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Growing up on a dairy farm offers a terrific education

Posted on June 2, 2011 |
By Ashley Howlett



 

BRIDPORT — For many teens, life’s all about hanging out with friends, sports, getting a job and coordinating weekend festivities.

For some Addison County teens, it’s about working and helping out on the farm. Although not every person who grows up on the farm takes an interest in the field, there are those who are passionate about farming and continue the generational trend in Vermont and care for their surroundings and their future.

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Too much rain delays planting season

Posted on May 16, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 

ADDISON COUNTY — Last week offered a reprieve from the wet weather that has soaked the region for much of the spring.

For some area farmers, however, the weather has already had an impact on the growing season, causing what the Vermont Agency of Agriculture is estimating is a three-week delay in planting for some producers.

Craig Miner, county executive for the USDA Farm Service Agency, said late last week that area farmers are holding their breaths for a drier end to the spring.

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Legislation aims to reform dairy labor law

Posted on May 12, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 

VERMONT — Labor has long been an issue for dairy farmers, but Vermont’s congressional delegation is seeking to alleviate some of that pressure with changes to federal guest worker policy.

At present, guest workers from other countries are limited to a one-year visa; and dairy farms, as non-seasonal operations, are barred from hiring through the program. The H-2A Improvement Act proposes changes to the current seasonal worker visa program that would allow dairy farmers to hire guest workers legally for a period of three years.

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Study eyes mushrooms as cash crop

Posted on May 9, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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MIDDLEBURY — Eight piles of hardwood logs stacked on the grounds of the Eddy Farm in Middlebury don’t appear to be crucial parts of a lucrative farming operation.

But the logs are part of a three-year joint project of Cornell University and the University of Vermont that examines the viability of shiitake mushrooms as cash crops. They have been inoculated with shiitake spores, and, if all goes well, will begin fruiting next year.

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Health care debate hits glitch with immigration

Posted on May 5, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MONTPELIER — Following public outcry, a conference committee working to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the recent health care bill on Tuesday announced it had removed language that would bar illegal immigrants from health coverage.

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Study shows county plays a big role in Vt's local food effort

Posted on May 2, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 

MIDDLEBURY — Last Thursday, one of the creators of an important report on Vermont agriculture stopped by Middlebury to highlight the pivotal role Addison County plays in the local food economy and to encourage those involved in local food production to keep at it.

“You guys rock. We all rock,” said Ellen Kahler to the approximately 40 county residents, food producers and college students who gathered at Middlebury College for her presentation on the statewide Farm to Plate Strategic Plan.

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NOFA, Rural Vt. join suit against Monsanto

Posted on April 25, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 

VERMONT — The Vermont chapter of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and farmer advocacy group Rural Vermont have jumped aboard a class-action lawsuit that aims to prohibit Monsanto Company from suing farmers whose crops have been contaminated by the company’s patented Roundup Ready seed.

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Dairy prices on the rise, outlook good

Posted on April 21, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — After two years of rock bottom prices, business is looking up for many Vermont dairy farmers.

Cornwall dairy farmer John Roberts, who with his wife Lisa milk 200 cows at Butterwick Farm, said that this week his milk pulled in $23.19 per hundredweight (cwt) — more than double what it was fetching just two years ago, in 2009.

“It’s a big step forward,” he said.

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Group eyes more local foods in schools

Posted on April 21, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MIDDLEBURY — Some 75 administrators, teachers, foodservice workers and students gathered at Middlebury Union High School on April 5 to discuss the burgeoning movement that is bringing local foods into schools across the county.

The second annual Stone Soup Summit, put on by the Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN), aimed to spread information, ideas and experiences on all angles of the farm-to-school effort — from composting to funding to incorporating local food education into the curriculum.

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School garden springs into the classroom

Posted on April 18, 2011 |
By Andrew Stein



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BRISTOL — Students at Mount Abraham Union High School rolled up their sleeves, picked up their hoes, and got their hands dirty in the school garden last week. Overseen by volunteer Walter O’Donoghue, who runs the Mount Abe garden, a team of ninth-graders on Thursday turned the soil in the beds and began seeding a wide range of crops from spring lettuce and radishes to summer tomatoes and peppers to leeks and winter squash.

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