McDonald Farm

Danville, VT
370 acres
110 milking cows

A true original

It was 1919 when 94 central Vermont farmers joined forces to turn their surplus milk into butter. Each contributed $5 per cow and one cord of wood to fuel the cooperative venture in a creamery in Cabot. McDonald Farm in Danville, one of the original co-op members, is still going strong. A century later, James Beattiea McDonald on his grandmother’s sidesays proudly, “My kids make it seven generations.”

Keeping history going

Although he doesn’t dwell on it, James takes his heritage quite seriously. The farm was settled by his Scottish ancestors in 1839 and an old barn with sections dating back to 1896 still shelters young stock. “Keeping the history going,” he says, “was definitely part of the drive.” Another factor is the satisfaction of watching his girls grow up around the animals and farm like he did, and knowing they appreciate how deep their roots go. “They get it,” James says,but we don’t push. We’ll let them choose it on their own.”

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