Matt Freund on Farm Byproducts and Family Businesses

Matt Freund is a second-generation dairy farmer in East Canaan, Connecticut. Since the farm was established in 1949, caring for the earth and its animals has been a priority for the Freund family, and they now run their 300-cow dairy using Connecticut’s first robotic milking machines, enabling the cows to choose when and how often they get milked. Over decades of work, Matt Freund and his family have established a few unique farm businesses, from a farm-grown market to Matt’s innovation, CowPots, a biodegradable plant pot made from composted cow manure.

Through the production and marketing of CowPots, the family has been able to alleviate the farm of excess nutrients while adding value to their farm’s byproduct. In addition, the farm has employed crop cultivation techniques to reduce erosion and build soil health through water recycling and planting native species. They’ve also installed 1,200 solar panels to generate enough electricity to meet their needs and send surplus to the grid. It’s clear that sustainability is at the forefront amongst the Freund family, earning them the inaugural U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Resource Stewardship.

“Doing the best we can for the environment has always been a strong emphasis on our farm,” said Matt, who now runs the farm with his brother, Ben, alongside their spouses and several members of the third generation.

Amanda Freund, Matt’s daughter, writes a blog as she travels the country to tell the Freund Farm’s story and spread the love of real dairy. Matt’s wife, Theresa, enjoys writing recipes for Cabot Creamery and running the family’s farm store, selling farm-grown foods. Sustainable practices lead to sustainable nutrition, as the Freund farm continues to feed their community by providing high quality milk to Cabot Creamery in New England to produce real butter and cheese for consumers to enjoy across the United States.