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Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) honored White Rock Farms of Peachland, North Carolina as its District 3 Producer of the Year during the co-op’s recent District Meeting in Statesville, North Carolina. The District Producer of the Year award recognizes a cooperative member for outstanding farm management, animal care, and environmental stewardship in each district.

"The leadership team at White Rock Farms has created an environment that promotes teamwork, environmental stewardship, and animal care,” said MDVA Executive Vice President for Sustainability and External Relations Lindsay Reames. “We commend White Rock Farms for their success in providing a high-quality milk that nourishes their neighbors in North Carolina and beyond.”

The family-owned farm is owned by Roddy Purser and managed by Drew and Dakota Gibson. White Rock is home to 700 milking cows and the team farms around 1,200 acres of crops and is preparing to celebrate its tenth anniversary of operation.

The farm undertook a large step towards reducing their dependence on fossil fuels in 2022. White Rock worked alongside its local electric cooperative to obtain a grant to replace their irrigation system’s diesel motor with a single-phase electric one as the farm does not have access to three-phase electricity. The farm’s large free stall barn is kept cool in the summer by dozens of large fans. Sand bedding helps to keep cows comfortable year-round. The sand is reclaimed for reuse furthering the farm’s sustainability goals.

When it’s all put together, White Rock Farms functions as one unit with high-quality dairy in mind.

“It’s a team effort,” Drew Gibson said. “From entry level positions to upper management and even ownership, we all work together for a common goal. At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for the land and what’s best for the cows. “