When George Kempton was a young farmhand, he cut huge blocks of ice out of the pond to cool the milk and used horses for most of the farm chores. He had worked on a farm in southern Vermont before he and his wife, Patty, started their own Northeast Kingdom farm in 1961. They both loved the farming life and stayed active until the end of their days. Today, the Kemptons’ son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Dawn, and two of their grandsons, Dylan and Will, run the operation. His grandfather was proud to watch the next two generations take over. “He was happy to see the farm grow and continue,” says Will.
The family keeps up with the times, but also holds some traditions close. They have been sugaring since the beginning and still use buckets to collect the sap: 1,300 of them! How does Will like his maple syrup? “With everything,” he responds, from poured liberally over pancakes to sweetening coffee. At the same time, the family has been working with Efficiency Vermont to cut energy use through use of LED bulbs, among other updates.