Maryland Dairies of Distinction applications now being accepted – Cowsmo

Maryland Dairies of Distinction applications now being accepted

Lepter Farms and St. Brigid’s Farm in Kennedyville were honored as Maryland Dairies of Distinction recently at the Maryland Dairy Convention, according to a news release.

The winning farms not only beautify Maryland’s rural countryside, but also provide a quality product to consumers. Farms are visually evaluated by a team of three judges on roadside appearance, including buildings, grounds and surroundings, and farm operations. Winning farms must achieve a score of 90 or higher out of a possible 100 points.

The Maryland Dairy Industry Association presents the awards and has honored 29 farms since the program began in 2010. Winning farms are presented with a Dairy of Distinction sign for display at roadside and a framed farm photo.

Lepter Farms is operated by Anna Lepter; brothers Ernie, Willie and Fred; as well as Kenny Lepter and Tim Bishton. The family farms 700 acres and milks 250 head of cows, including a number of crossbreds. The farm prides itself on being family operated and on being environmentally conscious, receiving the soil conservation service’s Cooperator of the Year a few years ago.

Lepter Farms is moving toward an emphasis on cow comfort with the installation of mats. Milk quality also is emphasized, and the Lepters have received quality milk awards from Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers. They breed for production and type, particularly for good feet and legs.

St. Brigid’s Farm is on 55 acres operated by Judy Gifford and Robert Fry. Seventy Jerseys have a rolling herd average of 20,671 pounds of milk and rank in the top 10 nationally for Jersey Performance Index.

Some notable herd and farm awards include the Kent County Conservation District Cooperator of the Year and Dairy One quality milk awards. They are certified agricultural conservation stewards and have raised over $15,000 for nonprofit organizations through six annual field-to-fork dinners that draw 150 guests.

The farm focuses on sustainability, including stewardship of the land, involvement in the community and economic viability. The herd is on permanent pasture, and the family raises bull calves to offer meat direct to consumers.

Other winners were Maple Dell Farm, Inc., of Woodbine and Maryland-Delight of Westminster.

Anyone may nominate a farm for the awards. For an application, contact Laurie Savage at 301-349-0750 or [email protected] or Leslie Hart at 301-432-4782 or [email protected]

Applications are due by April 15 to Leslie Hart, 7303 Sharpsburg Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713 or fax 240-313-2281

 

Source: My Eastern Shore MD

 

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