Naming Of First Organic Heifer At UNH Goes For $1,275
eBay Auction Winner Chooses "Charley"
Contact:  Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations
December 20, 2006

Editors' note: To reach the Hirshbergs, contact Alice Markowitz at 603-437-4040 ext. 2306 or

DURHAM, N.H. -- A family trio from Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry has donated $1,275 through an eBay auction for naming rights to the University of New Hampshire’s first-born organic heifer. The winning bidders – Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg, his wife Meg, and Nancy Hirshberg, Stonyfield vice president of natural resources (and Gary’s sister) – will name the heifer Charley.

Born Dec. 12, 2006 to mother May, Charley joins the herd of Jerseys at UNH’s organic research dairy farm, which is the first organic dairy at a U.S. university.

“We are proud to name the first calf born at the UNH organic research dairy farm ‘Charley,’ after Chuck Schwab, who has been a tireless advocate in the effort to bring organic dairy teaching and research to UNH students and the state’s dairy industry. He is a true public servant, having dedicated his entire career to learning and research,” said Gary Hirshberg. Charles Schwab, professor of animal and nutritional sciences at UNH, has championed and spearheaded the organic research dairy project.

The Hirshbergs are no strangers to the organic research dairy farm. Stonyfield Farm made a leadership gift of $200,000 to launch the project and a second $250,000 challenge grant, providing UNH an opportunity to raise an additional $250,000.

“What a thrill to see our state’s land-grant university take the lead in the nation in teaching students about sustainable agriculture and generating much-needed research on all aspects of organic dairy. This organic research dairy farm is the first of its kind, and not only addresses a need to encourage future organic farmers, but also gives conventional farmers a place to learn more about this expanding field,” said Nancy Hirshberg.

In honor of Stonyfield Farm’s ongoing partnership with the UNH organic research dairy farm, UNH will name its second heifer calf Gurt, which is the name of Stonyfield Farm’s mascot cow. “Our Gurt has spent many years educating consumers about healthy food and a healthy planet, so it’s appropriate that her real-life alter-ego makes her home at the UNH organic research dairy farm,” said Nancy Hirshberg. She notes that the virtual Gurt was named by the winner of a Stonyfield customer contest who suggested that the proper way to call Gurt in from the field would be “Yo! Gurt!”

UNH launched its organic dairy in December 2005 to provide much-needed education and science-based research for present and future organic dairy farmers while helping to secure the future of the Northeast’s agricultural heritage. Originally comprising 48 Jersey cows (46 of whom are calving through January) of exceptional genetic quality, the farm is located on 200 certified-organic acres in Lee, about five miles from the center of campus. UNH will begin shipping organic milk on Jan. 6, 2007.

The Hirshbergs winning bid will go toward farm equipment and new facilities, including a barn, state-of-the-art milking parlor, and education center. UNH has raised half the project total of approximately $1.5 million. In addition to Stonyfield Farm, major funders include Aurora Organic Dairy of Boulder, Colo.; Hannaford Bros. Supermarkets of Portland, Maine; Organic Valley of LaFarge, Wis.; Newman’s Own Foundation of Westport, Conn.; and HP Hood of Chelsea, Mass.

To see a video of Charley and the UNH organic research dairy farm, go to To read the announcement of Charley’s birth, go to

High resolution photographs are available to download. Credit Lisa Nugent, UNH Photo Services.

Away in a manger: The University of New Hampshire welcomed Charley, the first heifer to its organic research dairy farm, Dec. 12, 2006. She was named by Gary, Meg and Nancy Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry, who bid $1,275 for the naming rights in an eBay auction. Proceeds support ongoing development of the organic research dairy farm.

Mother and child: May, a Jersey at the University of New Hampshire’s organic research dairy, tends to her first-born, Charley. The calf is the first heifer born at the organic dairy farm, which is the first in the nation at a land-grant university.