|Highland||Angus||Bed & Breakfast||Farmers Market/
In the mid 1800's the Stebbins family began raising hops on what is now Drover Hill Farm. For many years this crop provided well for the family and allowed them to expand and update their home. In the late 1800's they remodeled the home in the Victorian genre, as it stands now. Years later the hops industry died in Central New York and eventually, in 1935, the Swiphas family purchased the farm. For the next 30 years dairy cattle roamed the fields, until Joe Swiphas retired in the 1960's. In 1982, shortly after Joe passed away, the Lipsey family purchased the farm. A few months after they moved in, the first Angus cattle were purchased - supposedly to keep William busy before going off to college, little did they foresee that it would be a lifelong endeavor. In May of 1982, a Highland bull was purchased as a Mothers Day present for Claire Lipsey. Soon after the Highland herd grew with purchases from other herds in New York and a big shipment from the state of Washington.
For the next two decades William and his mother Claire built a herd of Angus and Highland cattle that gained recognition throughout New York, and in the case of the Highlands, across the country. Showing became a big part of the operation in the mid eighties. In 1987 Drover Hill Farm exhibited their first National Champion, Orfhlaith 2nd of Dirtane (a Highland female pictured below). Since then the farm has bred and shown many champions, including numerous Grand Champions at the National Highland Show in Denver CO. On the Angus side, William's sister Barclay carried the torch, exhibiting at junior Angus shows thoughout the East.
In addition to showing cattle, William has been very active through out the cattle business. He has served as the regional chairman of the NYBPA, a director of the NY Angus Association, as the Angus representative to the NY Bull Test, as a director of the North East Highland Cattle Association, as a director of the American Highland Cattle Association (AHCA) and as the President of AHCA. He also judges fairs across the state and is a recognized judge by the Highland Cattle Society in Scotland.
Drover Hill Farm also established the first Highland Central Bull Test in the United States. This program, along with the spring sale allows Highland breeders to have their bulls evaluated in a central location with objective data, and then provides them with a way to market those bulls.
Over the last several years a new chapter has been written in the history of Drover Hill Farm. In 2007 William & Stephanie opened the house as a Bed & Breakfast. In addition they have offered gourmet beef, pork, lamb and chickens raised on the farm.