Misty Meadows Farm, Smithsburg, Maryland, received the overall Dairying for Tomorrow animal care award and Fawn View Manor, Pylesville, Maryland, received the honorable mention award for community outreach.
“Building trust by connecting with consumers is critical to protecting dairy’s image,” said ADA North East CEO Rick Naczi. “Both of these dairy farms are outstanding examples of bridging the gap of knowledge within their local communities about their production practices.”The overall winner for animal care, Misty Meadows Farm is owned and operated by Jeni and Justin Malott and daughters Addison, Jillian, Vivian and Ella, along with Jeni’s parents David and Betsy Herbst. As herdsperson, Jeni oversees the milking herd of 150 cows that are housed in freestalls with mattresses, and benefit from rubber matting in front of the feed bunk. Dry cows and heifers older than nine months are kept on bedded pack with access to pasture. The calf care protocol is stringent from birth to weaning in a greenhouse barn with individual and group pens. Jeni’s progressive program is designed to keep all animals clean, dry and comfortable, giving the young stock the best possible start.
Because the family also operates an on-farm creamery, animal care is critical to the production of top-quality milk to bottle and make into ice cream for their customers. They also ship milk to Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, which nominated the family for this award.Fawn View Farm owned by Mary and Greg Stewart and children Abby, Bradley, Zachery, Thomas and Taylor, was the honorable mention winner for community outreach. Mary has developed a dairy education center around Fawn View Manor, the dairy farm owned by her parents, Jim and Janet Archer. They host school tours, farm-to-table dinner events, parties and weddings, and other community events, that all incorporate agriculture education messages. Mary is also very active on social media hosting farm pages and engaging in community and moms’ groups pages to educate consumers about the importance of dairy. In addition, she leads the Upper Chesapeake Dairy Promotion Committee, guiding young dairy promoters in their communities.
Overall winners in each category receive a donation of $1,000 in their farm name to use for one of two ADA North East retail or school initiatives – dairy products provided to a local food bank, or to a local school to implement a yogurt smoothie program. Overall and honorable mention winners both received on-farm photo shoots.