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Farms face second big setback of the season

Posted on September 1, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — The floodwaters that covered fields in the wake of the rain and wind from Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday were strangely reminiscent of the high waters that covered fields this spring, pushing seasonal planting back by a month for some.

And Irene, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it headed north, decimated agricultural fields in some areas of Vermont and, for many others, threw hopes of a late fall growing season into question.

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Combines, tractors, laptops, smartphones: Farmers use digital tools to aid marketing

Posted on August 25, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles focusing on the changing role of information technology in various sectors.

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Farmers offer Rep. Welch an earful on federal price support

Posted on August 18, 2011 |
By Michelle Monroe (St. Albans Messenger) and Andrea Suozzo



ST. ALBANS/NEW HAVEN — Farmers had plenty of suggestions for Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., as he solicited feedback about a proposed federal dairy reform bill in St. Albans last Wednesday and at Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven on Friday.

The bill in question is a draft proposal by Minnesota Rep. Colin Peterson. The plan would replace the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) and the Dairy Product Price Supports programs and change the federal milk order system that sets the wholesale price conventional milk producers get for their product.

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Late blight threatens Vt. plants

Posted on August 18, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



VERMONT — Gardeners beware: Late blight, which last swept tomato and potato plants in the state in 2009, has been confirmed in Vermont this year.

The University of Vermont Extension on Aug. 3 announced a case of the late blight on tomato plants in a home garden in Jericho.

Vern Grubinger of the UVM Extension said he’s spoken with a couple more people in that area who are sending their plants in for testing, but that there have been no other confirmed cases in the state.

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Artisan shows craft of cheesemaking

Posted on August 18, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



NEW HAVEN — Visitors to the Addison County Fair and Field Days last week could follow the “Fresh cheese curds” sign and find themselves next to the Milking Parlor and Dairy Bar, at a simple white trailer with a window on one side.

Veronica Pedraza, wearing a net cap, guarded the sterile environment of her mobile cheesemaking unit. She was spending the summer traveling with the Orleans County Fair mobile cheese unit to county fairs around Vermont.

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Ag head talks up marketing at Field Days

Posted on August 15, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



NEW HAVEN — Between petting cows in the 4-H barn, eating maple creemees at the Maple Barn and rubbing elbows with sheep shearers and cheesemakers, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross’ visit to Addison County Fair and Field Days last Wednesday was a busy one.

Wednesday’s visit wasn’t just an afternoon of fun at the fair — Ross spent much of his time listening to the people he met, guided by Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Addison County and Brandon, and Rep. Will Stevens, I-Shoreham.

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Deadline nearing for dairying deal

Posted on August 8, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



VERMONT — The deadline is drawing near for some 10,000 dairy farmers in the Northeast to file compensation claims in the sweeping Dean Foods antitrust settlement, which offers $30 million in monetary damages.

A portion of that money was allocated to be divided between farmers who produced and pooled raw milk on Federal Milk Marketing Order 1 between January 2002 and May 2011.

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Video: Cheesefest!

Posted on July 28, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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The 2011 Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival drew crowds of people to Shelburne Farms last Sunday, July 24. We were there to check in with the many Addison County producers, and (of course!) to enjoy the food.

Many thanks to Nate Gusakov of Lincoln, Vt. for providing the music. The song is "Bellingham" from his upcoming album, "Running Clear."

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Grocery service builds the Vermont brand

Posted on July 25, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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BRISTOL — For hundreds of years, Vermont has been a name known regionally, nationally and even internationally for its food products — butter, cheese, milk, maple syrup and apples. But out-of-state residents couldn’t get their groceries directly from Vermont.

Now that’s changing with the help of businesses like Bristol’s Graze, which delivers farm-fresh food from Vermont to homes in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Could switchgrass offer a CO2 solution?

Posted on July 21, 2011 |
By Andrew Stein



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ADDISON COUNTY — When the American settlers first crossed the Great Plains, they encountered native species of prairie grass like switchgrass and big blue stem.

Now those same grasses — seeded deep in the American perception of a rural aesthetic — are being sown in Addison County fields in an effort to make them an affordable and viable source of local energy.

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