ARTIST REBECCA KINKEAD will be hosting a ZOOM portrait collage workshop on Thursday, July 30 at 6 p.m. Photo courtesy of Henry Sheldon Museum
Connect with a hunting mentor. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is offering a new way for Vermonters to get started hunting through its recently established mentorship program, “Learn to Hunt: Mentor Meet-Ups.” The free, interactive, two-part program is designed for hunters over the age of 16 to pair with experienced mentors at a meet-and-greet this summer followed by a guided hunt this fall. Objectives are for new hunters to learn safe hunting practices, hunting strategies, hunting regulations and season dates. They will be able to apply what they have learned in a mentored hunt. The...

JAKE AND TAYLOR Mendell, owners of Footprint Farm in Starksboro, know a lot about the hardships and joys of farming in Vermont. Young people like the Mendells’ face many challenges when starting and maintaining a career in agriculture. UVM Photo by Brian Jenkins
The landscape of farming is changing throughout the country, and Vermont agriculture is by no means an exception. To see this borne out, one only has to look to the dairy industry, which has shaped Vermont’s identity and working landscape over the past generations. The idyllic image of Holstein cows, red barns and big round bales of hay now lay in stark contrast to the hard realities dairy farmers have found themselves in as milk prices continue to remain depressed year-after-year. However, these price pressures are not just limited to the dairy industry, they’re affecting the whole sector....
MONTPELIER — In response to the ongoing urgent needs arising from COVID-19 challenges to Vermont’s working lands businesses, the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) recently announced that 16 businesses will receive more than $250,000 in COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants within the sectors of agriculture and forestry. Two of these businesses are in Addison County. These awards focus on business response, shifting marketing strategies, or other activities that may improve business recovery. “Vermont’s agricultural and forestry businesses are critical to our future. Getting grants...
MONTPELIER — Thirty-four farms across the state received a combined total of $73,000 in June through the Vermont Land Trust’s new program for farmers affected by COVID-19 and the associated economic downturn. Loss of restaurant sales, increased distribution costs, and lower milk prices, among other challenges posed by the pandemic, have placed many farmers in dire economic straits. “Farmers in our state are struggling and they need our help,” said Nick Richardson, president and CEO of the Vermont Land Trust. “This is a moment for all of us to help them recover from this crisis, in return...
VERMONT — The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) and Food Connects recently received U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grants totaling $153,767. The grants will help Vermont farms increase their sales to local schools and promote lifelong healthy eating habits among Vermont’s students, according to the office of Sen. Pat Leahy, who announced the grants. “Our current health crisis has shown us how important it is that our children learn to eat and love healthy, nutritious food and that we support the farms that produce that food,” Leahy said in a press release...

MIDDLEBURY — Natalie Reigle was named Interim Regional Director of Vermont Adult Learning’s (VAL) Addison County Learning Center in Middlebury. She joined the educational nonprofit in 2011 following work at Middlebury Union High School and a successful career in environmental engineering. Reigle’s roles at VAL include Math and Science Teacher, GED Educational Advisor and Assessment Trainer. VAL’s Middlebury site is actively working with students, offering virtual and — if needed —in-person services amid COVID-19. Protocols are in place to ensure a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for...
SHOREHAM — The Shoreham Congregational Church will be holding an outdoor concert and strawberry mini-festival on Saturday, July 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Gazebo at the Town Green in Shoreham. Both events had been scheduled for times earlier in the spring, but were postponed due to the pandemic. The concert will feature Romy and Ben Munkres of Cornwall. Romy (fiddle, flute and feet) and Ben (piano, accordion, mandolin) have performed as a duo at dances and festivals in Vermont and New Hampshire, including Richmond’s Folk Night and the New World Festival in Randolph. They have both played...
LINCOLN — The library will be welcoming patrons back inside the building starting Monday, July 20. They will be limiting the number of patrons inside at one time, requiring masks, quarantining book returns and asking for your cooperation and patience if unforeseen circumstances arise. The library will still be continuing the front porch pickup service. Email or call the library to let them know what books, movies and/or audio books you would like to check out and they will leave them on the front porch table for you to pick up at your convenience. FROM THE TOWN CLERK Lincoln voters, did you...

KRISTEN DUNNE, A 20-year veteran of Mary Johnson Children’s Center, has been appointed interim executive director, replacing Dave Mandel.
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Johnson Children’s Center (MJCC) on Friday announced that Executive Director Dave Mandel is leaving to pursue other professional opportunities. “Although Dave’s time with the center was short, his impact was great as he helped guide the center through the challenges of the COVID-19 virus,” said Misse Smith, president of the Middlebury childcare organization’s board of directors. “He will be missed by the teachers, children, and parents at the center. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.” Kristen Dunne has been appointed interim executive director. She steps...
Recent history seemed to be repeating itself 50 years ago this week, when a fire broke out in Bridport exactly one week after a serious blaze struck downtown Middlebury. This week’s fire was much harder on animals than the fire a week ealier. Here are some of the other top stories that appeared in the July 16, 1970, edition of the Independent: •  Twenty-nine Holstein cows and calves perished tragically in a barn fire at Milton Duff’s farm in Bridport. Seventy-four cows were saved. •  Two Bristol teenagers who had been missing for three days were located in St. Albans and returned home safely...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100