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2008 Massachusetts Outstanding Dairy Farm

Shaw Farm
Warren Shaw
195 New Boston Rd Dracut MA 01576

In June 2008 the Shaw family celebrated the second century of their dairy operation. In 1908, Mark Loran Shaw founded a farm when dairy farmers used to do all the work without the aid of power driven equipment. "All of our dairy products were delivered door to door throughout the Greater Lowell area with a horse drawn wagon" Warren Shaw says. In 1927, 19 years after Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford, technology came to Shaw Farm. The family traded in their delivery wagon, pulled by a horse, for a Dodge truck. In 1933, when M.L. Shaw died, Mark Jr. and Albert took over the operation. In 1940's Winthrop Shaw bought a small farm and connected it to the old farm. In 1949, Winthrop Shaw, battling chronic asthma migrated to California leaving the business to his father Mark, his uncle Albert, and his brother, Warren. In 1950's Mark Shaw Jr. retired and left the operation to his brother Albert and his son, Warren. Albert Shaw retired in 1973, just as Warren Shaw Jr. and Wally Biedron Jr. graduated from high school and began working full time on the farm.

The future of the Shaw Farm lies in the hands of a fifth generation. Warren's daughters, Sarah, Lyndie, and Laurie all play key roles in the operation. Sarah's husband, Robert Pratt, is involved in ice cream manufacture and milk-plant duties. Mark Shaw, the youngest of the four, has made a commitment to keep the farm going.

Shaw Farm has seen a lot of changes since 1908, but its name and many traditions are not among them. Shaw Farm still pasteurizes its milk in vats. Warren says "this helps protect the milk's natural sweetness". The farm continues home delivery operations and has over 200 home-delivery customers. Currently, Shaw Farm milks 75 cows and has 48 heifers. The farm owns 135 acres of land and rents another 120 acres.

The Farm offers their own ice cream made fresh from milk and cream from their farm. Shaw Farm runs a store and an ice cream shop on the farm. The Shaw family operates M.L. Shaw's Country Kitchen and Ice Cream shop in Dracut. In March 2007, the Shaw Farm certified part of the farm as organic.