Denise Barstow Manz and her family run the farm store and manage their herd of 600 cows – 300 of which are milking cows at Barstow’s Longview Farm. For the family, sustainability is a priority. They now have an anaerobic digester on the farm that turns waste into electricity and helps resolve some of the concerns about methane emissions.
Joining cooperatives like Cabot is one way dairy farmers can remain sustainable and profitable. Barstow Manz says that dairy often gets left out of the local food conversation, but dairy – even the stuff at the big brand supermarkets – is coming from local farms.
“Milk is super local because it’s pretty perishable. The milk supply chain is very fast, clean, efficient, and local because it’s going to these processing plants, and then it’s made into milk or a shelf-stable product that’s on a grocery store shelf within 48 hours,” Denise Barstow Manz said.
Sixty miles east of Hadley, Whittier Farms is located in the heart of central Massachusetts. Sam Staebner is a fifth-generation dairy farmer at this Sutton farm. Her job is connecting with the community and educating people about Whittier Farms.
“It’s home. It’s where our community comes to be connected to the food that we’re growing,” Staebner said.
Check out all of the Dairy Month segments from The Chronicle here: