The RI Department of Environmental Management released the following press release announcing that the Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee has chosen Wright’s Dairy Farm in North Smithfield as the Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year.
The Department of Environmental Management announces that Wright’s Dairy Farm, Inc. of North Smithfield has been named Rhode Island’s 2011 Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year by the Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee. Winning dairy farmers from each New England state will be honored at an awards banquet in September at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.
Wright’s Dairy is a fifth-generation family dairy farm that keeps the family tradition of producing quality dairy and bakery products alive every day. There are 10 immediate family members involved in the day-to-day operations, and they make a conscious choice each day to get along and work together for the good of the business. Fifty full and part-time employees work with the family members to accomplish the many varied tasks necessary to run the operation.
The farm’s 140 cows are milked twice daily in a new, double milking parlor that was acquired in 2009. All cows on the farm, starting with the calves to the milkers, have diets balanced by a nutritionist. They utilize high-quality forages to form the base of the rations and then complement these feeds with a balanced mixture of grains, vitamins, and minerals. Wright’s Dairy recently received a Vermont DHIA award for consistently producing high-quality milk. This year, the farm has started to see the results of a new breeding program. The heifers are calving in under 24 months of age, and peak milk has risen.
Wright’s Dairy is an institution for many Rhode Islanders. Customers who visited the dairy farm as children now bring their own children to buy milk and bakery items, and watch through the viewing window as the cows are milked. Milk is processed and sold on site. Milk travels via stainless steel pipeline from the milking barn to the dairy plant where it is pasteurized, homogenized, and bottled for sale in the farm’s retail store. Wright’s Dairy has also begun making its own ice cream, from the base to the finished product, using nothing but the finest ingredients. Beginning this month, quarts will be available for sale in the farm’s retail store. The farm has also partnered with an artisan cheese plant in Vermont to produce cheddar cheese curd and aged cheddar, which will also be available for purchase in the retail store.
Wright’s Dairy Farm uses the farm’s milk for puddings and custards and its heavy cream to make many real whipped cream cakes, pies and pastries. The bakery also produced a full line of muffins, cookies, brownies, chocolates and custom-decorated special occasion cakes.
The Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year award is sponsored by the New England Green Pastures Committee, made up of agricultural interests such as state and federal agricultural offices and farm organizations. Rhode Island’s Green Pastures Committee is coordinated by DEM’s Division of Agriculture, with members including the RI Dairy Farmers Cooperative, the RI Farm Bureau, the RI Farm Service Agency and the Agri-Mark Cooperative.