BURLINGTON — To be named the Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year is an honor, one befitting a dairy operation that excels in many areas, from sustainable management practices and quality milk production to environmental stewardship and ongoing commitment to promoting the dairy industry.
Nominations for the 2023 award will be accepted until May 1. Previous nominees who were not chosen as the winner may be nominated again.
Agricultural organizations, agribusinesses, dairy co-ops, farmers and other individuals who want to nominate an outstanding dairy farm can download the nomination form at go.uvm.edu/vdfya. To request a copy of the form by mail, contact Peggy Manahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-639-2130.
The award has been presented annually by University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association. It is an outgrowth of the New England Green Pastures Program, which was established in 1947 to recognize the New England dairy farm with the greenest pastures. In 1961, selection of a regional winner was eliminated, with each state naming its own outstanding dairy farm instead.
In Vermont, the winner is chosen by a committee of past Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year recipients who visit the finalists' farms in early summer. Each farm is evaluated on a number of criteria, including overall farm management, milk quality, pastures and crops, innovative practices and leadership in agricultural organizations and the community.
The winning farm in each of the New England states will be recognized at a special awards banquet at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass., in September. In addition, the Vermont winner will be honored at the 2024 Vermont Farm Show in Essex Junction and featured on "Across the Fence," UVM Extension's daily farm, home and community show airing on WCAX-TV.
Recent recipients of this award were Molly Brook Farm, Cabot (2022), McGarry Dairy, West Berkshire (2021) and Sunderland Farm, Bridport (2020).