As the founder and president of Bob-White Systems, Inc., in Vermont, I have been involved with the dairy industry for 45 years as a farm hand, farm owner, farm manager, advocate, entrepreneur and business owner. I've spent the past 25 years working to protect and revive New England’s dairy industry and working landscape. Along the way I have restored three New England farmsteads, two of which have been protected by conservation easements.
Steve Judge, Microdairy Expert at Bob-White Systems
I have also:
• Served as the Franklin County (MA) Regional Planning Agency’s Farm and Forest Land Use Planner.
• Co-founded the Franklin Land Trust, headquartered in Shelburne Falls, MA.
• Worked with a group of western Massachusetts dairy farmers to spearhead the formation of the Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers.
• Managed the Shoreham Cooperative Apples Producers Association located in Shoreham, Vermont.
• Owned, operated and/or managed five dairy farms.
• Sat on the board of a Vermont Dairy Co-op for several years and managed a 300-member organic and natural foods coop in Randolph, Vermont for two years.
• Managed Woodstock Water Buffalo Farm, New England’s only buffalo operation.
Vermont Family Farms
In 1991, along with founding Vermont Milk Producers Inc., I created the Vermont Family Farms brand of fluid milk while developing a new and innovative way to bring the product to market. Vermont Family Farms milk was produced by a small, select group of Vermont family farms, making it the first “super premium” milk marketed in the northeastern United States.
The biggest innovation at the company was that participating farmers owned the brand equally and were paid significantly more for their milk than standard co-ops. Vermont Milk Producers sold the Vermont Family Farms brand to a major Vermont dairy coop and disbanded in 2000.
Bringing the Cows Back Home
Bob-White Systems, Inc. was born in 2006 when my wife and I purchased and brought back to life an abandoned 40 acre farm in Vermont. We started a micro dairy and now keep and milk four Jersey cows. Driven by my passion for the Slow Food movement and my desire for communities to enjoy locally produced, farm fresh milk, I looked to technology for ways to make micro dairy farming more profitable and accessible. My goal is to create appropriately scaled dairy technology and equipment that would give micro dairy farmers the opportunity to sell safe, farm fresh milk and dairy products directly from their farms to friends and neighbors.