Connecticut Dairy Farm of the Year

Hyde’s Dairy Farm Named 2022 CT Outstanding Dairy Farm for New England Green Pastures

Hyde Dairy owners and employees with two cows in front of the farm signHyde’s Dairy Farm LLC in North Franklin is the 2022 Connecticut Outstanding Dairy Farm. Owner Dave Hyde and his team will be recognized at the New England Green Pastures award ceremony at the Eastern States Exposition in September. Dave’s father, Harry, helps wherever needed, Samantha Hoffman is herdsman, and there are also three part-time employees.

Dave and Harry purchased the farm in 2006 and converted an old barn into a step-in parlor with six units and automatic takeoffs. They are currently milking 55 cows and are producing 4,000 pounds of milk per day with an average 4.0% fat and 3.2% protein. Their somatic cell count is under 100,000, an indication of the high-quality milk.

Hyde’s Dairy Farm is a member of Dairy Farmers of America and keeps about 10% of their milk for Hyde’s Dairy bottling efforts. They started bottling milk because of consumer interest in locally grown in 2021. Milk is bottled at Terra Firma Farm Creamery in North Stonington, an on-farm state certified milk processing plant.

A variety of flavors are offered, including chocolate, coffee, strawberry, orange cream and caramel. Hyde’s Dairy also produces yogurts (plain, vanilla and five flavors fruit on the bottom) and seasonal eggnog. Products are sold at 13 local farmers’ markets and stores. Hyde’s Dairy offers online ordering with Barn2Door to deliver milk, meat and more direct to consumers at home. Their tagline is #milkoneverydoorstep.

“Bottling our own milk has given us the ability to donate chocolate milks to many community events and our local 4-H group,” Dave says. “We also supply milk for the Terra Firma Farm Give Gallons program, which purchases milk from local farms, pasteurizes and bottles, and then donates to the local soup kitchen. As a FFA alumni I truly believe in the future of farming and have given calves and cows to 4-Hers whenever possible.”

Cow comfort is very important at Hyde’s Dairy Farm. They use a bedded pack barn with open side feed alley, three giant fans, and cow brushes for scratching. The farm is feeding a ration with alfalfa, silage, beet pulp and straw.

The herd started with Holsteins and Dave started adding other breeds since they started bottling their milk. These include Brown Swiss, Jerseys, Linebacks, and Guernseys. The farm keeps their registered, higher genetic calves to raise and sells the other heifers to local farms.

Hyde’s Dairy Farm LLC has 130 acres. Of these, 70 are tillable and he rents an additional 30 acres for corn. The farm uses no-till seeding and custom silage harvesting.

Dave has also owned and operated a livestock transportation company for the last 20 years. It currently has four trucks that move cattle to market in the northeast. They work with many other farms in Connecticut to pick up, haul and broker livestock.

Congratulations to Hyde’s Dairy Farm LLC on their selection as the 2022 Connecticut Outstanding Dairy Farm for the New England Green Pastures award ceremony at the Eastern States Exposition in September.

Learn more about Hyde’s Dairy Farm at and the New England Green Pastures program at

Article by UConn Extension; photos courtesy of Hyde’s Dairy Farm

Valley View Farm is Connecticut Dairy Farm of the Year

New England Green Pastures Connecticut Dairy Farm of the Year 2020

Learned family gathers for a photo on their farm in North Stonington
Left to right: Timothy Learned, nephew Bradley Tefft, niece Annalise Tefft, sister Marcia tefft, mother Belinda Learned, father Edward learned, Benjamin Learned, Catherine Learned and Liz Lewis.

It is indeed a pleasure to announce that Ben and Tim Learned, owners of Valley View Farm, in North Stonington are the 2020 Outstanding Connecticut Dairy Farmers of the Year for the New England Green Pastures Award Program. Ben and Tim have accomplished the unique achievement of establishing a very successful new dairy farm in only 10 years. The brothers both worked for area dairy farms as they were growing up. Their passion for farming and dairy cattle became even clearer as they attended college and they easily decided that dairy farming would be their vocation rather than pursue other ventures. The brothers, together with their parents, Edward and Belinda, purchased a 130 acre unoccupied dairy farm 10 years ago in the beautiful rolling hills of North Stonington, Connecticut.

Ben and Tim started the farm with eight purchased cows and developed the herd through internal growth and strategic purchases to the current 120 cow herd. The herd is fed 100% BMR corn silage and round bale haylage produced on the farm and rented land and their rations are completed with purchased concentrates. They milk the herd in a flat parlor that they designed and built for cow comfort, cow flow as well as labor efficiency. They have recently completed a barn renovation to convert a tie stall part of the facility to a sand-bedded freestall that the cows fully utilize. The primarily Holstein herd is a high producing herd with high levels of protein. In addition, they have received awards from their dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmer’s of America, for achieving and maintaining high quality milk, which truly demonstrates their commitment to dairy farming.

Tim and Ben enjoy working together in all aspects of the dairy farm and they genuinely believe that having fun should be a component of dairy farming. It is truly a family farm with help from family members. Ben’s wife, Catherine, who helps out on weekends and before her full time job as a physical therapist and Catherine’s sister, Liz, as well as Ben and Tim’s sister, Marcia. In addition, they open their farm to students from the University of Rhode Island so that students can gain hands-on education on dairy farming. Tim and Ben, along with their mother, also have a grass-fed beef operation that yields 24 steers per year.

Together, Ben and Tim have built a dairy farm that is an excellent representation of the viability and sustainability of the New England dairy industry and gives us confidence for the future. Again, congratulations to Tim and Ben Learned for being named the Connecticut Outstanding Dairy Farmers for the 2020 New England Green Pastures Program.

The New England Green Pastures Program has a rich history starting in 1947 with a challenge from the New Hampshire governor as to which New England state dairy farmer produced the best pastures. It has continued with the additional focus on total management and viability of the farm as well as contribution to the agricultural community. This tradition lives on with recognition of the Learned brothers in North Stonington, Connecticut. We also thank the selection committee that consists of former winners and agri-business members.

Article by: Sheila M. Andrew, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Connecticut, New England Green Pastures Connecticut Coordinator

Hannan Holstein Farm is CT Dairy Farm of the Year

Chris and Todd Hannan in front of a John Deere tractor
Chris and Todd Hannan

We are pleased to announce that Chris and Todd Hannan of Hannan Holsteins Farm are the winners of the Connecticut 2019 Dairy Farm of the Year for our New England Green Pastures Program.

The two brothers milk 50 registered Holsteins, half of which are Red and White Holsteins, with a total of 140 head of young stock and mature cows at their rented facility in bucolic Woodbury, Connecticut. Todd and Chris got their start in agriculture with 4-H sheep and beef projects. When the brothers were in high school, the first Holstein heifers arrived at their property in Southbury Connecticut, coming from their uncle’s farm.

Todd graduated from Cobleskill College and he interned at Adirondack Farms in Upper State NY and worked at several areas dairy farms, including Arethusa farm. Chris graduated from the University of Connecticut and worked for Cargill Animal Nutrition overseeing nutrition programs on many farms in NY and Southern New England.

With that experience under their belts, Todd and Chris started their dairy operation ten years ago and developed an excellent herd of registered dairy cattle maintaining quality milk and excellent production. The brothers are members of Agri Mark and have been actively involved in the cooperative. They have focused on genetic progress and their cattle have place very high at area dairy shows. The brothers have demonstrated their skills at forage production, as well.

They farm approximately 350 acres that includes 80 acres of corn for silage and grain, with a portion as BMR corn. The rest is grown for haylage and hay and supports their supplementary hay business. They focus on efficiency of production and they are well known in the area for their excellent relationships within the agriculture area and also with community organizations and neighbors. They rent and manage nearby state land and they have truly benefited from their late father’s strong relationships with the Southbury Land Trust that rents cropland to the brothers.

Their continued stewardship of these public lands is a tribute to the brother’s sustainable approach to dairy farming. They have served on committees for several agricultural organizations and they have a strong passion for the dairy industry and they are truly a great example of the drive and the determination of the next generation of dairy farmers in New England. We are proud to recognize Chris and Todd Hannan as this year’s Connecticut dairy farm of the year.