PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that Wright's Dairy Farm, Inc. of North Smithfield has been named Rhode Island's 2014 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 12 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.
Wright's Dairy is a fifth-generation family dairy farm celebrating 100 years of producing and selling quality dairy and bakery products direct to the consumer. In the 1970s Wright's transformed a home delivery milk route into a retail store located on the farm. The bakery, which started in Claire Wright's kitchen, was added shortly thereafter and the business grew. Today there are 10 immediate family members involved in the day-to-day operations, and they make a conscious choice each day to get along and work together for the good of the business. Sixty full and part-time employees work with the family members to accomplish the many varied tasks necessary to run the operation.
"Wright's Dairy Farm is an institution for many Rhode Islanders," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Customers who visited the dairy farm as children now bring their own children to buy milk, cream and bakery items and watch the cows being milked. The success enjoyed by the Wright family and other Rhode Island dairy farmers is helping to protect and preserve hundreds of acres of farmland that will support continued agricultural endeavors well into the future."
The farm's 120 cows are milked twice daily in a double milking parlor that was acquired in 2009. All cows on the farm, starting with the calves to the milkers, have diets balanced by a nutritionist. They utilize high-quality forages to form the base of the rations and then complement these feeds with a balanced mixture of grains, vitamins, and minerals.
Wright's Dairy has received a Vermont DHIA award for consistently producing high-quality milk. The cows are always at the top of the farm's priority list at the beginning of every day.
Milk is processed and sold on site. Milk travels via stainless steel pipeline from the milking barn to the dairy plant where it is pasteurized, homogenized, and bottled for sale in the farm's retail store. Dairy products offered for sale include whole and low-fat milks, creams, flavored milks, ice cream and cheese.
Wright's Dairy Farm uses the farm's milk for puddings and custards and its heavy cream to make many real whipped cream cakes, pies and pastries. The bakery also produces a full line of muffins, cookies, brownies, chocolates and custom-decorated special occasion cakes.
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.