fed a balanced and nutritious diet of grass, hay, and silage. In addition, the cows lie on four-inch-thick mattresses that are bedded daily with sawdust, to keep them happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Producing high-quality and nutritious milk has always been the top priority for the family, they have also always farmed with the mindset of leaving the land better than they found it. As a youngster, Matt’s father Marlin traveled the countryside, inspired by the care that farmers took of their animals and land. He brought that passion back home to the farm, where the family has continued to strive for excellence in environmental preservation.
Coldsprings Farm was early adopter of cover crops, using small grains, legumes and grasses to help slow the erosion of the land and improve the health of their soil. By the 1990s, the farm had transitioned to being 100% no-till.
Working together with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRSC), the family utilizes proactive manure management practices and riparian buffers to minimize nutrient and sediment runoff, improving the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. They also compost manure to use it as fertilizer and they sell that fertilizer to others in their community.
The family participates in numerous activities outside of farm life. Matt serves on the board for Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, the local farm bureau, the Maryland Dairy Industry Association and the Maryland State Fair Board. He previously served on the State and County Ag Commissions and the County Soil Conservation Board, County Holstein Association and is a past delegate to the National Holstein Convention. Debbie and all three daughters are active in 4-H and the entire family enjoys showing their Holsteins at various fairs and shows throughout the year. Alicia represented Maryland on the state’s 4-H Dairy Judging Team that placed second at World Dairy Expo.