David and Debbie Duprey were selected for this award because of their outstanding commitment and contribution to the dairy industry in Massachusetts. They are two of the founding members of Our Family Farms of Western Massachusetts who have shown innovation marketing their milk under the Our Family Farms label. Debbie is currently one of the co-managers for eight member farms in Our Family Farms. David attended the University of Massachusetts, and in the early 1980's during his last year of college, was joined by Debbie at the farm. Together they milk 50 cows on more than 125 acres of pasture and hay land, and most of the milk they produce from their Holstein cows with a herd average of 25,000 lb. is marketed under the Our Family Farms label.
Located in the picturesque hills of Franklin County, the farm is carefully and thoughtfully managed. In 1998 the Dupreys participated in the Massachusetts Farm Viability Program which provided needed capital for the purchase and construction of a three-bay greenhouse barn designed by Solar Barns Inc. The barn is designed as a three-row free stall barn, with the milking herd on one side and the heifers grouped by age on a bedded pack on the other side, with head locks for all animals.
Approximately 40 acres of mixed grasses and clover are broken into flexible one-acre paddocks for rotational grazing, and 125 acres of hay is made into plastic wrapped bales. Corn silage is purchased as needed. The Dupreys have three children who all participate in farm activities. Aimee is a junior at UMass, Kimberly is a freshman in High School, and Nicholas is in 5th grade.
David and Debbie and their family were honored, along with other 2003 New England State awards recipients, at a reception and banquet at the Big E on September 12.