- courtesy of rogersfarmstead.com
Fans of Rogers Farmstead yogurt and other products can now buy them on the Berlin farm itself. But for raw milk, they'll need to look elsewhere.
In 2012, when Nathan and Jessie Rogers bought their 133-acre parcel, they were enticed by the quality of the pasture and its proximity to Montpelier. But they knew the farm needed work. They began by growing grains — including wheat and oats — and eventually acquired a herd of Jersey cows and started selling raw milk.
In November 2015, the couple began producing a value-added dairy product — yogurt — at Bragg Farm in Fayston, in the facility that Marisa Mauro built for her Ploughgate Creamery butter. Eventually, as yogurt sales took off, the Rogerses decided to make a "massive investment" in their own plant. The new facility, which includes a farm stand, opened last Friday.
The opening came with one big change: Because of regulations, the Rogerses can no longer sell raw milk. "That was part of the legality of the whole thing," says Nathan. "It had been good for us, but it was time."
Although some of the farm's raw-milk customers have been "bummed out" by the change — and aren't interested in the pasteurized product — others have made the switch. And, while the facility has only been up and running for a few days, Nathan notes, new customers have already come on board.
At the farm stand, he and Jessie sell their own products, including pancake mix and rolled oats, and those of their friends and neighbors. By the end of next week, they'll offer loaves from Elmore Mountain Bread (made with Rogers grain), Ploughgate butter, vegetables from Dog River Farm just down the road and ground beef from Nathan's dad's farm in upstate New York, plus "more and more stuff from people we have ties with," he says.