Cabot Creamery looks ahead to next 100 years

Published: Oct. 7, 2019 at 8:09 AM EDT
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The Cabot Creamery is celebrating 100 years of business.

Over the weekend, farmers opened their doors to say thanks for the support. But farmers aren't focusing on the past, they're figuring out how to stay in business for another 100 years.

When you think about technology, you may not be thinking about farming, but that's how one farm in Middlebury is moving the herd ahead.

"When the cow decides she would like to go get milked or to get some grain or something like that, she gets up and she goes through a set of gates and there's a little RFID tag in her ear," said Robert Foster with Foster Brothers Farm.

It's that tag that tells the computer who the animal is. Once she's been approved, the process begins-- wash, milk, sanitize and dry. For some farmers, it's part of their job. But the Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury has given that job to machines.

"The data, of course, is collected and the teats are sanitized and she can go out and hopefully she'll get something to eat," said Foster.

This farm has been known for its innovation, but just because they have machines doesn't mean the farmers here get a day off.

"Somebody should be there. We have 550 animals in the barn, some are dry and some are calving," said Foster.

This farm contributes to the innovation that is Cabot Creamery according to Cabot CEO Ed Townley. He says they've been pushing the boundaries for years.

"Cabot came out with light cheese before light cheese was available in the marketplace. We've been innovators on flavored cheeses," he said.

Townley says it hasn't been an easy 100 years and that oversupply of milk in recent years has really hurt farmers because milk prices have been down.

"Which puts a lot of stress on them and their ability to make a living," he said.

But looking to the next 100 years he says it's all about keeping people connected to their food.

"Family farms are very important as we go forward. We look at an American society in which people want to be more connected and they want to be connected to their food chain," said Townley.

And at Fosters Brothers, innovation runs deep in this farm's history. Foster says farmers are working hard to be good stewards of the land and are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.