Small farms — at least successful ones — can’t be stagnant. They need to evolve to meet the needs of their customer base, keep production profitable and grow with the farmer’s changing needs. One such farm, which has continually reassessed its farming model as the farm, the local food community and the family has grown, is Sandiwood Farm in Wolcott, VT. Continue reading
LYNDONVILLE, VT — The Vermont Beef Producers Association got a tour of the new slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in Lyndonville on Aug. 9. Beef farmers from all over Vermont and some out-of-state farmers got a look at Northeast Kingdom Processing.
The company is owned by Scott Oeschger of Derby. Oeschger also owns Spring Hill Angus, and his farm manager is Bob Butterfield of Barton. That afternoon the beef producers took a tour of the farm. Continue reading
Local and regional fairs with 4-H and FFA competitions help educate fair visitors about agriculture as well as build competitors’ skills, self-confidence and leadership skills. These competitors and audiences may become be our next generation of farmers and ranchers.
4-H fairs and competitions offer students feedback on their agricultural projects and a chance to compete against their peers. Students face their public speaking fears and hone their presentation skills. Many find financial incentive to improve their skills and knowledge. Continue reading
Liebe Coolidge of Plainfield, MA has been winning championships with her French Alpine goats for decades as a USDA class C inspected exhibitor. In addition to that, now she and her husband Douglas Premo travel with their business Traveling Hooves to schools, detention center, and fairs with their collection of French Alpine goats, miniature pigs and assorted donkeys to allow children a chance pet the animals. It is a championship of a different sort — forging ties, however brief — between children and animals they might otherwise never have met. Continue reading