WOODSTOCK - Albert Conklin, a longtime resident of Woodstock, died Friday, June 6, 2014.
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Born in Sharon, Conn., to Brandt Bradley Conklin and Elizabeth Merwin Conklin on Feb. 21, 1919, Mr. Conklin grew up in the town of Northeast, N.Y., on his grandparents' farm.
After graduating from Mount Hermon School (now Northfield Mt. Hermon) and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, he embarked on a lifelong career as a dairy farmer by conducting a dairy cow feeding study for Standard Brands at the Gardner State Hospital dairy farm in Massachusetts, followed by a year's stint as assistant farm manager at Medfield State Hospital's dairy.
He then returned to New York state and worked as the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) supervisor in Columbia County before entering a four-year partnership in a dairying operation in Copake, N.Y.
In 1946, he married Jean Nelson and they moved to Vermont where he served as the instructor for the Veterans' On the Farm training program at Thetford Academy. They purchased a farm in South Strafford where Mr. Conklin began developing his herd of Registered Holstein cattle.
In 1952, the couple moved their dairy operation to the Nelson farm, where Mrs. Conklin had grown up on Pomfret Road in Woodstock. During more than 40 years of farming, Mr. Conklin took special interest in the work of 4-H clubs, encouraging young people in dairy clubs he organized to learn how to care for and show farm animals.
Throughout his farming career, Mr. Conklin was an active leader in organizations that shaped agriculture throughout New England and the Northeast. They included the Bellows Falls Cooperative Creamery, the Windsor County Farmers' Exchange, the Windsor County Farm Bureau, the Pomfret DHIA, the New England and National Holstein Breeders Associations, and the Eastern AI Cooperative in Ithaca, N.Y.
He also served 31 years as director of the Co-op Insurance Company of Middlebury. In his retirement years, he continued his passion for agriculture as a docent at the Billings Farm and Museum, interpreting Vermont's agricultural heritage.
Mr. Conklin served as a school director for both the town of Woodstock and the Woodstock Union High school boards and as a member of the building committee overseeing construction of the new Union High School building. He was also a longtime director and chairman of the Woodstock National Bank and for several years was a director of the successor organization Banknorth. A longtime member of the North Pomfret Congregational Church UCC, he served terms as both deacon and trustee.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; sons, Neil, Rockville, Md., Danny, Milford, N.Y., Miles, Haverhill, N.H.; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. July 12 at the North Pomfret Congregational Church.Memorial contributions may be made to the Northfield Mount Hermon School at http://www.nmhschool.org, Gift Recording Office, Norton House, Northfield Mount Hermon School, One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon, MA 01354 or to the Billings Farm and Museum, http://www.billingsfarm.org, Billings Farm & Museum, PO Box 489, Woodstock, VT 05091-0489.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock.
Cabot Funeral Home - Woodstock
1 Rose Hill
Woodstock, VT 05091
Published in Rutland Herald on June 10, 2014