Heidi Harkopf

Holiday Traditions, Dairy Farm Style!

The holiday season is upon us! As family and friends gather to celebrate wonderful traditions over the next month, we would like to share with you a peak into holiday time on the dairy farm.


Denise Barstow of Barstow’s Farm reminds us that traditions are important as they build strong family relationships between generations.  Considering that our New England dairy farms continue from

Photo courtesy of Elm Farm, CT

generation to generation, their traditions have also become anchored in the community around them.  Denise highlights how the beautiful star that sits 75 feet up on top of their silo has shined upon their community for decades.  Of course, as farmers are good stewards of the environment, Denise points out that the lights they use on the star uses less than half of the energy of a light bulb! 🌟

Learn more about “The Star” that sits atop the Barstow’s silo during the month of December each year.

Traditions are also built around their love for their cows.  When the children at Elm Farm in Woodstock, CT were asked by their parents what the Christmas card picture should be, they insisted upon this scene in their barn.  The passion for their cows is passed on to even the youngest members on the farm!

If there is one common thread we hear across all of our dairy farm families, it’s that the cows come first, even on holidays! On Christmas day, barn chores and milking happen first thing in the morning before any presents get opened or before the Christmas morning breakfast is enjoyed.  Yet when the children help out in the barn, even that time is special time together.

Bring some dairy farm traditions to your home!

Want to insert a little New England dairy farm family into your holiday?  Consider purchasing gifts of cheese, chocolate, and bakery items right from the farm!  This list of farm locations will help you select the perfect local gift.

Consider making a farmer created recipe such as this Corn Casserole from the Freund family loaded with locally produced dairy and corn!  Or cozy up to LaurelBrook Farm’s Homemade Mac & Cheese or Grandmas Beldin’s Quiche.  These favorite recipes are sure to become your favorites as well! And when the day is done, relax with some locally produced eggnog.


Photo courtesy of Maple Grove Farm, VT
Photo courtesy of Newmont Farm, VT
Photo courtesy of Gervais Farm, VT


Our dairy farm families wish your family the very best this holiday season!




Heidi Harkopf

Heidi is a registered dietitian and the Director of Nutrition Programs for New England Dairy & Food Council.   During her free time Heidi can be found in the kitchen or driving her 2 teenage children to activities all over her home state of Connecticut!  A firm believer that healthy food doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming, Heidi loves how dairy helps her pull meals together in a jiffy. Sound like someone you want to get to know? Contact Heidi at hharkopf@newenglanddairy.com.

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