Jenni Tilton-Flood of Flood Brothers Farm took the time out of her very busy schedule to write this week’s Farmer Friday. She explains how it is ingrained into farmer’s personal values to give back to the community that gives so much to them. As a cooperative one of Cabot’s seven principles is having a “Concern for Community”. Our Cabot Farmers are great role models for not only their own families but for their communities as a whole, either it be giving back to the youth recreation leagues, or simply clearing out snow from their neighbors’ driveways. Instilling the importance of giving back starts at a young age, but our Cabot Farmers try to do everything they can to make their communities a home for everyone, while managing their dairy farms in the process.
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Dairy farmers aren’t afraid of hard work. They rarely hesitate to tackle a problem. They seldom fail to be worthy of the task at hand. And they are quite often ready and prepared for most eventuality.
The ever ticking, never stopping clock is a battle every farmer fights from before the light of dawn until well past the setting of the sun. There is so much to accomplish each day and it always seems like the hours are not long enough to get it all done. But dairy farming has its own rewards.
Yet, despite the seemingly countless hours that are managed to be worked into a single day dairy farmers still manage to find rewards outside the farm; those rewards that can only be reaped through volunteering.
Whether it is the sponsoring of a local youth sports team, the donation of land for community enjoyment or recreation, serving in public office, or opening barn doors and farm gates to welcome the public community involvement and volunteering has always been a big part of a dairy farmer’s life.
Cabot Farmers carry on this legacy of volunteerism, not just at home but in far flung corners of the globe. Steve Barstow, II of Barstow’s Longview Farm, Jon O’Neill from Todd Hill Farm, Jimmy Gerow of The Wright Place, Stew Yeaton from Yeaton Dairy Farm, Rick Boardman of Carlwood Farm and countless others are firefighters in their respective towns and communities. Jenn Jacquier of Laurelbrook Farm gave of her time in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Beth Chittenden from Dutch Hollow Farm is constantly welcoming visitors to their family farm and bringing the agriculture to the classroom. John Luther of Parnassus Farm and Paul Doton of Doton Farm keep politics local and public service rolling as Town Moderator and Justice of the Peace, respectively. Amanda Freund of Freund’s Farm traveled, worked and learned in Zambia as part of the Peace Corps while her sister Emily served as an AmeriCorps volunteer as a Food and Farm Coordinator at a NYC public school.
Every day there is a person we meet on the street, at the market or a coworker, friend or family member who gives of their time and experience, makes the effort and goes the extra mile to volunteer in some manner or capacity. At Cabot Creamery Cooperative the importance that volunteers in our communities is understood and valued and with Reward Volunteers 6.0 we can celebrate the selflessness, dedication and values that go hand in hand with volunteerism. By logging your volunteer activity and sharing with friends you can raise awareness, inspire others and even track the hard work of your volunteers. There are also rewards and prizes for those who participate!
You can watch a video on how to set up a Reward Volunteers 6.0 account here.
We may not all start our day well before the sun comes up and spend it with cows, fields and tractors but we mostly all understand the dedication and quality that comes from hard work and the principles and selflessness that such dedication promotes. The same can be said of volunteerism which is why the farmers and folks of Cabot understand and value so well the time and effort of those who give to make their communities a better place to live.
Any good deed is not done for the rewards, but it is only fitting that there are indeed just rewards for such things.
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