Miles Smith Farm is named for the man who founded it in the 1850s and now rests with his family in the farm cemetery. In 1970, the Foundation’s founder Loring Puffer established Rivendell School here. It was a residential institution for New England’s delinquent teenagers until 1982. From 1990 to 1997, the property was home to Learning Networks Foundation, which provided distance learning for adults and in the early 2000s, the Foundation sponsored educational programs for at-risk youth in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a place that was dear to the heart of our founder.
After Loring’s death in 1999, his widow, Carole Soule, turned her attention to reviving the property as a working beef cattle farm. But seeing agriculture as endangered and widely misunderstood, and realizing the beneficial impact farming can have on the lives of young people, she refocused the Foundation’s efforts accordingly. The farmhouse has been restored and enhanced, and a herd of Scottish Highlander cattle have 37 acres where they enjoy wholesome and natural lives.
Today Carole operates Miles Smith Farm in loving partnership with second husband Bruce Dawson, and the Foundation is the educational facet of that farm, aiming to enhance public understanding of agriculture, enrich the lives of children, and to promote the respectful and humane treatment of livestock animals.