The History of Arethusa Farm
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The Webster family buys farmland south of Litchfield, naming it “Arethusa” after a rare orchid that grew on the property.
1869 - 1999
By the early 1900s, Arethusa is a dairy farm with a small herd of Guernsey cows and, thirty years later, is one of the first farms to install electric milking machines. The Websters also take over their own bottling and become one of the first dairies to offer door-to-door milk delivery. In 1978, faced with a changing economy, Arethusa stops retail delivery and the Websters sell milk wholesale to a dairy co-op, but in 1981, they shut down all operations at the farm.
George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis purchase the property on Webster Road with the goal of saving open farmland. They make an agreement with Webster descendants to revive the name “Arethusa.”
George and Tony became interested in establishing their own dairy herd and the first purebred, registered Holsteins were purchased for Arethusa Farm. Jerseys would follow shortly thereafter.
The small herd of Holsteins & Jerseys from Connecticut brings home top honors from the most prestigious dairy show in the world. Their Holstein, Melanie was named Supreme Champion of World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin. Her Jersey herd mate, Veronica, was Reserve Supreme Champion.
George and Tony purchase the former Keith’s Stables property on South Plains Road as the site of an expanded milking facility. Three new barns were constructed, allowing the Arethusa herd to grow to nearly 300 cows.
2006 - 2009
The prize-winning Jersey, Veronica, returned to the World Dairy Expo to claim the Supreme Champion honors. At the same show, three years later in 2009, Arethusa Farm wins the prestigious honor of Premier Holstein Breeder.
2009 - 2012
Arethusa Farm purchases the Bantam Firehouse less than five miles from the farm and converts it to a full-fledged creamery and retail shop. The new dairy facility begins production on old-fashioned milk, artisinal cheeses, hand-crafted ice cream and all-natural yogurt, using only milk from Arethusa’s cows for their products.
About Arethusa Farm
Arethusa Farm was established in Litchfield, CT in 1999. Owners George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis purchased the farmland with the idea of starting a dairy farm and bottling milk for the local community. Today that idea has been realized.
Arethusa Farm has grown tremendously since that day years ago. We’ve added new barns, developed champion pure bred cows, increased our herd sizes and opened our creamery in nearby Bantam, CT. Despite the growth, one thing has remained consistent — the love and care we give to the cows that reside on our land. When you enter our milk barn, you are greeted by a sign reading “Every cow in this barn is a lady, please treat her as such.” We pride ourselves on providing the absolute highest level of care for our animals, and creating all-natural, farm-fresh dairy goods with a truly exceptional taste. We believe that great milk comes from great cows, and great cows come from Arethusa.