Farming is hard work, and for a modern couple with occupations to choose from, farming is an unlikely way to provide a living for a family.
And yet, five years after quitting their day jobs and committing to the mortgage and daily grind of a dairy farm, the Ellis family appears to be doing well at Daydream Farms.
“We are paying the bills, and putting food on the table,” said Marie Ellis, mother of two grade-school boys, who with her husband milks more than 50 cows every day. The milk they provide is shipped to Roxbury and Jamaica, Queens, where it is packaged into small cartons and served in Manhattan schools.
“It is a job, like any other job,” Ellis said. “Some days are good days and some days not so good. But for the most part it is a wonderful life. All of the cows have personalities. Some of them are just here, they do their job and that is it — they have no personality. But then there are some that are so personable, some are really curious and some are sweet as they can be.”
A typical day on the farm begins at 4 a.m. when nearly 100 farm animals are fed. The milking begins around 5 a.m. and is usually done by 6:30 a.m.
“When Tony and I both do the milking, it goes quicker,” Ellis said. “When he has something he has to get done, and I have to do all of the milking, it takes longer.”
Tony and Marie Ellis met at Morris College where she was an Equine major and he studied engine repair. Both of them were interested in farming and large animals. Tony Ellis always loved big tractors and farm equipment. He leased land to grow and bale hay, which he sold for profit.