Blog

June 4, 2018

The latest edition of Agriview is now available online. The June 2018 edition includes articles on farming practices, the Food Safety Produce Rule, 2 wonderful recipes for veggie dips, and some special photography!  Find out about Creemee From A Cop and Clovers birthday at the Vermont Mountaineers during our Dairy Month celebration.  

If you'd like to subscribe to receive Agriview in your mailbox, click here.

June 4, 2018

Join the Champlain Valley Crops, Soil & Pasture Team to see a new grassland shallow slot manure injector in action.

FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2018

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Barnes Black & Whiteface Ranch - Bridport Ventures Farm

1176 Heitman Road, Bridport, VT 05734

 

RSVP: champlain.crops@uvm.edu

WHAT YOU'LL SEE & HEAR 

  • Veenhuis Euroject 1200 grassland injector.
  • Dragline manure application.
  • Hicks Sales LLC (Vermont Veenhuis dealer) will be on hand to talk about this technology and other models available in the United States.
  • Eric Severy, Matthew's Trucking, will share his experience and expertise with manure injection and talk about how the equipment works and what situations might be best suited for it.
  • UVM Extension Agronomists will discuss the benefits of injection and how it can reduce runoff and increase yields.
  • Farmers will share their experience using other forms of manure injection.
  • Find out more about how to get this grassland injector on your farm.

DON'T FORGET TO RSVP:

champlain.crops@uvm.edu | 802-388-4969 x347

June 8, 2018

10:00 - 12:00

1176 Heitman Road, Bridport, VT 05734

Or contact Kirsten Workman if you have questions or want more information.   

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Karen Gallott at 802-388-4969 or 800-956-1125 by June 6, 2018.

June 1, 2018

June 1, 2018 / Montpelier VT. – As outdoor activities increase along with the warm weather, state officials and the Vermont Horse Council wish to spread a public safety message impacting all those using our roads; please share the road while riding and driving.

To help share this message, Vermont Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts teamed up to shoot a Public Safety Announcement to highlight the message’s importance to the public. 

The PSA can be viewed here

Vermont has a proud equine history.  From draft horses and the Morgan Horse to today’s equine community, horses are an important part of our state’s landscape.  This idea is the spirit of the new PSA, while recognizing that those who use our public roads must respect each other whenever they share the road.

“Horses and riders can be vulnerable on Vermont’s roads,” Commissioner Anderson said. “We’re asking drivers to be considerate and careful any time they encounter a horse. Slow down. Leave plenty of room. Don’t swerve. Together we can help all users of our roads stay safe.”

Currently, there are approximately 75,000 horses on Vermont’s farms and back roads.  The Vermont Horse Council hopes those who occasionally ride their horses on our roads can traverse in safety, while respecting those drivers they encounter.

“The Vermont Horse Council promotes safe horse and rider travel on our roadways by encouraging single file riding to the right, hand signals, and slow travel speed,” commented Carmel Stone of the Vermont Horse Council.  “This respect for drivers promotes safety for our horses and horse community, but we depend on our neighbors in cars to help us get to our destination safely.”

We encourage all Vermonters to view the PSA, and engage in safe travel practices for all who share the road.

May 31, 2018

Vince Foy loves farming.

For more than three decades Foy and his wife Debbie Yonkers have farmed the hilts in Caledonia County in the town of Danville. She may be biased but Debbie thinks her husband is a fantastic farmer.

"I really enjoying coming home. Every day and being able to come to this beautiful farm that he works every single day. Seven days a week," said Yonkers.

It's a routine that never gets old for Foy.

The Danville couple have dozens of animals from sheep to cows to pigs. It's all part of their diversified business.

The primary focus these days is selling meat, but it wasn't always this way. When they first started farming here they were a dairy, one of the first farms to transition to organic back in the 90's. While the milkers are now gone-part of their business plan includes boarding and raising organic heifers for other dairy farmers.

"These are finished calves for Angus..so I draw them out of here for slaughter and these are dairy heifers-bred heifers all mixed by age," said Foy.

It's a business relationship that works for Foy and other farmers. Foy takes pride in finding niche markets that keep him close to the land. Over time Foy has built new barns and converted other structures to new uses.

Take the old milk house, it is now a retail store. Freezers loaded with food. From lamb to pork to beef. Loyal customers come to the farm each week and choose what they want to buy:

"We have stayed away from glass fronted freezers and all that expensive overhead," said Foy

Foy says it's a close relationship because the consumer knows exactly where their food is coming from and customers are supporting a fantastic farmer who is connected to the working landscape.

Foy has no plans of slowing down-always adapting and trying new things. He's also helping the next generation by working with a young farmer who just purchased a farm a few towns over in Wheelock.

A Fanastic Farmer who loves his family, animals, land and his community.

May 30, 2018
                      
Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts, right, waits for a cheeseburger made with beef raised by Missisquoi Valley Union’s Animal Science II class. Beside him, Ruth Laroche, a local freelance writer, and James Messier, the school’s animal science teacher, chat with Abbey Group employees.

By STANLEY BLOW III Special to the Messenger

SWANTON — Abbey Group staffers were slinging sizzling burgers at the Missisquoi Valley Union’s annual end-of-year barbecue Friday. Far from run-ofthe- mill, the burgers they served bring a whole new meaning to the word local. They were raised a couple hundred yards from the kitchen.

The Abbey Group, with help from the Healthy Roots Collaborative, partnered with James Messier’s Animal Science II class to serve about 50 pounds of beef — more than 200 burger patties — at lunch, the event even garnering attention from Montpelier with Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts and staff stopping by for a tour of the barn and a bite to eat.

From barn to bun, animal science students were involved in every step of the meat’s journey. They even helped to make the patties Friday morning.

“The students are the ones that pick out the projects,” Messier said. “We have a step-up day in May before the end of school, so the question that I ask next year’s students is ‘what animals do you want to be taking care of?’ “We emphasize valueadding products,” he said. “You take your strawberries and you put them into

jam or whatever and sell the product. That gives the students knowledge of not only raising the product, but how to market it.”

And marketing is an essential skill for aspiring young farmers, Messier said.

In addition to beef, the program puts out a plethora of other products, such as Christmas trees, blueberries, maple syrup, rhubarb and winter-hardy kiwi.

Jennifer Bessette, an associate director for The Abbey Group, runs the grill at Missisquoi Valley Union’s local beef barbecue last Friday. The cafeteria served hand-pressed beef patties raised by students in the Animal Science II class.

Messier said MVU’s agriculture program is a unique one, and students appreciate the opportunity to contribute to their local economy.

“I personally think it’s awesome that we raise beef that is then being sold in our lunchroom,” said Journi Luten, a junior in the animal science class. “I think it’s cool that we’re learning about them as we’re raising them.”

“It makes me feel great saying ‘I helped raise that animal,’” said Anna Mashtare, another junior in the class. “I watched him grow up the whole time and now we’re able to sell it and provide it (food) for other people.”

The Abbey Group is happy to give back to programs like this one. Local food and community involvement are integral parts of the company’s mission.

“Part of our mission at The Abbey Group is to encourage students to develop lifelong, healthy eating habits,” said Nina Hansen, the company’s vice president of operations. “We believe using locally-produced products in our menu offerings helps children achieve that goal.”

Both The Abbey Group and Messier hope to continue this partnership into the future.

The Abbey Group is a food service management company based in Sheldon, Vt., with than 30 years’ experience dishing up local favorites in schools and corporate cafeterias across Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

Stanley Blow is a marketing specialist for the The Abbey Group.

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