Mike Jablonski

Farm Name:

Antler Ridge Farm

Please describe yourself and what you do outside of the reindeer industry.

I owned and operated a landscape design and contracting firm and a garden center for almost 30 years. We started our reindeer farm around 1998 because it went along with our business of selling Christmas trees. I have been in the agricultural industry since I was 13 years old. I’m schooled in landscape design and architecture and I have been involved in the agriculture industry of some kind my entire life. We have since closed out our other businesses to focus on the reindeer farm. I am on the Conservation Board of my town and do some business consulting and limited design work. I am mainly a reindeer farmer full time now. Our farm does hay and reindeer exclusively now and I love it that way

Please describe your reindeer operation. (How long have you been raising reindeer? Where is your farm located? What are your primary markets? Etc.)

I started with ROBA back in 1996 and was a member with ROBA for 2 years before I could even find someone to sell me a reindeer. I learned a great deal in those 2 years and finally found someone to buy reindeer from. I have been raising and displaying reindeer for 22 years have been involved with ROBA for 24 years. Our reindeer market has evolved over the years we have had our reindeer. We started with farm tours and events at the farm. We also did field trips at the garden center and loved teaching kids and adults the unique features of reindeer. We worked our way into doing outside displays, which were mainly local. Then it just grew from there. We had a North pole village and lights display with our local fairgrounds for many years starting 2001. There was a reindeer barn for people to come and see Santa’s reindeer. We expanded into leases and out of states displays and are still doing that today. We raise and sell some reindeer, but our main focus is on displays and leases, mainly to zoos and towns.  Our Farm is located in Hamburg New York.

Describe any roles you have served on for your state and/or national association. (committee member, officer, etc.).

I have been part of the USAHA meetings starting out with Tom Scheib back in Hershey PA in the late 90’s. I was on the TB and Brucellosis committees on and off over the past 20 years as needed for my Farm. I have been on the Producers committee with the USDA in Washington for the past 5 years plus. I have been involved with the USDA on many different issues the past 10 years, and I have worked with different states across the country to get reindeer to be able to move into their states.  I was involved in getting reindeer into West Virginia, Connecticut, and Florida. I work closely with New York State Ag and Markets on to help keep reindeer displays and movements possible for the industry. Currently, New York has closed its borders to all deer movements into the state except for reindeer. I have worked with our Ag dept on keeping it that way. New York has one of the better programs for moving reindeer in the country and their program is used as a model across the country.