Green Acres Farm in North Hartland, Vermont was purchased in 1910 by J.F. Withington. Tillable land, pasture and timber land totaling approximately 300 acres was purchased between 1910 and 1960. This included 100 acres of rich, river bottom land along the Connecticut River. The farm was historically a mix of Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns, but became exclusively Milking Shorthorns in 1994 when the herd was downsized to approximately 40 milk cows and moved to a 96 acre dairy located in Randolph Center, Vermont.
Philo T. Withington was the youngest of J.F.’s nine children and the only one interested in continuing the farm. He attended Agriculture School in Lyndonville, Vermont after high school, which is where he met W. Arthur Simpson. Philo purchased several registered Milking Shorthorn females during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. These cows were always bred to registered Milking Shorthorn bulls, including Walgrove King Conqueror and Queeston Ruth’s Lad. Willowdale Crown Prince, from the Simpson herd, was used prior to being sold to the Maine A.I. stud.
Philo was married in 1932 and Ruth Withington Shumway was born in 1933. Ruth joined 4-H in 1944 and her first two show heifers were sired by WIllowdale Crown Prince. She was very active in the local fair circuit and in 1947 she exhibited her first heifer at the Eastern States Exposition, where her Senior Yearling placed first in the 4-H show and second in the open show under judge Keith King.
Green Acres Farm saw many changes during the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The original round barn was added onto twice, increasing herd size to 150 head. The round barn burned in 1978 and some Milking Shorthorns were lost. The replacement barn was a 100 stall tiestall facility, with attached heifer barn. In 1994 Green Acres Farm was sold along with the Holstein herd. Ruth and 78 head of Milking Shorthorns moved to the current facility in Randolph Center, Vermont.
The Green Acres prefix has been a familiar name at both the local and national level. Cattle have been sold across the United States and many 4-H’ers have started their Milking Shorthorn experiences with a Green Acres calf. Many of these heifers have had success in the show ring and recently have been nominated for, and received, All American honors. Heifers in this category include Green Acres MP Maiden (AA Junior Calf 2000, Cate Family), Green Acres Demnd Forever (Res. AA Senior Calf 2005, Elizabeth Byers) and numerous others that have been nominated for both Open and Junior honors. Cows that have received nominations and honors include Green Acres Target Spice EXP (AA 5 Year Old 209) and Green Acres Titan Temptation (Nominated AA Jr 3 2009).
With the passing of Ruth in June 2008 her daughter and son-in-law (Joan & Craig Wortman) have taken over ownership and management of the farm. They have built a strong relationship with Vermont Technical College and regularly employee students, which has increased acceptance of the breed in commercial minded students.
Ruth’s granddaughter, Kylie Preisinger, has been working with the genetics, especially the showstring, since she started in
4-H at the age of 7, attending as many shows and Milking Shorthorn events each year as possible to keep up with breeders across the country. She is currently employed as Product Development Manager for ADM Alliance Nutrition in Fayetteville, North Carolina, working with beef and dairy herds across the country, continuing to promote the Milking Shorthorn breed, especially the Green Acres prefix. Kylie is also a Director for the American Milking Shorthorn Society.
All feed is purchased locally and milk is shipped to Agri-Mark Cooperative. Cows have access to rotationally graze about 45 acres and receive grain when in the barn for milking. They receive corn silage and grass hay when grazing is not practical. The herd’s current production average (June 2015) is 15,790lbs milk, 3.3% fat, 526F, 3.1% protein, 428P with SCC of 47,000..