All walks of life live on the one square mile village of Goodland. The unique and diverse backgrounds work to create a beautiful environment of friendliness and civic-mindedness. It is fascinating how people from all over the world somehow find their way here. One of these people is Dawn Sharts.
In the spring of 2014, Dawn Sharts purchased her home on Coconut Avenue in Goodland, but she was no stranger to Southwest Florida. Dawn and her late husband had visited Marco Island almost forty years ago, but didn’t return to the area until their son Jeffrey was ten years old. At that time, they were home-schooling Jeffrey and were able to spend winters in Marco Island, fishing the Ten Thousand Islands.
In 2009, she returned and could not believe the transformation. Dawn bought a house in Marco and kept looking for their “forever home” in Southwest Florida. On a fishing excursion around the Goodland area, she happened upon the “pink motel” and on a whim they made a call to her realtor. He said, “Well, if you like that, I have another property in Goodland I’d love to show you.” Dawn walked into the home on Coconut Avenue, adorned with the blue cross on its roof peak, and just knew it was the right one. “It felt good, and it had really great energy,” she explained. Now splitting time between her farms in Greenwich, New York and Goodland, Florida, she has the best of both worlds.
Dawn grew up traveling around with her parents, her father serving in the U.S. Air Force. During her middle school years, the family settled in Greenwich, New York where her father was born and raised. She received an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Science from Green Mountain College and planned to pursue a career in counseling. But a chance introduction to a local dairy farmer changed her path in 1976. Jeff and Dawn, with no prior knowledge of farming, successfully operated Jeff’s farm for over thirty years. When Jeff passed away in 2009, Dawn found yoga, which transformed her life. In 2013, she became a certified yoga instructor and taught classes at her renovated schoolhouse on her farm. Additionally, Dawn became a holistic health practitioner in “Integrative Nutrition,” specializing in “whole person health”- not just dietary methods. She became a life coach, helping people commit to changing their lives through small practices, such as reading labels. “It wasn’t about the money. I did it for the pleasure of helping others.”
Dawn and her son Jeffrey own and operate Aghamora Dairy of Beech Hill Farms with the help of Jeffrey’s girlfriend, Michelle. They raise Holsteins on the farm and currently have about twenty head. “We have over three hundred acres, running two farms with sixty acres being wooded, forestry land for conservation. We buy good pedigree cows and sell their offspring,” explained Dawn. “We show cows and have participated in the World Dairy Expo. We are also very involved in leasing cows to the local 4-H program. The 4-H kids come to our farm and work with their assigned cows, eventually showing these cows at the Washington County Fair. For several weeks, the kids work hard teaching their cows to lead and setting up the animal for herdsmanship. It is a very competitive and rewarding program.”
Enjoying overnight fishing trips with her son and his girlfriend is priority. A future trip to the Tortugas in the works. Spending time with her cat, Tagua and practicing yoga at Marco Beach are passions of hers as well. I am fortunate to have Dawn as my neighbor, and we are fortunate to have someone like her as a part of our Goodland community.