George Kempton has been farming long enough that as a teen-aged farm hand, he used to cut ice off a pond to cool milk. He also used horses for most of the chores. That was during WWII in Windham, Vermont. More than 50 years later, George remains a vibrant, visionary farming member of the Cabot Co-operative Creamery. He brought his Peacham, Vermont hill farm into the 21st century with 300 milkers and the latest dairy technology.
Happy #FarmerFriday from @cabotcheese! This week #ontheblog Jackie Kempton tells us about life on the farm http://ow.ly/G0lnC #farmlove
George and Patty, his wife of over 50 years, raised five children and about 7,000 dairy cows since moving to Peacham in 1962. Patty, the heart of the family, passed away in 2012, but the family pulled together and has continued to move forward.
Matty, the youngest of George and Patty’s children, and his wife, Dawn, have thrown their lot enthusiastically into dairy. Their sons, Dylan and William – and William’s wife, Jackie, represent the third generation working on the farm. William and Jackie’s 2 year-old daughter Chloe represents a strong start to the 4th generation.
In addition to providing high quality milk to Cabot and caring for their land and cows, the Kempton’s also have the distinction of being the only farm providing the milk for the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, aged in the Cellars at Jasper Hill.
This week Jackie Kempton took time out of her day to answer our Farmer Friday questions:
What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farm family?
My favorite thing about being on a dairy farm is seeing our farm grow into a family business that teaches all of us about really working hard and showing how this industry will continue to be in the lives of future generations.
What is your family’s favorite meal? Care to share a recipe?
Our family’s favorite meal right now is Jake’s Tailgate Chili from the Cabot website. We make a big dinner on Friday night and have William’s grandfather, parents, brothers, aunts, and uncles, cousins and friends come over and feast!
What is your least favorite farm chore?
I would have to say personally, my least favorite barn chore is cleaning out the pig pen. Luckily, it’s been years since I’ve had to do that chore. William or a farm employee takes care of that.
What is your favorite time of year on the farm?
Fall is always my favorite time for farming. Its the busiest time, but also the most exciting. When we get the bunks filled, the fields all cleaned up, it’s fulfilling
What is one thing you would like people who have never experienced farm life to know?
That this “job” isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. It really makes you appreciate the food you put on the table and the animals that you see on a daily basis. Especially being a Mom, seeing a cow or heifer give birth is the most incredible sight. Farming is a tough job, but without it, we wouldn’t survive.