VUHS student nets Land Steward Award

VERGENNES — Local student Howie Vander Wey received the Land Stewards Award from the Vermont Land Trust. The award, now in its twelfth year, acknowledges the hard work of tomorrow’s agricultural and forestry leaders with an unrestricted cash prize of $250. Eleven qualified students across Vermont received the Land Stewards Award this year.
Howie is a student at Vergennes Union High School, and was nominated for the award by Agriculture Teacher Bill Van De Weert. Mr. Van De Weert nominated Howie because of his experience working on his family’s dairy farm and raising his own pigs.
“Howie loves the land,” said Mr. Van De Weert about why he chose to nominate Howie for the award. “He and his family have a culture of valuing agriculture. It is what they live and breathe.”
Howie has grown up on Nea Tocht farm in Ferrisburgh, where he takes care of the heifers, cleans the barn, and helps out with haying. He has started raising two pigs each year, one to sell and the other for his family. He is interested in starting a cut firewood business as well.
Howie received the Land Stewards Award and the $250 prize earlier this month from Allen Karnatz of the Vermont Land Trust.
Howie hopes to continue to work in agriculture as a career, perhaps raising pigs, beef, and/or some crops like corn or oats. He is a part of the Vergennes FFA chapter (Future Farmers of America) and is working towards getting his Commercial Driver’s License. He has taken Plant and Animal Science and Diesel Power Technology classes at the Hannaford Career Center, and plans to continue and complete the diesel power technology program next year.

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