Twenty years to the leap day, Dungeness Valley Creamery completes the family circle.
Husband and wife Ryan, 28, and Sarah McCarthey, 30, take over the family owned raw milk dairy today from her parents, Jeff and Debbie Brown, both 60, who started the dairy’s milk production in 1992.
The young couple and 10 part-time employees continue operations at the 38-acre farm producing certified whole, skim and cream raw milk from purebred Jersey cows for businesses all over Western Washington.
“I’ve been blessed,” Jeff said. “I consider this my hobby, but I’ve been able to make a living out of it.”
Debbie said it’s been a privilege to own the creamery, especially with the beautiful landscape and mountains in sight.
The Browns grew up in Sequim, with Debbie a third-generation Sequim resident. Ryan and Sarah’s first child, Tyler, 4½ months old, is fifth-generation.
Ryan said it’s exciting to raise a family on the farm.
“The number of dairy farms was 30 or 40 when I grew up in the area,” Jeff said, “Now we are one of two farms left.”
In 2009, the farm was preserved for agricultural use perpetually with help from the North Olympic Land Trust. So for generations the property is destined to be a farm.
“No Walmarts here,” Jeff said.
The business exchange is more than new titles. Both families are changing homes, too.
Ryan and Sarah are buying the business and renting property from their parents and moving into the farmhouse. Jeff and Debbie plan to move into Ryan and Sarah’s 112-year old home near the Sequim city limits.