Shelburne Farms was created in 1886 by Dr. William Seward Webb and Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb as a model agricultural estate. They commissioned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to guide the layout of 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) of farm, field and forest, and New York architect Robert Henderson Robertson, to design the buildings. Shelburne Farms was incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization in 1972. Nearly 400 acres (160 ha) of sustainably managed woodlands received Green Certification from the Forest Stewardship Council in 1998.
The Shelburne Farms grass-based dairy supports a herd of 125 purebred, registered Brown Swiss cows. Their milk is made into an award-winning farmhouse cheddar cheese. The farm serves as an educational resource by practicing rural land use that is environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable. Visitors may enjoy the walking trails, children’s farmyard, inn, restaurant, property tours and special events.