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Sustainability at the Heart of Connecticut Dairy Farms

Connecticut’s dairy farmers are not only producing fresh and nutritious milk, but they are also leading the way in eco-friendly farming practices. With a strong commitment to sustainability and innovation, dairy farmers are adopting a variety of practices including improving energy efficiency, recycling, and managing waste and water more effectively, all of which create a positive impact that extends beyond the dairy industry to the entire ecosystem. And they are doing all of this while prioritizing animal care.  

Here are how four Connecticut Dairy Farms—Canaan View Dairy, Fort Hill Farm, Fairholm Farm, and Hytone Dairy—are specifically implementing practices that not only care for the planet but also produce high-quality dairy. 

Canaan View Dairy 

Building on the 70-year legacy of the Freund family, at this farm animal care and environmental stewardship are at the heart of their operations. For instance, they’ve implemented robotic milking machines, allowing cows to decide when and how often they’re milked, also they can enjoy massages from rotating brushes. Their sustainability efforts shine with 1,200 solar panels and the country’s longest-running methane digester, which powers the farm. Using 100 percent renewable and recycled, composted cow manure, they also craft biodegradable pots, CowPots that are an environmentally friendly choice for planting. Learn more on their website.  

Fort Hill Farm 

Located in Thompson, this farm has a legacy of sustainability, it encompasses 600 acres, some of which are safeguarded by the CT Farmland Preservation Program. The farm is recognized for introducing Connecticut’s first anaerobic digester, an innovative system that captures methane to break down organic material, creating farm electricity in the process. The farm’s vision is self-reliance, aiming to sustain its operations using home-generated power and recycling cow manure alongside food waste from nearby restaurants. This initiative marks a step towards a sustainable future. Learn more on their website.   

Fairholm Farm 

Fairholm Farm, rooted in Woodstock and farmed by the family for four generations, demonstrates their dedication to excellence. With over 400 cows, the family prides itself on providing the highest level of care by installing robotic milkers and feeders to optimize animal care and farm efficiency. This approach demonstrates their commitment to sustainable practices. Additionally, their careful cultivation of corn silage and haylage emphasizes their dedication to environmental protection. At Fairholm, sustainability is more than a practice; it’s a family tradition, ensuring a future where dairy farming thrives. Learn more on their website.   

Hytone Dairy 

Established by the Peracchio family in 1944, Hytone Farm in Coventry exemplifies a profound commitment to sustainability, animal care, and innovation. Their innovative anaerobic digester, developed in collaboration with Ag-Grid Energy and UGI Energy Services, transforms cow manure into renewable electricity, marking a significant achievement in sustainability. This initiative not only powers the local community but also supports 615 electric vehicles, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By adopting advanced technologies and practices, the farm ensures the well-being of its livestock and contributes to environmental conservation, setting a standard for the dairy industry worldwide. Learn more on their website. 

These are just 4 examples of sustainable practices at Connecticut’s dairy farms. The commitment to sustainability transcends all CT dairy farms and has been a way of life for farmers from generation to generation. CT dairy is also part of the national dairy industry’s commitment to become carbon neutral or better by 2050.  This commitment also includes making significant improvements in water from field to farmgate through new technologies and practices in feed production, cow care, energy efficiency, and manure management.    

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