BARNARD COW FARM - VERMONT
Randy and Lisa Robar at Kiss the Cow Farm here in Barnard, Vermont, are a part of a growing movement of raw milk farmers in the region. Raw milk is a hot button issue in Vermont for sure, with the larger dairy industry pushing hard against the small raw milk dairies. Randy and Lisa plan on making cheese this season. They currently have 14 Jerseys as well as a couple of young bulls. They also raise chickens, turkeys and a few ducks.
General Background: Dairy Cattle. As competition rendered sheep-raising less and less profitable, Vermont turned to the manufacture of butter and cheese, especially the former, finding a market in the rapidly increasing population of the cities lying to the south of the State. Vermont already had a considerable number of dairy cows, but the change from sheep-raising to dairying involved more than a simple increase in the number of cattle and a decrease in the number of sheep. Previous to the middle of the nineteenth century such dairy products as were made were primarily for home use, and although some were sold, their production was merely incidental to the raising of beef. The cattle were partly ‘black cattle’ descended from stock brought in by the first settlers, and partly Durhams (Shorthorns). There were also a few Devons, but the Durham was the principal breed.
Breeding stock of the dairy breeds (Ayrshire, Holstein, and Jersey) was introduced during the decade from 1860 to 1870, and from then on their development was rapid. The Jersey breed soon established itself in a position of leadership; indeed, it is hardly too much to say that the Jersey cow transformed Vermont into a dairy State.
—Vermont: A Guide to the Green Mountain State (WPA, 1937)
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Tara Wray is the State Guide to Vermont. A photographer and award-winning documentary filmmaker (but mainly a mom of three-year-old identical twin sons), she is drawn to photography as a means to combat the otherwise general and fleeting nature of life. Follow her on Tumblr at Tara Wray Photography and find her portfolio site at tarawray.net.
Oh, hello my beautiful state.