Are Slow-Growth Chickens the Next Step for Poultry Producers?

By Caroline Lee

The New York Times recently published an article detailing why Perdue Farms, one of the country’s largest poultry producers, is choosing to adopt more humane growing practices in the form of slow-growth chicken breeds. These slow-growth chickens could be seen as a big triumph for animal welfare groups around the country. As more and more consumers become aware of the health and ethical implications of inhumane animal treatment, more and more trends similar to Perdue’s shift toward slow-growth chickens are becoming popular in food production.


Photo: Rob Tucker/Flickr

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Helping Farmers Establish Roots in Local Schools and Institutions

By Shane Rogers
Green Mountain Farm to School 

For farmers everywhere, there are a million things to worry about on any given day—weather, pests, soil, the sheer amount of work that needs to be done—to name only a few. However, for many farmers, added on top of this laundry list of tasks is finding a market to get the products they’re growing into the hands they have grown it for.

“It’s easy to grow the stuff, the hard part is figuring out the outlet […],” says Molly Willard of Willow Brook Farm in Peacham.

Green Mountain Farm Direct (GMFD), a food hub run by Green Mountain Farm-to-School, is working to address that problem by connecting local farmers with schools, restaurants, and institutions across northern Vermont to increase farms’ sales and boost consumption of local food in institutions and the overall region. Those partnerships have created a distribution infrastructure in the region that has allowed many farmers to tap into markets they hadn’t been able to before.

“Green Mountain Farm Direct is working on building a local food system where we are picking up products at our local area farms and delivering it right to the door of our customers.” says Catherine Cusack, Green Mountain Farm-to-School’s assistant director.

Started in 2008, GMFD has helped to facilitate over $1 million in sales for farmers and food producers in northern Vermont. With over 100 active customers, more of the region’s farmers are seeing their food featured in the meals of schools, hospitals, and other institutions across the region.

Watch this video to learn more about GMFD:

-Shane Rogers is the communications and development coordinator for Green Mountain Farm-to-School.

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UVM Is: Terry Bradshaw Helps Students Navigate the Realities and Rewards of Agriculture

While growing up on a farm in the small town of Chelsea, Terry Bradshaw learned from a young age the value of expertise and outreach.

To help keep his family’s farm running smoothly, his parents often asked state and regional agriculture officials for guidance on a variety of farming issues.  That support system gave the UVM alumnus a foundation for his career as a tree fruit and viticulture specialist and UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences research associate and professor.


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Dumpster Diving for Food at the Supermarket

UVM senior Rose Thackeray walked behind the Price Chopper on Shelburne Road and stuffed her canvas bag with an assortment of produce: cucumber, celeriac, onions, broccoli rabe, apples, bananas, potatoes, green pepper and a lemon.

In an interview with Seven Days, Thackeray talks about the practice of dumpster diving and retrieving food from the supermarket chain’s compost containers.


Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

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Book Review: Jeffrey Roberts’ Salted & Cured

By Hailey Grohman

These days, avid readers or eaters can find a book of cultural history for nearly any item they might find on their plate. Most of these stories hit the same themes: the pre-colonial origin story of a foodstuff, the massive migration of people and products in the Columbian exchange, the Industrial Revolution, and other touchstones of food history.

Jeffrey Roberts’ Salted & Cured, a journey into the world of cured meats, is no exception. It is, however, among the most thorough and well-researched of those histories, and one which best exemplifies the connection between people, place, and product.


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