The great American West was settled by hard-working people with such big dreams and determination that they should be considered modern-day heroes. The Webb family comes from such people, who arrived on the Western slope of Colorado in 1871 with a wagon and only one cow.
Charlotte Webb, whose mother helped grow the farm to 40 cows in the mid-1900’s, recalls farming history that included peaceful co-existence and trading with the Ute Indians, traveling the Oregon Trail and surviving through extreme circumstances. These stories provide a backbone of strength and pride for the existing dairy, which now milks 600 cows and began selling its own brand of cheese in 2009.
“Farmers don’t turn off at 40 hours per week,” she said when asked about what it takes to run a successful dairy. “But we love what we do and we want to pass on what we’ve learned, so we keep going.”
The dairy farm has been passed down through 6 generations, and the greatest treasure, according to Charlotte, are the children who have been raised and educated on the farm.
“Farm life helps kids learn discipline and respect early. They learn about natural resources and how to make their own place in the world through agriculture.”
She is proud that her children and grandchildren want to continue the legacy of the farm and have come back to work there on their own volition. Charlotte draws life-lessons from the iconic children’s story, Charlotte’s Webb, which tells a story of a farm, friendship and the circle of life. Besides the irony of her name being so similar to the story’s title, she says the story teaches that on a farm, life goes on with you, and it continues when you are gone. Doing hard work and honoring your family, friendships and history is the best way to pass on life-lessons to the next generation.
“Loving and giving makes life worth living, so the farm goes on through family hands, and we know that they’ll do their best to keep it going too.”
Today, Charlotte’s son Jim and son-in-law John run the dairy and cheese plant, which they opened in 2009.