The University of Massachusetts Crops, Dairy, Livestock, and Equine team would like to congratulate this year’s Massachusetts winner of the Green Pastures Award. A 5th generation farm, Jordan Dairy Farm has been in existence since the late 1800s, and at its present location in Rutland, Massachusetts since 1941. Originally a vegetable operation in Holden MA run by William Jordan, his grandson Howard moved the Jordan Farm to Rutland in 1941, increased their herd of cows, at that time Guernseys, and began bottling milk. Howard worked side by side with his two sons Warren and Wayne until the two took over the farm in the 1970s. The two brothers still work side by side, but leadership of the farm has been handed on to Wayne’s two sons, Randy and Brian Jordan. Approximately 5 years ago, Randy became President of the corporation and Brian, Treasurer. The two each have young children who hope to be involved with the operation in the future adding yet another generation of innovative dairy farming to the Jordan family legacy.
Randy graduated from Wachusett Regional High School where he was very involved in the FFA program and graduated from Vermont Technical College located in Randolph Center, VT in 1991 with a degree in Dairy Management. Brian is also a graduate of Wachusett Regional High School and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dairy Science from Delaware Valley College located in Pennsylvania. Randy is a 4-H volunteer and member of the Rutland Agricultural Commission and is also Captain of the Rutland Fire Brigade and Town Moderator. Brian serves on the board for the Select Sires organization and is an assistant coach for the Rutland Youth Softball. Both Randy and Brian are married and have two children each.
The Jordan’s run an impressive operation, shipping an average of 23,000 lbs. of high quality milk daily through the DairyLee Corporation. The family currently milks 375 Holstein cows, averaging around 80 pounds of milk per cow per day with approximately 325 young stocks. Their state of the art barns house 600 pampered dairy cattle and are outfitted with amenities such as gel bedding mats and high powered cooling fans increasing the animals’ comfort levels. The farm also manages 450 acres of land on which they produce their own grain and silage corn and hay. In addition to the dairy enterprise, the Jordan’s also raise approximately 1,000 hybrid double-breasted white turkeys for holiday orders and cultivate around 2 acres of blueberries which they sell at local farmers markets and to roadside farm stands.
As the operation grows, so does the amount of land involved. In 2009, Randy and Brian decided to invest in a nearby dairy farm whose owners moved out of state. The Jordan’s are now renting 400 acres and are maintaining several barns that house the Jordan’s young stock.
The Jordan’s main objective is to maintain a dairy operation utilizing the most effective technological advancements. This is something they are working towards quite substantially as they are the first of five farms in Massachusetts to install an anaerobic digester as part of a cooperative implemented by AGreen Energy, LLC. This digester has been a dream of theirs for 8 years and allows them to operate completely off-grid. It has a daily input of around 20,000 gallons of liquid food waste (from HP Hood, Cabot Creamery, Kayem Foods and Cains Foods) and manure waste creating a biogas that then generates electricity. The digester at Jordan Farm currently produces enough power to run and heat the farming operation as well as power an additional 300 homes! The Jordan’s use the residual liquid waste as a nutrient rich fertilizer, as it has higher concentrations of nitrogen than non-digested waste. In addition to benefitting the farm, the digester also benefits the environment by preventing the release of methane into the atmosphere as well as reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.
The Jordan family prides themselves on their commitment to their community and the agricultural industry. Family members are very active members of the Holden and Massachusetts State Grange and the Massachusetts Farm Bureau. The Jordan Farm holds membership in many dairy associations including the MA Association of Dairy Farms and Central Massachusetts Dairy Producers. UMass Extension is pleased to recognize Jordan Dairy Farm as the 2012 winner of the Massachusetts Green Pastures Award.