Vermont dairy farmers awarded for high-quality milk

ESSEX JUNCTION — Vermont dairy farmers were recognized for producing high-quality cow and goat milk at the Dairy Farmers’ Appreciation Banquet on Jan. 28 during the 82nd Vermont Farm Show at the Champlain Valley Fair Grounds. The 2015 overall highest-quality (cow) milk award was presented to Allan and Karen Bathalon of North Troy. The 2015 overall highest-quality goat milk award was awarded to Frank and Karen Huard of Craftsbury.
Two Addison County farms were given special recognition: Dale and Alma Briggs of Addison were named first runner up in Overall Best Quality for cow’s milk, and Richard and Curt Estey of Bristol were second runner up in the same category.
The Dairy Farmers’ Appreciation Banquet has been hosted by the Vermont Dairy Industry Association (VDIA) for many years in cooperation with the Vermont Farm Show and Vermont Agency of Agriculture.
“This annual celebration honoring farmers brings together those in the dairy industry and others supporting it,” said VDIA President Bebe Zabilansky. “Dairy farmers, government officials, students, legislators, and educators come together in support of the dairy industry. Bringing these groups together is a central mission of the Vermont Dairy Industry Association.”
Based on nomination criteria rolled out last year for the quality awards, 93 cow milk quality nominees and 10 goat milk quality nominees qualified for the 2015 competition. Quality parameters such as bacterial and somatic cell counts as well as farm inspection scores are factored into identifying the winners.
“The achievement of all the nominees throughout the past year are worthy of recognition,” said previous VDIA board member and Agri-Mark Inc. employee Brady Metcalf.
The 2015 Dairy Farm of the Year — Stowe’s Keewaydin Farm, operated by Les, Claire, Suzi and Dan Pike — were recognized with a hand-painted sign. The Finley award was presented to Dr. Julie Smith of the University of Vermont. This award recognizes that person whose character, dedication to Vermont agriculture and education, and accomplishments most closely resemble those goals, ideals and achievements that were so important to John Finley, former Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture.
The Vermont Dairy Industry Association works for the mutual benefit of its members, dairy farm families, and the dairy industry; and encourages and promotes close cooperation with educational institutions and other agencies concerned with the dairy industry. For more details on the Vermont Farm Show, visit
A complete list of the Addison County nominees follows:
2015 Quality Cow Milk Nominees
• Dubois Farm Inc., Vergennes
• Dale and Alma Briggs, Addison
• B. Danyow Farm LLC, Ferrisburgh
• Michael and Lawrence Quesnel, Whiting
• David and Melanie Carmichael, Vergennes
• Debra and Andrew Hogan, Whiting
• Sunderland Farm Inc., Bridport
• Allandra Farm Inc., Vergennes
• Essex Farm LLC, Vergennes
• Jeffery and Olive Philips, Bristol
• Hatch Farm Inc., Vergennes
• Clifford Farm, Starksboro
• Orr Family Farm, Orwell
• Allendale Farm LP, Panton
• Lucas Dairy, Starksboro
• Towerhill Farm, Bristol
• Dirk, Jay and Carole Smits, Vergennes
2015 Quality Goat Milk Nominees
• Roger and Martha Wales, Weybridge
• Keith and Cindy Tifft, Orwell

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