When it comes to ensuring the quality of their product, Vermont dairy farmers Reg and Mike Chaput will go to any lengths – literally. Last spring, they purchased their own milk truck and tanks in order to haul their milk to Dairylea Cooperative, a cost-saving measure that will give them more control over milk quality. The brothers have worked together for more than 30 years, making the 1,800-acre Chaput Family Farms in North Troy one of Vermont’s top farms, and the winner of a Green Pastures Award. The operation is known for its sound management practices, outstanding herd performance and strong commitment to agriculture.
The Chaputs also were among the first dairy farmers in the state to install a methane digester on the farm, which produces enough electricity for 300 average-sized homes. They sell their energy to Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Development program and have an additional five-year contract with Green Mountain Power’s Cow Power program to sell the renewable energy credits. The Chaputs have earned numerous milk quality awards since joining the Dairylea Co-op in 1997, including the Special Gold Award, Dairylea’s highest quality milk award, for three years running.
Reg Chaput and his brother can claim credit for their sustainable farming approach and quality product, but the brothers won’t take sole credit. “Any successful business, whether it is a dairy or anything else, is dependent on good employees who work as a team and take pride in their work,” says Reg, “and we really feel that we have that here at Chaput Family Farms.”