Agriculture

Steve Zind / VPR

A developer and conservation groups have reached an agreement that will preserve prime agricultural land at Exit 4 on Interstate 89, ending a controversial plan to build a large development at the Randolph Exit.

A rally in Thetford two years ago criticized the USDA's move to allow vegetables raised hydroponically to be labeled as "organic."
Rebecca Sananes / VPR File

If a vegetable is grown using hydroponics, should that count as organic? Should it be able to carry  an organic label in the supermarket? It's a question that's driving a lot of debate nationally - and the resistance to hydroponics getting organic certification is being led by some local Vermont farmers.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Protesters with Migrant Justice confronted Ben & Jerry's board members outside the South Burlington office Tuesday morning, aiming to pressure the company to wrap up negotiations on an agreement that would outline minimum wages and labor conditions for dairy workers.

Angela Evancie / VPR

This month on Brave Little State, a question about the many barns in Vermont that are left in a suspended state of disrepair.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Migrant Justice advocates staged a protest alongside the Ben & Jerry's "Free Cone Day" line in downtown Burlington Tuesday, demanding better working conditions for dairy farmworkers.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Over the past 10 years, Doug Avery has been volunteering to drive migrant farmworkers around. The passengers are mostly Mexican and Guatemalan men who are here illegally, helping milk the cows on Vermont dairies.

Courtesy: Vermont Creamery

A Vermont maker of goat cheese, cream and butter will be sold for an undisclosed sum. 

Allison Hooper and Bob Reese started Vermont Creamery 32 years ago at a farm in Brookfield, using $2,000 of their own money and a $4,000 loan from a church.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When gamers enter a virtual world, they're typically in a futuristic battlefield, or maybe behind the wheel of a race car — not in a barn.

Protesters from Vermont and Massachusetts carry a sign with the name of the three activists, Enrique "Kike" Balcazar, Zully Palacios and Alex Carillo-Sanchez, outside the court house in Boston, March 2017.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Three people arrested in Vermont by Immigration and Customs Enforcement had custody hearings in federal court in Boston Monday. Two of them were released on bail, but a third is being held in custody. We review what transpired and what happens next.

Protesters from Vermont and Massachusetts carry a sign with the name of the three activists, Enrique "Kike" Balcazar, Zully Palacios and Alex Carillo-Sanchez, outside the court house in Boston, March 2017.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Two Vermont immigration rights' activists arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents earlier this month were released on bail by a federal immigration judge in a Boston court Monday. A third was denied bail because of a DUI charge, which the state of Vermont had dismissed.

Angela Evancie / VPR

For our next episode, Brave Little State is taking on a question about falling-down Vermont barns. And we want your pictures!

Courtesy Migrant Justice

A local advocacy group says federal immigration agents arrested a Vermont dairy worker in Burlington Wednesday morning. Representatives from Migrant Justice say Alex Carrillo, 23, was stopped by agents in plainclothes as he and his wife were parking near the Chittenden County courthouse.  

Lynne McCrea / VPR

The exotic spice saffron is garnering more and more attention among farmers and growers in Vermont and across New England.

The Vermont Law School has teamed up with Harvard to create a blueprint for a national food strategy. On Monday, the schools jointly released the report, which aims to streamline U.S. agricultural and food policies.

Macaulay Lerman / Vermont Folklife Center

Ryan Yoder of the Yoder Farm in Danby says there is a need for diversification in agriculture, to develop outside markets and improve infrastructure.

New deportation rules issued by President Donald Trump's administration aim to significantly increase deportations, as well as enlist local police officers as enforcers. The Mexican general consulate of New England is now working to educate Mexican nationals about their rights. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

There are many challenges to farming for a living: It's often grueling work that relies on unpredictable factors such as weather and global market prices. But one aspect that's often ignored is the cost of health care. 

Kristina Ohl, courtesy

As part of their senior seminar, a group of Middlebury College students took a close look at the Vermont dairy industry. They looked into the issue of farm viability and related their findings in a series of three podcast episodes called CowTalk.

Patti Daniels / VPR

The legal fight continues over who can and can't enter the United States in the wake of the Trump administration's executive order on immigration and refugees. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Among the 650,000 Syrians who have sought safety in neighboring Jordan are farmers who had to leave their own land behind and who are now getting by as migrant farm workers.

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