BOB AND NANCY Sunderland walk with their five children through a barn at Rolling Acres Farm in Bridport. The family is implementing newer practices and technology to keep the farm healthy for a sixth generation.
BRIDPORT — Meet Bob, Nancy, Brittany, Abigail, Vanessa, Laila and Beau. Farmers Bob and Nancy, and their five kids, make up the Sunderland family. Despite their busy lives, they wouldn’t change a thing because they love where they live and what they do. Their dairy operation in Bridport consists of 440 head of cattle, 450 acres of tillable land, 160 acres of corn, and state-of-the-art technology that helps them manage their dairy workload. A commitment to community and conservation are at the heart of this remarkable and close-knit family. Rolling Acres Farm, located off Crown Point Road,...
I read with some relief when the state police claimed that the recent harassment at and vandalism to Mexican farmworkers’ homes in Bridport was the result of a feud over access to a fishing spot, and not directed at these folks for who they are. That relief vanished after talking with the main victim of this harassment, whose home was visited two nights by a group of men yelling, firing shots or setting off fireworks and hitting the house, including his air conditioner that was in an unlocked window. He is a Mexican immigrant and so is his wife. They have young kids. He is a dedicated husband...

BRYAN ASHLEY-SELLECK, left, Christian Leggett and Christopher Thompson were arrested on third-degree arson, aggravated stalking and other citations in connection with a series of offenses connected to an alleged feud between local farm families.
BRIDPORT — Vermont State Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of three Bridport men on third-degree arson, aggravated stalking and other citations in connection with a series of offenses connected to an alleged feud between local farm families. Some of those targeted were migrant workers, according to authorities. In addition to the stalking and arson counts, state police cited Christopher Thompson, 26; Christian Leggett, 19; and Bryan Ashley-Selleck, 26, with providing false Information to police, petit larceny, noise in the nighttime, and unlawful mischief for a series of what state...
BRIDPORT — An activist group alleges that a group of people recently surrounded farmworkers’ homes in Bridport, shouting insults and firing guns. The group Migrant Justice has called on police to investigate, which they are doing. Following publication of the incidents on social media, Vermont State Police announced Tuesday that troopers have been investigating multiple incidents and vandalism on farms and at nearby residences near Bridport over the past three weeks. VSP Lt. Jeff Danoski, commander of the New Haven state police barracks, confirmed on Wednesday police are interviewing three...

BRIDPORT — Shirley M. Plouffe, 80, of Bridport, passed peacefully into the arms of her savior, surrounded by her loving family, Sunday morning, Aug. 25, 2019. She was born on Feb. 19, 1939, in Sudbury, Vt., to Leo and Yvette (Larocque) Desforges. She grew up on the family farm and was a fashionista who caught the eye of an equally sharp dresser, Aldee Plouffe. They were married on June 6, 1959. They purchased the family farm in Bridport in 1961. She was a mother and homemaker to six rambunctious children while working the farm for 28 years. After they sold the farm, she became a home health...
MONTPELIER — A new record was set for Vermont cheeses at the prestigious American Cheese Society’s 36th Annual Awards competition (ACS) in Richmond, Va., early this month. Vermont producers, big and small, collectively took home 44 ribbons, marking Vermont’s best showing to date. Additionally, five Vermont cheeses were finalists for the Best of Show. A Bridport cheesemaker was among those earning distinction in the competition. Fairy Tale Farm of Bridport earned 2nd place for its Nuberu cheese. The cheesemakers described Nuberu as “a Spanish-style, 100 percent raw sheep or mixed-milk cheese,...

Are we on yet? Colin Foster, 15, of Middlebury, anxiously waits with his brown Swiss cow before the 4-H dairy conformation class at the Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven on Tuesday. Independent photo/Steve James
Last week’s Addison County Fair and Field Days was filled with a thousand little stories — more than can be recounted in one newspaper. We present here a few snapshots from the New Haven fairgrounds to give you a taste of our annual agricultural fair. Click on the links to read some stories from the fairgrounds. Hair spray on a cow and other Field Days grooming tips Field Days barbecue couple brings a backstory Little cow handler carries on a family tradition at Field Days Farmers-to-be learn the value of work during Field Days prep Maple in every form is a family specialty at Field Days...
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Albert Zaccor of Bridport, a teacher at Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol, is bringing back lessons designed to engage and promote students’ understanding of Holocaust history from the nation’s leading Holocaust education conference this summer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Zaccor was one of 260 participants from all over the country who attended the museum’s annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators, a three-day workshop for teachers hosted by the museum in late July. The 2019 conference is a vital part of the museum’s...

FRIENDS TANNER BURNS, left, Avery Carl, Tucker Wright and Joseph Bergevin climb one of the vintage tractors in front of the tractor pad at Field Days. Independent photo/Nora Peachin
A gang of four middle-school-age boys climb the antique tractors sitting next to the Tac-O’ the Town truck, laughing and discussing tomorrow’s 4-H competition. It will be Avery Carl’s first year participating. The friends decide to head over to the barn, to check in on Avery’s cows. The team hitches a ride on the courtesy shuttle. “We’ll need a ride after to the ‘Are you a good person?’ stand,” Avery let the driver know, referring to a tent where people talk about religion. “I’m supposed to be picking up elderly people,” the driver replied with a laugh after dropping the boys at the barn. “We...

MARIE AUDET OF Bridport is being inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame as a notable agricultural innovator. Independent photo/Steve James
BRIDPORT — On Aug. 28, Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport will be inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame. Audet is being honored for her work as an agricultural innovator and for “bringing new energy, ideas and opportunities to Vermont’s working landscape.” Audet spoke humbly when asked about her nomination. “I’m just reflecting what this family is doing,” she said. “All I’m doing is providing the opportunity to learn about what they do because they’re all too busy farming.” Modesty aside, Marie Audet has been a potent spokesperson for Blue Spruce Farm and its on-farm...


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Addison County Independent

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