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Bos-Haven Farm

“There is a demand for milk, local milk — our milk. The market is here, the cows are here. So why truck from elsewhere? We all make a quality product no matter what, but to be compensated for that with the premium that Hudson Valley Fresh provides, well, it’s nice to be appreciated.” – Brian Donovan


Bos-Haven Farm gets its name from the Latin word for cow, or bos, and haven is a place of safety, which suits Tim Marshall, whose ancestors have been taking care of cows in this region since the early 1800s, starting with his mother’s descendants, the Benhams.

Tim learned about the dairy business from his grandfather Stanley Benham who farmed the land since 1946. This land has been farmed by Tim’s mother family, the Benhams, since the 1800s who back then did more subsistence farming until the railroads came up from New York City and brought with them the opportunity to sell milk to city folk. That’s when the dairy business began to thrive in the Hudson Valley.

“And that is what we are still trying to do today,” says Tim. “That’s why we need Hudson Valley Fresh, to get a fair price for our milk so we can keep farming. Farming is much more costly in the Northeast than it is out west. The taxes are higher, the land costs more. Local does not always mean less expensive.”

Farming may be the oldest profession in the world but is one of the most difficult to start as a “new” farmer. Brian Donovan grew up with the love of farming and worked on a neighbor’s  farm. However once he became an adult he did not have a place to call his own. Tim is no longer milking cows as his occupation but this opened the doors for Brian to start farming.

 At age 23, Brian began leasing the facility at Bos Haven from Tim.  He milks 140 of his own cows and raises another 140 replacements, supplying Hudson Valley Fresh with his superior quality milk . This remarkable relationship has lasted for 12 years,  surviving some of the most difficult years in the dairy industry. Brian handles the day to day operations while Tim harvest the feed for the dairy. This allows Brian to keep his investment low and focus on the care of his animals. One of his goals for the farm is to continue to improve his herd by purchasing registered animals and improving the genetic potential of his herd.

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