Thursday April 27, 2017
Bernard Routhier’s farm has been family owned and operated since 1947. This year on his 94th birthday, Routhier’s son Gerard presented his dad, who resides at Pillsbury Manor South, with an award presented at the Dairy Farmers Appreciation Banquet held at this year’s 83rd Vermont Farm Show. The award reads “Vermont’s Highest Dairy Quality Award” and is in recognition of the farm’s production of high quality milk. According to the Vermont Dairy Industry Association (VDIA), the Routhier farm was one of almost 100 farms that were nominated based on the criteria established by VDIA committee.
“We are proud to recognize so many quality farmers for their production of a high quality milk at the banquet,” said President of VDIA Bebe Zabilansky.
Bernard Routhier says he first starting farming as a boy when he would help his father, gathering hay or feeding the calves. He says, “When my father was married, he was a blacksmith for four to five years, then he bought the farm with 17 milking cows,” noting that his sons Gerard, Rene, and Denault are now all farmers as well. Routhier then went on to work every summer on the farm to help his father pay for his college education.
Routhier and Sons farm is located in the northeast town of Bloomfield, in Essex County, and is now home to over 600 cows. Routhier says of his farming experience, “It’s a hard life, physically and mentally. You have to have a broad range of knowledge - economics, veterinary, accounting, all of it. And you know what I love about that? All of my sons have that knowledge.”
Zabilansky said, “We recognize all farmers for their hard work and dedication to farming. Family farms used to be way of life. The survival of the family farm shows commitment to hard work, loyalty, and love of farming and each other.”
Routhier, who describes himself as “a natural worker,” says as he looks back, “I don’t think I would change a thing.” He adds, “I have suffered a lot, my heart has bled. But I am thankful. My family is healthy and hard workers.”