Choiniere Family Farm
100% Grass-Fed Dairy
Welcome to the Choiniere Family Farm. We are a 4th Generation dairy farm located in the beautiful Northwest corner of Vermont. Founded in 1945 by Henry Choiniere, we have been growing, making mistakes, learning, teaching and trying new ideas ever since. In 2002 we decided to make the transition from conventional to organic, and in July 2005 we shipped our first load of certified organic milk to organic valley. In 2014 we took the challenge a step further when the opportunity arose to produce 100% grass-fed milk and have been thrilled with the results. We now milk 80, very happy, Grass-Fed Organic dairy cows for Organic Valley, along with raising 60 free range laying hens, 50 broiler chickens, 6 pigs, and 2 extra cuddly dogs.
Here at the Choiniere Family Farm, we do our best to grow the healthiest products so you can live a healthier life. We believe that true health starts with the soil. That's why we put number one priority on making sure the soil has what it needs to do it's job. Working in harmony with nature, our practices maximize production, animal health, and boost nutrient levels in our products, while sequestering carbon, building soil organic matter, supporting soil life, and reducing soil erosion and nutrient runoff.
Our Cows are Grain Free
Contrary to popular belief, cows can thrive on a 100% grass diet! Our cows are fed a 100% grass/legume diet, and have been since 2014. The result; products that are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and higher in CLA's!
Working with the NRCS, we have invested over $200,000 into preventing soil erosion into the Rock River along our property. Between planting 5000 trees, creating cattle lanes, utilizing buffer strips, building lined waterways, managing our water runoff and following a nutrient management plan, we are doing our best to minimize our impact on the Lake Champlain watershed.
Bedded pack Housing
Our cows go out every single day of the year. Unfortunately, every day isn't always nice. So we built indoor pastures to protect them from the elements and contain their waste, while giving them the room to walk around, play and lay down.
Rotational grazing is the backbone of any good organic operation. The cows are given only enough pasture to last 1/2-1 day and are then moved to a new pasture for their next meal. This prevents the cows from killing the grass from over grazing and trampling. Rotational grazing is a great tool for preventing soil erosion and sequestering carbon into the soil while maximizing pasture production and cattle health.
Grazing Annual Forages
The animals aren't the only ones who slow down in the heat of the summer. Most perennial grasses become less productive in the heat of the summer. Annual forages give our pasture system some high energy, high volume feed to pick up the slack when the perennial cool season grasses aren't doing so hot!
Have you ever smelled a field after a fresh coat of manure was spread on it? Those are all valuable nutrients being lost to the air and potentially to runoff. Manure injection keeps nutrients in the ground where they can do their job. Not in the air. Not in the water.