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VUHS student receives land trust award

PANTON — Nick Jackson, a student of Vergennes Union High School, was recently recognized for his commitment to agriculture and land stewardship. Nick received the Land Steward Award from the Vermont Land Trust, a nonprofit land conservation organization that protects working landscapes from the pressures of development. In the past 38 years, the Vermont Land Trust has protected more than 568,000 acres of land in Vermont. Allen Karnatz of the Vermont Land Trust presented Jackson with the $250 award at his family’s farm on June 4.
Jackson buys, raises and sells dairy cows and beef cattle on his family’s farm in Panton. His work involves maintaining fence and haying. When he’s not working with his own animals, he provides milking relief at other nearby farms. Throughout high school, Jackson has taken agricultural classes and been involved in FFA. He has competed in the Farm Business Management competition and the Vermont Land and Soil Judging competition.
Jackson was recommended for the Land Steward Award by his agricultural teacher, Bill Van De Weert. “Part of the FFA Creed says, ‘to be engaged in agricultural pursuits is pleasant as well as challenging for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for them.’ This is true of Nick,” Van De Weert said. “He loves agriculture; I look forward to seeing where his passion takes him in the years to come.”
Following graduation, Jackson plans to work full time, either for a cattle dealer or a local dairy. He hopes to simultaneously improve his operation on his family’s farm, with the long-term goal of running a grass-fed beef business.
This is the 10th year that the Vermont Land Trust has been giving the Land Stewards Award to students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the disciplines of forestry or agriculture. The award acknowledges outstanding student achievement, encourages future land stewards, and increases the visibility of Vermont’s vocational agriculture and forestry programs, which are vital to Vermont’s future.
This year, five students across the state were selected to receive the award.
“The Vermont Land Trust welcomes the opportunity to honor great students like Nick, who represent a future of innovative and thoughtful land stewardship,” said Gil Livingston, president of the Vermont Land Trust. “Skilled, creative agricultural and forestry professionals are essential to the careful management of Vermont’s farms and forests, which shape our communities and are the foundation of our economy.”

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