Agriculture

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The southern Vermont community of Vernon will hold a non-binding Town Meeting Day vote on a proposed natural gas power plant, and an organic dairy farm is the main location under consideration.

When Vermont’s large farms file their permits on Feb. 15 they’ll be required to pay a fee for the first time.

Miner Institute

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is set to consider new rules for how farms drain water off their fields using subsurface tile systems. Environmental groups are concerned that these systems could increase nutrient and sediment pollution in Lake Champlain. They say no new tile drainage should be installed until the rules are in place.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / vpr

A Vernon organic dairy farmer says he's been approached by developers who want to build a natural gas power plant outside the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Melody Bodette / VPR

The sight of bare soil and chopped down corn stalks might become rarer in Vermont, as farmers plant more winter cover crops. Agriculture officials say the practice can improve soil health and protect water quality by preventing nutrient run off.

Pat Wellenbach / AP

On the agenda at the annual Vermont Beekeepers Association meeting this week was an item about the lack of an apiary inspector since the recent retirement of the former state inspector Steve Parise.

Corey Hendrickson / Burlington Free Press

Nate and Jessie Rogers had a cow problem. The owners of Rogers Farmstead in Berlin brought the cows onto their farm to help keep the land healthy, but they didn't know what to do with all the milk.

Jon Kalish for VPR

Farmers have become allies in renewable energy development in Vermont; often they have plenty of land, but struggle to make a profit. Farmers who offer to lease their land for solar installations sometimes are met with intense opposition. But one Ryegate farmer’s solar project appears to have the blessings of his neighbors.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Sheep farming remade the Vermont economy and physical landscape to an astonishing degree in the 19th century. At the height of what's been called the "sheep craze", there were well over a million sheep in the state, about six times the human population. Where did they all go? We're looking at the history of sheep cultivation in Vermont - and taking stock of the current state of sheep farming.

Brzozowska / iStock

Federal and state agriculture officials will be in Brattleboro Monday to talk about new federal food safety rules.

Green Mountain Power/Google Maps

In addition to making milk, Vermont’s dairy cows create a lot of manure. And what to do with that waste can sometimes be a challenge.

AP / Lisa Rathke

Vermont is changing its agriculture practices from "acceptable" to "required" - which means that nearly all of Vermont's farms, no matter their size, will now have to follow them. The Agency of Agriculture has been on the road around the state, presenting a draft of the rules and asking for public input. We're unpacking what's going to change and giving you a chance to ask your questions about the new ag regulations.

Brzozowska / iStock

When it comes to the food service industry, you can't get much bigger than Sodexo. The company has more than 400,000 employees in 80 countries.

Sodexo serves about 35,000 meals a day in Vermont on college campuses and in nursing homes, schools and hospitals.

Fred Wiseman

Almost a decade ago, Abenaki scholar and paleoethnobotanist Fred Wiseman started working with Abenaki communities as part of the documentation process for federal tribal recognition. While he was in these communities, Wiseman noticed crops that had long been thought to have disappeared growing on the hillsides. It led him to start the Seeds of Renewal Project.

VPR/Steve Zind

Every farmer knows that eventually the expensive equipment that once gleamed bright green or orange when it was new will succumb to age, hard use and rust.

Farmers also know that there’s still a lot of life left in old rusted equipment, if they can just get it apart to repair it.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Chances are you're stocking up on fresh, locally produced eggs this holiday season, for everything from the turkey stuffing to pumpkin pie. So for thousands of choosy consumers, the barn fire last month at Pete and Gerry’s, the organic egg producers based in Monroe, New Hampshire, came at a terrible time.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Consumer demand is driving farmers to grow and sell more produce, even as the days grow shorter and colder.

The developer planning a large mixed-use project at the Randolph exit of I-89 will meet with the environmental groups opposing the plan to try to reach a compromise.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Artie Aiken used to have stomach problems. During World War II, he served on bases in Connecticut and Texas instead of going overseas. When he got back to Vermont, a doctor prescribed goat milk – and things were never the same.

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

The water quality law signed this summer ordered the Agency of Agriculture to make some changes to the state’s accepted agricultural practices.

A draft of the new rules has been released. Farmers are now getting a chance to react at public hearings, and while there is funding and technical assistance available, some farmers are concerned about the cost of compliance.

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