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Diplomat offers hope to Mexican dairy farm labor

Posted on December 7, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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MIDDLEBURY — Microphone in hand, Consul General Emilio Rabasa addressed Mexican nationals at a mobile consulate event in Middlebury last Saturday, exhorting an assortment of Mexican dairy farm workers to know their rights — rights guaranteed by federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Later that afternoon he stood in a Middlebury barn chatting with two local dairy workers about their lives both at home and here in Vermont.

Both workers, as it turns out, were from the state of Chiapas — near where Rabasa himself grew up.

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Turkey producers reach the home stretch: Orwell farm raises 22,000 turkeys for Thanksgiving

Posted on November 20, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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ORWELL — Two thousand five hundred turkeys gobble as they mill about in one of Stonewood Farm’s eight massive turkey barns. Up in front is a pen of huge critters that will each yield a 50-pound bird, once roasted. Imagine that on your Thanksgiving table (and the oven that could hold it!).

A little over a week before Thanksgiving, Orwell’s Stonewood Farm is going full speed, close to 12 hours a day, seven days a week to process the 22,000 birds raised for this year’s Turkey Day.

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New venture to turn manure and food waste into energy

Posted on November 20, 2017 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — A Salisbury farm will soon be turning on-site cow manure and Addison County food waste into renewable energy that will push Middlebury College’s campus beyond its goal of carbon neutrality.

The Goodrich Farm will host a Farm Powered-brand anaerobic digester that will, on a daily basis, process 100 tons of manure from the 900-cow farm off Shard Villa Road and 165 tons of organic food waste per day from some of the Middlebury area’s biggest organizations, including the Agri-Mark/Cabot cheese making plant in Middlebury.

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Farmers discuss water quality, soil health

Posted on November 16, 2017 |
By Charlie Mitchell



MIDDLEBURY — What is the biggest threat to farming in Addison County? Jon Turner, a veteran farmer who runs Wild Roots Farm with his family in Bristol, says it’s the conversations we’re not having.

That’s why he and Molly Anderson, Middlebury College professor of Food Studies, organized a Nov. 9 forum to give farmers a microphone to describe what they do and why they do it.

A panel of three farmers discussed the challenges of caring for the land and water while making a living in agriculture in Addison County.

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ACORN hosts Producers and Buyers forum

Posted on November 16, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



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MIDDLEBURY — Growers, food producers, buyers and distributors attended the Producers and Buyers Forum: Local to Global that was hosted Nov. at Middlebury College by Addison County Relocalization Network, known as ACORN.

The forum started with a keynote address by Greg Georgaklis of Farmers to You, linking together issues around local and national food production and distribution. He delivered the message that consolidation within production, distribution and retail outlets affects Vermont producers’ profit margins for their fresh and valued-added products.

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Rochester dairy farm to host workshop on farm stays and agritourism Dec. 6

Posted on November 16, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



ROCHESTER — Dairy farmer Beth Kennett will host a tour and workshop at her multi-generational family farm in Rochester, Dec. 6, for farmers and agricultural service providers interested in learning how to arrange farm stays and tours for visitors.

The program runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by an optional lunch. Kennett will share some of the successes and challenges that her family has faced operating Liberty Hill Farm, a 270-cow Holstein dairy farm, and providing overnight stays for guests for more than 30 years.

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Farm-to-school success puts focus on finances

Posted on November 13, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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BRISTOL — Even after close to two decades of efforts to get local foods into local educational institutions, words like “fresh” and “tasty” are not universally applied to school cafeteria food.

Yet school nutrition guru Kathy Alexander continues to make Farm to School a centerpiece at Bristol-area schools and this year expanded that work into Vergennes-area schools.

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Shoreham apple storage goes solar

Posted on November 13, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



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SHOREHAM — Barney and Christiana Hodges, co-owners of Vermont Refrigerated Storage in Shoreham, have been strong advocates of renewable energy for over 20 years. The two put solar panels on their Cornwall house in 1996, way before solar made economic sense and before net metering existed.

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Local farmers, Congressman Welch share farm priorities

Posted on November 6, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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MIDDLEBURY — “It’s a mess in Washington,” Congressman Peter Welch told a group of Champlain Valley specialty crop farmers who gathered in Middlebury last week to share their wish lists for the 2018 farm bill. But, despite the dysfunction in much of the nation’s capital,  the Vermont Democrat said there is still hope because there tends to be bipartisan support to “get a decent farm bill.”

Key to building that support, he said, is first gathering specific concerns and recommendations from constituents.

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ACORN to unite food sellers and buyers at Nov. 2 forum

Posted on October 26, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Relocalization Network, known as ACORN, on Nov. 2 will host its annual gathering that connects people and organizations that produce food with those who buy it.

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