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Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association Annual Meeting & Mulching and Tarping Conference


Monday, January 21, 2019
Lake Morey Resort, 1 Clubhouse Road, Fairlee, VT 05045

  • 8:00 Registration, Refreshments, Visit Trade Show
  • 9:30 President’s Remarks. Mary Skovsted, Joe’s Brook Farm, St. Johnsbury
  • 9:50 A Tour of Growers on their Farms, 2018. Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension
  • 10:10 Blueberry and Raspberry Production at Sunshine Valley Berry Farm. Rob Meadows, Rochester 10:30 Powdery Mildew on Cucurbits and Tomatoes. Meg McGrath, Cornell University, Long Island
  • 10:50 Our On-Farm Education and Event Kitchen. Gillian Files, The New Farm, Creemore, Ontario
  • 11:10 Pros and Cons of Strawberry Varieties. Charlie Gray, Four Corners Farm, S. Newbury
  • 11:30 1-Minute Pitches from Trade Show Exhibitors on their Products and Services
  • 12:00 Lunch and Visit Trade Show
  • 1:40 Business Meeting: Election of Officers, Vote on Revised By-Laws
  • 2:00 Vegetable and Berry Disease Updates. Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Extension
  • 2:20 Growing Leafy Greens at The New Farm. Brent Preston, Creemore, Ontario
  • 2:50 farmOS for Nutrient Management and RAPS Compliance. Becky Maden, UVM Extension
  • 3:10 Three Decades of Greenhouse Tomatoes at Longwind Farm. Dave Chapman, E. Thetford
  • 3:30 A Tour of New and Upgraded Farm Pack Sheds. Hans Estrin, Andy Chamberlain, UVM Extension
  • 3:50 Fill out evaluations, get a 2019 New England Vegetable Management Guide or Pest ID Booklet
  • 4:00 Adjourn

Tuesday January 22, 2019     8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Lake Morey Resort, 1 Clubhouse Road, Fairlee, VT 05045

  • Lessons Learned from 30 Years of Hay and Straw Mulching. Paul and Sandy Arnold, Argyle NY
  • Mulching and Soil Health. Brandon Smith, USDA-NRCS Soil Health Division
  • Crafting the Perfect Mulch on Elmer Farm. Spencer Blackwell, E. Middlebury
  • Tarps for Cover Crop Based No-Till. Natalie Lounsbury, University of New Hampshire
  • Tarps, Mulches, Reduced Tillage: Lessons from Many Trials. Brian Caldwell, Cornell University
  • On-Farm Research: Summer Tarping vs. Tilling. Gillian Files & Brent Preston, Creemore, Ontario
  • Landscape Fabric, Weed Mat or Cover Crop Between Rows? Andrew Knafel, Shaftsbury
  • Clear Plastic Tarps for Weed Solarization. Sonja Birthisel, University of Maine
  • Used Tunnel Plastic to Solarize Small Areas of Cover Crops/Residues. Mari Omland, Northfield
  • Getting Started with Tarps on our Farms. Ben Dana, Fairlee and Eric Skovsted, St. Johnsbury


Sponsored by: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Rimol Greenhouse System, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets, Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation, Vermont Compost Company, University of Vermont Extension, Vitalis Seeds, and the VVBGA.

Pre-registration is $40 per day, per person, for VVBGA Members; $50 per day for Non-Members. Add $10 per day, per person, for walk-in registrations.

Payment for attending the meeting(s) must be mad by January 18, 2019 for pre-registration rates. If you need overnight lodging, please make your own room reservations by contacting the Lake Morey Resort at 800-423-1211. Ask for the VVBGA rate of $109/night for single or double occupancy, plus tax.

VVBGA member dues for 2019 are $45 per farm ($55 if paid after January 31.) Register on-line for the meeting(s), and/or pay membership dues, and/or donate to the VVBGA’s research and education fund.

VVBGA Member Benefits include:

  • Access to the VVBGA listserv, to buy/sell plants and equipment and share farming information.
  • Email subscription to Vermont Vegetable and Berry News.
  • Discount of $10 on the registration fee for events like the VVBGA Annual Meeting.
  • Camaraderie, enhanced communication and fellowship among commercial growers.

Questions? Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension, 802-257-7967 ext. 303, or

Pesticide applicator recertification credits have been requested for these meetings in categories 1A, 2, 3, 6 and 10.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in these events, please contact Virginia Jaquish at (802)323-2138 or e-mail by December 31, 2018.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or familial status. 

Monday, January 21, 2019 (All day) to Tuesday, January 22, 2019 (All day)

Wash-Pack Project Planning Workshop

You are invited to attend a hands–on Wash-Pack Project Planning Workshop for Produce Growers on Tuesday, Jan 22 at Lake Morey Resort (on the second day of the 2019 VVBGA Annual Meeting). This workshop will be led by UVM Extensions’ Chris Callahan, Andy Chamberlin, and Hans Estrin

Register HERE if you want to attend, or see below for workshop description. 

Wash-pack getting you down?  If you are wanting to build new or improve your farm’s post-harvest efficiency, product quality, profitability, and food safety, this hands-on workshop is for you.  From 9-2pm we will dive into the best flow, infrastructure, equipment and tools of the post-harvest world. Case studies, stories and photos will bring to life best-practices and lean planning principles behind successful farms of all sizes. Come with a problem or an improvement project in mind. Planning templates, prompts, as well as expert and peer support will allow you to leave this workshop with a plan, and with the knowledge and resources needed to follow-through. 

Register HERE if you want to attend. Also, please let Hans Estrin know if you have already registered for the Tarping and Mulching Conference on the same day, but would like to switch to this planning workshop for at least the morning.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 (All day)

Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition Annual Meeting

Join the CVFC to celebrate another successful year promoting Vermont Agriculture, with dinner and an annual report of the Coalition's and UVM Extension Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team work. Dinner will be followed by evening entertainment from a local comedian Tony Bates. This event is sponsored by the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition for members and guests.  


Register Online Today to Reserve Your Dinner Spot  

or call 802-388-4969.  

Visit the Coalition Website.  


January 23, 2019 

Time: 5:30 p.m - 9:00 p.m. 

VFW, 530 Exchange St, Middlebury, Vt.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm

2019 Vermont Farm Show

2019 Vermont Farm Show (3 Day Event: 1/29-2/1)
WhenTue, January 29, 2019, 9am – 5pm thru Thursday January 31 4pm
WhereChamplain Valley Exposition, 105 Pearl St. Essex Junction, VT 05452 (map)
DescriptionCOST: Free Offers access to the most innovative companies doing business on behalf of agriculturists. All three days will be filled with exciting things to do, so please check the events listing as well as the vendor listings to plan your time. Please visit the contest displays, where there will be award winning examples of Vermont’s best maple syrup, Christmas trees, honey and fiber. The FFA Student Competition on Wednesday morning will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the ever-popular Consumer Night/Capital Cook Off will begin on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. This year, dozens of exhibitors are expected to participate in the “Job Fair on the Floor” offering career information about their companies. A full listing of participating vendors will be available on the website. CONTACT: Questions, contact Jackie Folsom at or (802) 426-3579
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 9:00am to Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 4:00pm

2019 Industrial Hemp Conference

Please join University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crop & Soils Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets at this one-day conference to expand industrial hemp knowledge of farmers from seed to sales. Beginning at cultivation through processing and sales.

The welcome and plenary session will be given by Monique McHenry, PhD at UVM and Director of Cannabis Science and Medicine Program. She will talk about cannabis as a plant focusing on the taxonomic challenges and the chemicals that make this species unique. Our lunch speaker is Dr. Jay Noller who is a Professor and Head of the Crop and Soil Science Department at Oregon State University. He is an original leader for research and development for Oregon’s hemp industry.

View our detailed conference brochure here.

Multiple breakout sessions will include educational and information sharing opportunities on the types of hemp grown for food, fiber, and flower including breeding and selection of hemp for CBD production, and growing, harvesting, and drying/storage methods.

The conference is scheduled for Friday, February 8, 2019, 9am to 6pm at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT.

Register online at

Maximum registration is 300 attendees.

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

Precision Agriculture Forum

Join the Farmer’s Watershed Alliance as they host the second annual Precision Agriculture Forum! This event will showcase innovative tools and farming practices that can be integrated into current farm management systems; and connect farmers and farm managers with the necessary information and resources to adjust practices accordingly.  

When: Friday, February 15, 2019 from 10am to 3pm 
Where: The Abbey, Sheldon, VT  

Topics include: precision feed management, agronomic benefits to precision agriculture technology & no-till, bench-marking system in NY and the Dairy Profit Monitor, results from a 5-year on-farm feeding accuracy study, and more!  

More Information

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 10:00am

NMP Update Session

The Orleans County Conservation District will offer four nutrient management plan update sessions to producers who have taken the UVM nutrient management planning class. 

We will provide assistance and quiet space for you to get your update done! The update sessions will take place at our Newport office in the USDA Service Center at 59 Waterfront Plaza from 10 am to 3 pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 
  • Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 6th, 2019     
  • Thursday, March 7th, 2019


PLEASE RSVP! Please let us know if you are coming so that we can plan accordingly.

Call 802-334-6090 ext. 7008 or email

More Information 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

NMP Update Session

The Orleans County Conservation District will offer four nutrient management plan update sessions to producers who have taken the UVM nutrient management planning class. 

We will provide assistance and quiet space for you to get your update done! The update sessions will take place at our Newport office in the USDA Service Center at 59 Waterfront Plaza from 10 am to 3 pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 
  • Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 6th, 2019     
  • Thursday, March 7th, 2019


PLEASE RSVP! Please let us know if you are coming so that we can plan accordingly.

Call 802-334-6090 ext. 7008 or email


More Information 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

10th Annual Hop Conference

It's the 10th Anniversary for the annual Hop Conference! Please join UVM Extension on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to help celebrate! The conference will take place from 9am to 4:30pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton (formerly known as the Sheraton Hotel) in Burlington, VT.
Tom Spilsbury, a British hop grower of J W Spilsbury & Co., will be joining us and sharing information on English hop production, as well as processing (kiln, dry strategies, etc.). You will also hear information on hop hash, pelletizing, and fertility management. UVM Extension will share updated hop research, as well as integrated pest management information.
We are planning two breakout session opportunities as well including a virtual training tool demo for hop scouting and sensory analysis led by Switchback Brewery.
This year's live broadcast will be recording all presentations except for the two breakout sessions.

Register today!
Registration fees are $75 per person, $65 per NeHA member and $35 for the live broadcast.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:30pm


Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.2431
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory               802.522.3502
  • Food Safety & Consumer Protection                        802.828.2426
    • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
    • Dairy                              802.828.2433
    • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures        802.828.2433
    • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Farmer Assistance                    802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.3475
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431