by Katie Spring, Outreach & Content Specialist
With funding support from an NE-DBIC Processor Research & Development Grant, Miller Farm is now providing organic milk to their local schools.
To celebrate the launch of the project, over 100 students from the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union visited the farm in Vernon, VT. From wagon rides to butter making, students learned about dairy farming and where their milk comes from as they toured Miller Farm.
The field trip ended with a school-made lunch: pizza, ratatouille and local corn, apples, and cups of milk produced by the cows and farmers they met that day.
Through the Processor Research & Development Grant, Miller Farm, in partnership with Windham Northeast Supervisory Union (WNESU), is transitioning a minimum of three elementary schools and one high school from serving milk in cartons to serving local organic milk in bulk dispensers. The goal is to establish a new scalable market model that will increase institutional demand for regional dairy products while simultaneously improving nutrition, food safety, and reducing waste in public schools.
By investing in new processing equipment, Miller Farm has been able to make meaningful progress in just a few months. That progress is bolstered by a range of organizations supporting the project, including NOFA-VT, Northeast Family Farm Partnership, and Farm to Institution New England.
With a goal of delivering 100 gallons of bulk milk per week to area schools, this initial pilot stage will run through summer 2024. After, Miller Farm will share the results of the pilot project with assistance from project partners to the Northeast dairy sector, farm-to-institution communities, and the general public.
For now, students are enjoying the local milk deliveries and connecting the dots between farm to plate.
Watch a video of the school to farm field trip on WCAX.