Agriculture

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

About 40 percent of the nutrients that run off into Lake Champlain come from farms. But surprisingly, about half that manure produced in the state actually comes from small farms. In the case of dairies, that’s defined as operations with fewer than 200 cows.

JJRD / iStock.com

A group of Vermont business leaders called the Vermont Cannabis Collaborative has been inviting public comment on the best way to create a safe, sustainable marijuana industry. Medical marijuana is already being legally distributed, but using it recreationally is still against state law.

Steve Zind / VPR file

A revised plan to develop land at Exit 4 in Randolph is being panned by those who oppose the project.

Last month, the District 3 Environmental Commission told the developer to submit a more compact plan for a large mixed-use project on 172 acres that includes primary farmland. 

Steve Zind / VPR

An event that took place last week on a field in Bolton gave new meaning to the term “farm team.”

The first-ever Farmer Olympics, sponsored by NOFA-VT, attracted 14 teams of athletes who competed in a series of whimsical agriculture-related events.  

The Open Door Clinic

Changes at a clinic in Middlebury have some concerned that migrant workers could lose access to medical care. 

Steve Zind / VPR

Years ago, President Woodrow Wilson grazed sheep on the White House lawn. The wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.

Today there are other reasons to pasture animals on public property in towns and villages – and two Vermont towns experimenting with the practice are seeing positive results.

ziggy7 / iStock.com

In December of 2014, Vermont Edition spoke Francois Simard of Protec-Style, Inc. in Quebec about the many uses for milkweed. Native to Vermont, the milkweed plant has found use in both industrial and native settings; it can absorb oil spills, provide warm insulation for clothing and habitat for monarchs.

Robert Lehmert, the managing director of Monark Cooperative Vermont, heard this program and was inspired to start his own milkweed business, ENCORE 3 Industries, in order to partner with Protec-Style. 

John Dillon / VPR

The green expanse in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier could be considered Vermont's front yard — a gathering place for everything from political protests to ultimate Frisbee contests.

The broad lawn was transformed Tuesday into an open air market with fresh food, handmade furniture and farm products for sale.

VPR/Steve Zind

Two state environmental groups are asking a district environmental commission to dismiss the application for a large development at Exit 4 in Randolph.

Developers are being sent back to the drawing board in their plans for Exit 4 on I-89 in Randolph.  

Charlotte Albright / Charlotte Albright

There’s a new way to do an age old farm chore — spread manure. Most Vermont farmers use sprayers on tank trucks. But long hoses can now take manure from its source to the fields. It's a high-tech method that yields many benefits recently demonstrated at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

VPR/Steve Zind

A large mixed-use development proposed for Exit 4 on Interstate 89 has attracted statewide attention as a district environmental commission weighs the impact on farmland.

Kusabi / Flickr

Agriculture officials are warning people who raise chickens and other fowl to take precautions against a bird flu that is spreading in the United States. It hasn't hit Vermont yet, but the Vermont Agency of Agriculture is concerned that it will, and it wants Vermonters with commercial poultry farms or just a couple of backyard chickens to be prepared.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The boom and bust cycle of milk prices continues to affect Vermont dairy farmers and the past year has been a prime example. Prices have dropped from historic highs to levels at or below the cost of producing the milk.

Despite the falling prices, a new insurance program designed to protect farmers hasn’t kicked in.

Melody Bodette / VPR

Addison County residents celebrated the opening of a new federally-qualified health clinic in Shoreham over the weekend.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

So far this June is one of the wettest on record in Vermont. With over 7 inches of rainfall, it’s the fourth wettest June in Burlington since 1884.

For many farmers, waterlogged fields have prevented them from harvesting hay; and the standing water stunts the growth of corn and other grains.  

Melody Bodette / VPR

Vermont strawberry growers say despite the rainy weather in the month of June, it's been a good year for the crop.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

In a little over a year, some Vermont Technical College agriculture students will begin living and working on a beautiful dairy farm in Norwich. The million dollar property, called Norwich Farms, was donated to the school to help expand its curriculum into real-world farming.

Architerra / Boston Public Market

The state of Vermont has partnered with a Westminster farm to sell food at a new year-round market set to open in Boston next month. 

Harlow Farm will operate Harlow's Vermont Farmstand at the Boston Public Market, and will sell its own organic produce, in addition to dairy and maple products from around the state.

Steve Zind / VPR

A developer’s plans for land near the Randolph Exit on Interstate 89 could have statewide implications according to environmental groups. The property proposed for the development includes high quality agricultural land. 

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