PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management and the RI Agricultural Council announce that Bailey Brook Farm in East Greenwich has been named Rhode Island's 2013 Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year by the Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee. Winning dairy farmers from each New England state will be honored at an awards banquet on September 13 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.
The Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee chose Bailey Brook Farm because of its outstanding relationship with the community, use of good management practices, and commitment to ensuring a viable agricultural industry in the West Bay. The farm is owned by three siblings - Rodney Bailey of East Greenwich, Gladys Bailey of East Greenwich, and Priscilla Crofts of North Stonington, CT. The picturesque Bailey Brook Farm is a focal point along Route 4 south in East Greenwich, just before the Frenchtown Road exit.
Since 1980, Bailey Brook Farm has been a member of Agri-Mark Cooperative, the regional dairy cooperative which owns the Cabot brand, which picks up their milk every day and markets it to customers in southern New England. Part of their milk is also sold locally under the Rhody Fresh brand in conjunction with seven other local farms. The farm has been a member of the RI Dairy Farmers Cooperative, which produces Rhody Fresh Milk, since 2009. Rodney Bailey formed a partnership with his son, Paul, in 1998. Today, the Baileys milk 40 cows on their 225-acre farm. They also produce hay on 30 acres, silage corn on 20 acres, and have 25 acres of pasture. The Bailey family farms land on both Bailey Brook Farm and the adjacent Fry Farm on Route 2 in East Greenwich, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The historic Bailey Brook Farm is one of Rhode Island's finest dairy farms and we are pleased that it has been selected for this special award," said DEM Director Janet Coit. " Including the Fry Farm, the Baileys farm some of the oldest, continually-farmed parcels in Rhode Island. The success enjoyed by the Bailey family and other dairy farmers who produce local milk products is helping to protect and preserve hundreds of acres of farmland that will support continued agricultural endeavors for this and future generations to enjoy."
Rodney and Judy Bailey have been members of Rocky Hill Grange for more than 50 years, and have been very active in their local community. Judy served on the East Greenwich Town Council from 1990-1994, on the RI Agricultural Lands Preservation Commission for 18 years, and was a member of the RI State Board of Elections for 10 years.
The couple has four children including Kathy Burroughs, Paul Bailey, Cynthia LaPrise, and Iva Reynhout, and 10 grandchildren. Kathy Burroughs is currently president of the RI 4-H Club Foundation, and Cynthia LaPrise and her family started EMMA Acres Farm, which is a member of Agri-Mark and Rhody Fresh. EMMA Acres Farm won the Green Pasture Award in 2010.
The Bailey family is also very active with their local 4-H chapter, which introduces young people to agriculture. While growing up in the 1970s, all four of their children were members of 4-H. Today, six of their grandchildren have been involved in 4-H since 1999 and have shown their Jersey, Red, and White Holstein cows. Three granddaughters have been active members of Future Farmers of America and have served as chapter and state officers. Bailey Brook Farm is one of 15 dairy farms remaining in the state.
The Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year award is sponsored by the New England Green Pastures Committee, made up of agricultural interests such as state and federal agricultural offices and farm organizations. Rhode Island's Green Pastures Committee is coordinated by DEM's Division of Agriculture and the RI Agricultural Council, with members including the RI Dairy Farmers Cooperative, the RI Farm Bureau, the RI Farm Service Agency, and the Agri-Mark Cooperative.