NORTH TROY, Vt. (AP) — A farm run by two brothers who've worked together for decades has been named the 2012 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year.
The Chaput Family Farms, in North Troy, near the Canadian border, was honored for its "sound management practices, outstanding herd performance and strong commitment to agriculture," organizers said Wednesday.
The University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association in cooperation with the New England Green Pastures Program present the honor, called the Green Pasture Award. They call Chaput Family Farms "an exemplary dairy farm."
The 1,800-acre farm is owned by brothers Reg and Michael Chaput, who've worked together for 30 years.
The brothers milk 830 cows three times a day and this spring bought their own milk truck and tanks so they can haul their milk to Dairylea Cooperative, a cost-saving measure they believe will give them more control over milk quality, the award organizers said. The brothers have won several milk quality awards including Dairylea's Special Gold Award, its highest milk quality honor, three years in a row.
The Chaputs were among the first Vermont dairy farmers to install a methane digester, which captures the gas from animal waste and uses it to generate electricity. They produce enough electricity to power about 300 homes.
The brothers were honored at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass., in September and will be honored again at the Vermont Dairy Industry Association banquet at the Vermont Farm Show in Essex Junction in January.
The Green Pasture Award program began in the 1940s as a friendly wager among New England governors about whose state had the greenest pasture. Each year, a dairy farm from each New England state is honored.