KINGSTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Work is underway at a barn at The Lands at Hillside Farms in Luzerne County.
Several times a day, cows at The Lands at Hillside Farms have to cross a busy intersection near Shavertown to get to their pasture, but soon that will all change. The farm is building a new barn for its dairy cattle.
"It's a completely different dairy barn than what we have now," The Lands at Hillside Farms Executive Director Chet Mozloom said. "We use a tie stall currently and this dairy barn is way better for cow health. (It's) way better for public safety and employee safety."
The farm is a place where the public can learn about sustainable farming.
The farm's current barn is next to a stream.
"It's very important to us, from a sustainability perspective, and keeping nutrients out of the stream to protect the Chesapeake Bay," Mozloom said.
Moving the cows to the new barn will make it easier for workers because they will no longer have to bring the cows across the road to get to the pasture. They'll already be over there.
"Not having to cross the cows 800 times a year is a huge safety issue," Mozloom said. "It makes us a better neighbor. (We're) treating these cows really well because they are the workers here at Hillside Farms."
The nearly 15,000 square foot barn will be built in honor of the farm's founder, Dr. Doug Ayers. He passed away in 2017 after a battle with leukemia.
Plans to build the barn have been in the works for the past decade. It was a dream of Dr. Ayers.
"Doctor Ayers is all about sustainability," Mozloom said. "So for him, it's not just environmental, it's community. It's family and it's all of that."
The barn is expected to be finished in March.