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Gay lives in Mifflin County on Hameau Farm in the Big Valley. She graduated from college with a degree in European Studies and Political Science. After a job offer in Washington, D.C., she chose to continue working on her family’s dairy farm. She then purchased her own farm, initially starting with a herd of Holsteins before moving to Ayrshire cattle. In between, she worked for the American Forage and Grassland Council. Gay is a third generation Ayrshire breeder and dairy farmer, and she mentors beginning dairy farmers through the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program. Her herd of Plum Bottom Ayrshires graze on 110 acres of grass and have won many awards.
Gay’s Hameau Farm is in its 25th year of hosting an annual summer “Farm Camp” for girls, ages 8–14. A value-added enterprise for six weeks every summer, the camp offers two weeks each of chores, special activities, and unique field trips. In 1999, the farm began hosting artist retreats and workshops geared towards both instructors and novices who desire to capture the views and vistas that the farm offers.
Hameau, when loosely translated, means community — which is important to Gay. She is on the board of the Kishacoquillas Valley Historical Society, a founding Steering Committee member of the Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN), a member of Belleville Reading Club, and she attends the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church.