The greatest period of growth in Vermont agriculture occurred from 1850 to 1880. By the end of that era there were over 35,000 farms in the state, the most in its history. Cows surpassed sheep in importance by midcentury and dairy products became the foundation of Vermont’s agriculture. In a time before refrigeration, milk was turned into cheese or butter before it spoiled. The best year for cheese during this period was in 1869, when 4,830,700 pounds were produced. But butter making was the activity that would dominate the dairy industry into the early twentieth century. With the importation of better breeds of cows, scientific innovations, and growing demand, Vermont butter won an international reputation for quality.
Copyright 2006, Vermont Historical
Society. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of photographs or text without written permission is prohibited.