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Who determines Vermont's best milk?

Every year, Vermont dairy farmers are recognized for the high quality of their milk at the Vermont Farm Show. Awards are presented to dairy farmers based on results in each of five quality categories.

Last year there were 15 dairy farmers nominees, from all corners of the Green Mountain State, representing five cooperatives, independent handlers, and independent farmstead cheese makers in Vermont.

Four of the nominees produce milk using organic management methods, one is a farmstead cheese makers the rest operate traditional dairy businesses in Vermont. As a group, the nominees exemplify the varied approaches Vermont dairy farmers take to showing that "Agriculture Means Business to Vermont".

All of Vermont's 1,097 dairy farms strive to produce high quality milk. The production of high quality milk begins with sound animal husbandry and the cleanliness of the cow and continues through the milking process including the cleanliness and maintenance of the milking and milk storage equipment.

The Vermont Dairy Industry Association has sponsored the awards for many years. The awards are given to dairy farmers who have documented, through laboratory analysis, farm inspections and sensory evaluation, the production of Vermont's best quality milk. The nominees are judged on records provided by their milk handlers and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

The nominees provided a milk samples that were judged on flavor.

•Laurence and Alice Allen

Wells River

National Farmers Organization/Organic

Certificate of Nomination

•Andersonville Dairy LLP, Robert Young & Mark Rodgers

West Glover

Agri-Mark, Inc.

Certificate of Nomination

Lowest Pasteurized Count

•Michael and Kellie Belisle Highgate

St. Albans Co-op

Certificate of Nomination

•Dale and Alma Briggs

Addison

St. Albans Co-op

Certificate of Nomination

Best Flavor (Tie) and Lowest P.I. Count

•Thomas Debevoise and Laurie Livingston

S. Woodstock

Agri-Mark

Certificate of Nomination

Third Runner up for Highest Milk Quality Award & Best Flavor (Tie)

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