President: Steve Judge
As a recent transplant into the Royalton, Vermont community, Steve has spent the past 25 years working to protect and revive New England’s dairy industry. A dairy farmer with over 35 years of experience, Steve has owned, operated, and managed five dairy farms. Skilled at farmstead restoration, Steve has completely restored three New England farmsteads, two of which are protected by conservation easements.
He served as the Farm and Forest Land Use Planner for the Regional Planning Agency of Franklin County, MA. At the same time he was co-founder of Franklin Land Trust – headquartered in Shelburne Falls, MA.
When Steve moved to Vermont, he began by managing the Shoreham Cooperative Apple Producers Association. He also served on a Vermont Dairy Co-Op Board for several years and managed a 600-member organic and natural foods Co-Operative in Randolph, Vermont.
In 1991, Steve became the founder of Vermont Milk Producers, Inc., where he created the Vermont Family Farms fluid-milk brand and developed an innovative system to bring the milk to market. Vermont Family Farms was the first “super-premium” milk marketed in the northeastern United States and was produced by a small, select group of Vermont family farms – each owning an equal portion of the brand. In 2000, Vermont Milk Producers, Inc. sold the Vermont Family Farms brand to St. Albans Cooperative Creamery.
Steve now lives in Royalton, Vermont with his wife, 2 cats, 4 cows and 2 calfs. They also have four grown children.
Craig Ramini: Water Buffalo Expert
Craig is the man behind Ramini Mozzarella a new food company located in Tomales, California. The vision for the company is to make healthy, local, fresh mozzarella cheese that is worthy of comparison to the wonderful mozzarella di bufala that is made in Italy. To date, they have grown their water buffalo herd to about forty beautiful animals and are milking them every day. The milk is luxurious, abundant, and now they are hard at work perfecting their recipe and processes. Click here to watch a video of Craig and his farm, shot in May this year.
Paul operates Sweet Rowen Farmstead in West Glover. The farm is the result of years of patient apprenticeship and a great deal of hard work. Educated both indoors (Sterling College) and out (dairies around the world), Paul brings his skills and intuition back home to the North East Kingdom. He is deeply dedicated to providing for his local community, which has faithfully supported him through the years.
Nick and his partner Kate MacLean started Longest Acres Farms in 2012. Together they produce Animal Welfare Approved raw cow’s and goat’s milk, beef, and eggs to feed themselves and their local community. They live with their young son in an elevated valley near the town of Chelsea, Vermont.