Agriculture

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. 

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

A coalition of lawmakers and land conservation groups has spent the last six years trying to reform the Current Use land tax program. Over the weekend, as the Legislature came to a close, they finally succeeded.

Some lawmakers, however, say the changes could deal a heavy blow to longtime farming families. 

Charlotte Albright / VPR

“Slow food” used to mean nutritious meals that take hours to prepare. In the 1990s, the phrase was adopted by advocates who see traditional, small-scale agriculture as superior to industrial food production. Now comes "slow money," which links fledgling food growers and producers to local investors. 

Gregory J. Lamoureux / AP/POOL, County Courier

Charges of sexual assault against Norm McAllister have cost the Franklin County senator more than his reputation and the threat of jail time. Administration officials have decided to revoke a $20,000 state agriculture grant that McAllister was in line to receive.

A-Digit

A group of farm workers is targeting ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, a brand known for its social responsibility, asking the company to take part in a new program to ensure that the workers on Vermont dairy farms are guaranteed fair housing and decent wages.

The Milk With Dignity Program is an effort of the group Migrant Justice, which is dedicated to human rights and food justice.

Vladacanon / iStock

In his first book, Tomatoland, Vermont food writer Barry Estabrook took on Big Ag that has destroyed that fruit. Now in Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat, he uncovers methods large pork producers are using to raise their pigs, including feeding them animal byproducts, hormones and drugs and keeping them in cramped individual cages.

DenisTangneyJr / iStock

Three professors in the University of Vermont Extension program are losing their positions next year due to budget cuts, university officials say. The cuts are a result of the state of Vermont’s level-funding of UVM for most of the past decade, as well as Congressional gridlock, according to UVM Extension Dean Doug Lantagne.

Nathan Benn/National Geographic / Peter Miller/Vermont People

Back in January, Vermont Edition aired an interview with the National Geographic photographer Nathan Benn, whose 1970s photographs of Vermont and beyond are on display at the Shelburne Museum in an exhibit called Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures, 1972-1990. One of the photos from the exhibition that we posted online showed a man that several people recognized, more than 40 years later.

Petegar / iStock

A federal judge has rejected the food industry's attempt to temporarily stop the state from implementing a law requiring labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

But U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss has not thrown the industry's case out altogether, meaning it is likely to go to trial.  

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A new business is mushrooming in St. Johnsbury. Literally. 

At Mushroom King, a new venture at the former site of a lumber kiln, shiitake, oyster and reishi mushrooms are sprouting. The farmers, Bob and Lisa Brown, hope to sell the thousands of pounds of exotic fungi to local restaurants and to a produce distributor.

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