FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Mountain Dairy Farm in Sheldon Draws Big Crowds for Farm Tours, Food, Fun
Sheldon, VT – The Rowell Family of Green Mountain Dairy Farm believe in showing their community what farmers do to produce safe, wholesome and nutritious food in Vermont and beyond. On August 27, the Rowell’s opened their farm to over 1,000 visitors for Vermont’s 3rd Breakfast on the Farm.
The free, public event included a pancake breakfast, self-guided tours of the dairy farm and a peek into the life and business of dairy farming in Vermont – home to over 850 dairy farms that make 63% of the milk for New England, according to USDA data.
The 2,000-cow, 1,500-acre farm is owned and operated by brothers, Brian and Bill Rowell, along with their family and 18 full-time employees. The farm has earned acclaim for their high quality milk. In 2008 they won The New England Green Pastures Dairy Farm of the Year award. The farm produces over 27 million pounds of milk annually for the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, which is used for yogurt, ice cream, cheese, butter and other quality dairy products.
“Dairy products from Vermont farms are top quality, and it is important to our region that people support their local dairy farmer,” said Bill Rowell. “Breakfast on the Farm was an opportunity for those who participated to see for themselves the practice of caring for the cows, and producing a quality food product on today’s dairy farm.”
Educational stations throughout the farm enabled visitors to learn about daily life on a dairy farm, including sustainable technology. Green Mountain Dairy Farm is one of several Vermont dairy farms that turns manure into electricity through an anaerobic digester with the cooperation of Green Mountain Power. The local utility buys the renewable energy for the grid through a program called Cow Power™, and the farm generates enough electricity annually to power 400 homes.
Attendees also saw farm equipment, learned about how farmers protect water quality, toured the free stall barns where the cows have constant access to food, water, and comfortable beds, and learned about how calves are raised. Kids took part in an educational scavenger hunt that included learning how to milk a cow.
Vermont Breakfast on the Farm is coordinated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and aims to provide the public with a first-hand look at how food is made for Vermont communities and the world. Approximately 100 volunteers from the community joined the Rowell family and helped answer visitors’ questions about farming practices.
Chuck Ross, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture said, “Breakfast on the Farm is one way we can help ensure that future generations of Vermonters maintain a connection to the land and an appreciation for the importance of agriculture in our state.”
Vermont Breakfast on the Farm is made possible by the agricultural business community including Bourdeau Brothers, Hall Communications, New England Dairy Promotion Board, Poulin Grain and Vermont Feed Dealers & Manufacturers Association.
New England Dairy Promotion Board