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Meet Our 2018 Host Farms!

In addition to leading their businesses, local dairy farmers are active members in their communities.  From their towns, to area schools and churches, farmers are serving and leading.  What better way to support them back, then coming out and enjoying a great morning on the farm!

In 2018 two Vermont Breakfast on the Farm events are set for June 23 and July 28.  You’ll enjoy a free pancake breakfast and take a self-guided tour of a dairy farm where you can talk to farmers and volunteers from the dairy community about everything from cow care to how farms protect our environment.

The Gervais Family Farm

In June attendees will experience beautiful, rolling green hills at the Gervais Family Farm in Enosburg Falls.  The farm has been in the family since the 1960’s, when Robert and Gisele Gervais purchased the original farm and started out with 35 Jersey cows.  As the family grew, so did the farm!  Now, the Gervais Farm includes three locations: two Holstein dairy farms, and another goat and cow operation.  All told, the Gervais’ milk more than 1,800 cows and care for over 3,000 acres of land.

Gervais Family Farm
Courtesy: St. Albans Cooperative Creamery

Eleven of the family’s 15 children (yup, 15!) still work on the farm, and each has their own area-of-expertise.  Robert and Gisele’s four sons have taken over a bulk of the work.  Clement handles the cows and barns, Larry feeds and crops, Charles originally handled mechanics and cropping, but has since moved on, and Paul, cares for the young cows and calves.  Robert and Gisele’s four daughters manage the cow and goat operation: Boston Post Dairy.

And the next generation already has their boots on the ground at the farm!  Kati Lawyer-Hale, daughter of Theresa, and granddaughter of Robert and Gisele is now an active member, and partner at the family farm!

Gervais Borthers
Courtesy: St. Albans Cooperative Creamery

In 2009 the Gervais Farm debuted a new Cow Power methane digester, the first to do so in Franklin County, and just the 6th overall in the state.  The digester generates electricity by converting manure into methane, a process which sends 1.75 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year back to the grid to power the equivalent of 200 homes!

The Gervais’ have adopted other sustainable practices including aerial seeding of cover crops to keep truck and tractor traffic of fields.  They also utilize dragline systems which pipe manure to fields instead of trucking, utilize manure injection to prevent runoff, and rely on GPS tracking on their tractors to accurately plant their crops and apply manure.

The beautiful ladies at Gervais Family Farm!

Thanks to the work they’ve done on their farm and in their community, the Gervais Family Farm was named the 2013 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year, honoring their outstanding work in the Green Mountain State.

Kayhart Brothers Dairy

The fun and learning doesn’t stop in Enosburg Falls!  In July, visitors will head south to Kayhart Brothers Dairy Farm in West Addison!

Kayhart Brothers Dairy
Courtesy: Kayhart Bros. Dairy

Nestled along shores of Lake Champlain, Kayhart Brothers Dairy spans 1,800 acres of lush farm land.  The Kayhart family purchased the 80-cow farm in 1979 when Lee and his wife Pat wanted to own their own business.

As the years passed, the couple became parents to two sons and a daughter.  In the 1980’s son Steve left home to attend college, while brother Tim joined the marines.  By 1992, the two brothers realized they were missing life on the farm, and returned to become business partners with their parents, and helped to shape the future of the farm.

Tim & Steve Kayhart
Courtesy: Cabot Creamery Cooperative

In 2010, the brothers officially took over operation of the farm.

For both Steve and Tim, the quality of their milk is a major point of pride.  The farm generates more than 6,000 gallons of milk per day, one of the highest outputs in Vermont.  But for them, quality is just as important as quantity, and that’s easy to see thanks to the multiple milk quality awards along with a Dairy of Distinction Award.

In 2017 the Kayhart Brothers proudly completed a new state-of-the-art milking parlor and barn, just down the road from the family’s original barn location.  It’s a step the two brothers say will set up their family for continued success for generations to come.

Kayhart Brothers Dairy Farm
Courtesy: Kayhart Bros. Dairy

Whether it’s new barns, the latest technologies, or getting up close and cuddly with a cute calf, you’re sure to see something new, and have a great time at Vermont Breakfast on the Farm! Be sure to reserve your free tickets on April 1st when they are available at VermontBreakfastOnTheFarm.com/get-tickets.

Both the Gervais’ and Kayharts are dedicated, hard-working families that are proud to provide a source of nutritious food for our region and beyond.  Be sure to come out in June and July meet them, and say thanks for all that they do!

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Record Crowd Makes First 2017 ‘Breakfast on the Farm’ Event a Success!

Record Crowd Makes First 2017 ‘Breakfast on the Farm’ Event a Success!

Long Line to Entrance Tent

In just minutes, hundreds were in line, waiting for a delicious pancake breakfast to start their day of food, facts, and fun.  This year Breakfast on the Farm kicked off at Fairmont Farm in East Montpelier on June 17th.  And boy did the first event of 2017 set the bar high!

A record crowd of 1,200 turned out to learn about everything from cow comfort, to environmental stewardship on a self-guided tour.

Fairmont Farm is owned and operated by the Hall, Purchase, and Ayer families.  Established in 1992, the farm consists of three separate locations, two in East Montpelier, and one in Craftsbury.  The group milks 1,500 cows and care for over 3,600 acres of land.

Their appreciation of the environment and love of their animals was on full display in mid-June.  Just a day before the event, Fairmont Farm was named Vermont’s 2017 “Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year.”  The selection is made by the New England Green Pastures Program and is bestowed upon a farm which demonstrated a dedication to their herd, pasture, crop management, environmental practices and local community.

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With a quick stroll through the breakfast tent it was easy to see appetites and excitement levels were high.  Breakfast on the Farm is the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals which help produce Vermont’s top quality dairy products.  Visitors got a peek into the life and business of dairy farming in the Green Mountain State — home to over 850 dairy farms which make 63% of the milk for New England.

Fifteen different educational stations were located throughout the self-guided tour of Fairmont Farm.  Those stations covered everything from what cows eat, to how much milk they produce, to environmental techniques like cover crops, which dairy farmers use to protect the land and as well as water quality.

Kids Learning about Cow Feed.jpg

As a free, public event, Breakfast on the Farm could not take place without the help of generous and knowledgeable volunteers.  More than 100 of them from the community, many with experience in the dairy industry, joined Fairmont Farm staff and helped answer visitors’ questions about farming practices.

In Vermont, agriculture lives at the core of our society.  Breakfast on the Farm is one way we, Vermonters, can help ensure future generations maintain a connection to the land and an appreciation for the importance of agriculture in our state.  Help keep that connection alive and thriving!

If you missed the June 17th event don’t worry, you’ve got another chance!  A second Breakfast on the Farm is set for July 22nd at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, Vermont.  Make sure to reserve your free tickets!

Cow with Newborn Calf

Green Mountain Dairy: Walks the walk and talks the talk

Rowell family

“Although many Vermont business owners recognize the need for renewable energy, they do not have the financial wherewithal or knowledge as to how to go about it. Not so with Green Mountain Dairy in Sheldon, Vermont. Since 2007, this dairy farm has used an on-site methane digester to produce the farm’s power needs…”

Learn more about the Rowell family of Green Mountain Dairy, the host of our 3rd Vermont Breakfast on the Farm event, by reading the Vermont Fences article.

An Educational Effort of the Ag Community

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“How many farmers does it take to serve breakfast to one thousand people? Admittedly, that’s a rhetorical question. We know that American farmers each feed 155 people worldwide each day…and today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with two percent fewer inputs than they did in the 1950s. Those are interesting facts that we learned first-hand at last year’s celebration of Vermont’s Breakfast on the Farm.”

The Vander Wey family is gracious enough to host Vermont Breakfast on the Farm once again in 2016! Learn more about this tasty, fun, educational event from Vermont Fences magazine.

Breakfast on the Farm is free, but tickets are required and can be obtained here.

The Vander Weys of Nea-Tocht Farm: A Family of Distinction

The hosts of our first ever Vermont Breakfast on the farm were recently highlighted in the Spring edition of Vermont Fences Magazine from the Vermont Farm Bureau.

“Today, almost forty years later, Raymond and Linda and their five children and their families, will share their story, their struggles, their successes and their beautiful farm with their neighbors for Vermont’s first “Breakfast on the Farm” celebration on Saturday August 22. Sponsored and coordinated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, the event is designed as an educational effort with the delicious and nutritious addition of breakfast.”

Learn more about this farm family by reading the full article here. The Vander Wey family will be hosting the Vermont Breakfast again in 2016! Reserve your free ticket today to visit their farm on June 25th.