Paul, his wife Sherry, and their son Bryan run the Doton Farm in Barnard, Vermont. The farm is now in its fourth generation, and they have 135 cattle and milk about 70 on their 400 acres. And it's a good thing Paul has Sherry and Bryan nearby because he has his hands full.
As with most farmers, the work day starts early, around 4:15 a.m. in Paul's case, when most of us are just entering deep sleep. Clean the barn and do the morning milking. Breakfast around 7:30 a.m., haying the rest of the day if the weather allows and nothing else is more pressing, afternoon milking, and then call it a day around 6:00 p.m. That is unless there is still some daylight and more hay to mow. If it sounds tedious, it isn't. There are new challenges every day if not every hour, and Paul often has to leave the farm on other business.
In addition to dairy farming, the Dotons do a fair amount of sugaring and they also sell vegetables at their farm stand. Paul was a member of the Board of Yankee Farm Credit and he has spent a lot of time explaining the difficulties dairy farmers face. Paul is a past member of the DMI Board of Directors, which has oversight of the National Dairy Promotion program. Currently he is a member of the Agri-Mark/Cabot board of directors. He is a founding member of the Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance, an organization that practices land stewardship for clean waterways, productive landscapes, and the economic sustainability of our agricultural community.
If that weren't enough, he is a Justice of the Peace for Barnard. If you want a down home wedding ceremony, Paul's your guy. Oh, and he is also the Town Moderator for Barnard town meetings.
A look at the farm after a fresh snowfall. Did we mention we plow driveways in Barnard?
In the summer, Sherry's sunflowers brighten up the garden. Doton Farm sells fresh Vermont grown vegetables all summer long.
In the spring, the sugar house is fired up to make Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, and we sell it all year long at the farm.