My name is Laura. I live in central New York State with my husband of 30 years, Kevin, our two boys Clay 21 and Austin 19, as well as a farm load of animals. I grew up in Pompton Lakes, NJ. I graduated from Pompton Lakes High School and then moved to the rural central New York region. Once in NY I graduated from Morrisville State College with an AAS degree in Equine Science. While still attending college I posted a job wanted ad and got two replies. The ad said that I was seeking to work with Standardbred horses. One of the replies was from a trainer at a county fair track. The other was from a breeding farm. That was my dream job and that is the one I took. I met my husband at this farm and we are still here 35 years later.
One of my great grandfathers had raced standardbreds in the streets on Paterson, NJ. I had always loved horses and had a special attraction for Standardbreds. I had a cousin who was born one month after me. We were close growing up. One of her first jobs was also on a standardbred farm. Standardbreds are amazing horses. They can and will do whatever you ask of them. They are very willing to please and easy to work around. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general I found standardbreds to be everything I dreamed they would be. They also can look like almost any other breed. I have seen the old stereotypical jughead standardbred, but I have also seen standardbreds which look like quarter horses, arabs, morgans, and throughbreds. I have rarely regretted my decision to work with standardbreds and to live and work on Southwind Farms. It was an honor to work with Connie and Allen Skolnick. Their loss is still keenly felt.
In addition to working with standardbreds we have always had beef cattle on the farm. In 1989 we added Jacob Sheep. The Skolnicks had seen them while traveling in Chesham, England and I was able to find some and gave them their first Jacob as a Hanukkah gift. We have had all manner of other animals and livestock since then. There have been peafowl, chickens, ducks, rabbits, chinchilla, quail, pheasants, chukkar, ducks, geese, swans, dogs, cats, llamas, alpaca, donkeys, ponies, mini horses, full size horses, a draft, pigs, goats and tortoises. In the late 90's the Skolnicks returned from another trip to England talking about Golden Guernsey Goats. It took a long time but we were finally able to get some pregnant reciients carrying these rare goats. To this day Southwind Farms is the only farm in North America where purebred Golden Guernsey Goats are raised.
I am a daughter of God. I am a wife and a mother. I am an animal lover. I have devoted my life to the care and well being of animals. Each one has taught me valuable lessons. Each loss tore a piece from my heart. You are welcome to share some of my experiences here on this page.