The Fitch Farm in Milford was recently awarded New Hampshire Dairy Farm of the Year by the New England Green Pastures Program. This program, started in 1948, recognizes innovation in dairying - particularly through better pasture management. It also recognizes outstanding accomplishments in business management, crop production, herd performance, environmental practices, and community leadership. They award one winner in each of the New England states annually.
The Fitch Farm is a fifth-generation dairy farm, currently operated by Walker Fitch, his father David, and two part-time employees. They have about 108 milking cows with a rolling herd average of 25,334 lbs. of milk, 952 lbs. of butterfat and 762 lbs. of protein. They work with the towns of Milford and Wilton on extensive school programs, using conserved land, and keeping land open.
In the 1990's, Fitch Farm participated in the Pre-side-dress Soil Nitrogen Program conducted by UNH Cooperative Extension. They modified their manure management program, reducing the need for nitrogen fertilizer by proper handling of manure and incorporation of manure at time of spreading. Then they used the Pre-side-dress Nitrogen Test to see if addition was required. The Fitch Farm is always looking for new ways to be viable on limited land and sell round bases of hay, raw milk and meat. They continue to innovate throughout the years and are an important part of the community in Milford.
The Eastern States Exposition hosts the Dairy Farmer of the Year program at the Eastern States Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA. Each year the winners show slides of their farm and are presented with a silver pitcher by the state's Commissioner of Agriculture. Congratulations Fitch Farm!