We all know one, even if we don’t know their name. Somehow we’ve all benefited from their efforts. In some way, they improve and enhance our lives. Hidden away in the depths of the local grocery or farm stand; maybe in your salad; perhaps on top of your pancakes or in a slice of cheese on your sandwich, a Vermont farmer has touched your life today.
At the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM), our mission is to support farmers in their efforts to grow, cultivate, and deliver their products to the consumer, in a way that respects the heritage, culture, and environmental stewardship that our farmers and farming community strive for every day. In fulfilling that mission, we meet many fantastic people. Vermonters who have farmed family land for decades, and farmers growing new businesses to meet the demand for new products. The milk you drink, the cheese you melt, the corn you call sweet; all may have come from a Vermont farmer working hard to deliver you a great agriculture product while protecting the Vermont we all hold dear.
In collaboration with the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund, VAAFM is launching a new award program in 2021 that recognizes the values we listed above. A $5000 grant award, funded privately by the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund, has been created by the Pizzagalli family that recognizes one farmer who has displayed these virtues. This first award also recognizes the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.
** Image at right: 2019 Vermont Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees
We have all faced many challenges during COVID-19, but some of our state agriculture and farming members stepped up to serve their communities in ways unthought-of prior, and worked to remain relevant during turbulent economic challenges.
Got a name, or are you that person? Know a great farmer or farm worker you’d like to nominate for their hard work? Are you one of these state agricultural stars?? If we’re describing you or someone you know, we want to know about it! Fill out or download the 2021 Fantastic Farmer Award Application, submit if by Friday, September 24th, and let us recognize you.
In a time when the news can be negative and gloomy, VAAFM and the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund want to ensure we are recognizing our farmers and farming communities while telling the positive stories that highlight Vermont’s agriculture community. We hope you will send us your name, or pass on the word about this award to someone deserving in our small state.
Please nominate and/or apply here. You can fill out and submit the application online. Or you can email Communication Director Scott Waterman at Scott.Waterman@Vermont.gov or at 116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620 for more information.