Franklin County Veterinarian Protects Farm and Wildlife Habitat

Farm field with woods and housing in the distance

Milt Robison is a well-respected, large-animal veterinarian who has been practicing in Franklin County since 1964. Milt is also a beef farmer and thinks conserving good farmland is one of the best things Vermont can do to maintain the working landscape. This summer he conserved 250 acres of farmland and woodland in Swanton because, as he put it, good farmland will be “hard to come by and needs to be set aside now for farming.”

Milt also worked with the US Fish & Wildlife Department to include a wildlife easement on 84 acres of forest. The land is home to turkey, deer, and other animals. “I’m glad this all worked out,” he reflected. “It was complicated to work with all the different [agencies]. But in the end, it was worth it. We need to keep large blocks of farmland intact and when there’s an opportunity to help wildlife on the same property, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Milt had previously rented most of the property’s large fields to a nearby dairy, which used it to grow corn and hay. Now he is converting the land into pasture for grazing 90 cattle. “Vermont is well suited for grass-based livestock,” he explained.

The property has several streams and a wetland that ultimately flow into the Missisquoi River, which in turn flows into Lake Champlain. These areas now have special protections, including maintaining a 50-foot-wide strip of vegetation on either side of the streams to promote clean water.

Funded by VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS).