Family is the Secret to Success at an Award-Winning Hyde Park Dairy Farm

By Laura Hardie

As Vermont’s current “Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year” winner, Kirk Lanphear of Lanphear Farm has spent the past few months being what he calls “happy busy,” fielding calls and emails about the award. When he was asked to host an open house as the state winner, he was happy to oblige, but didn’t expect 340 people showing up in Hyde Park offering their congratulations.

Every year, one farm in each of the New England states wins the prestigious award that is managed by the New England Green Pastures Program committee. It all began in 1947 when the then Governor of New Hampshire said, “I challenge the other New England States to produce better pasture than New Hampshire’s and I bet a hat that they can’t do it.”

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Composting Food Waste and Moral Guilt: The Limited Pool of Worry

By Hailey Grohman

We all naturally have an aspect of the food system that we care most about, whether that be working landscapes, sustainable agriculture, fair trade, or some other subset of the field. However, the reason for our limited field of focus may actually be psychological. We may only be capable of caring about one issue, and completing one action, at a time.

In a fascinating article in New Food Economy titled, “Your Can’t Compost Your Food Waste and Eat it, Too,” author Joe Fassler outlines findings from an Ohio State study on composting and the passing-off of moral responsibility when subjects were faced with the issue of food waste.

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Photo: US Department of Agriculture

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Organic Farming’s Deep Roots in Soil

By Maddie Monty

Lady Eve Balfour was an early pioneer of organic farming. Born in the U.K. in 1898, she bought her first farm in 1919 and in 1939 launched The Haughley Experiment, the first long-term comparative study of organic and chemical-based farming. Her 1943 book, The Living Soil, became a foundational text of the organic movement.

In it, she wrote: “The criteria for a sustainable agriculture can be summed up in one word—permanence, which means adopting techniques that maintain soil fertility indefinitely; that utilise, as far as possible, only renewable resources; that do not grossly pollute the environment; and that foster life energy (or if preferred biological activity) within the soil and throughout the cycles of all the involved food-chains.”

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Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons
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UVM Researcher Looks to Tackle Food System Challenges

Finding solutions to strengthen the food system is what drives Serge Wiltshire. Serge, who is pursuing a PhD at UVM, completed UVM’s Breakthrough Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems in 2014 and earned a master of science in Food Systems at UVM the following year.

We talked to Serge, a graduate researcher and teaching assistant, about the viability of pasture-based dairy production in Vermont, grass-based alternatives, and bringing about positive change in the food system.

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Abby Long of Three Rivers Grown Refines Her Food Distribution and Sales Skills at UVM

When you work for a small food hub, the opportunity for networking and collaborating with colleagues can seem a bit out of reach.

“So many of us in (the food hub) world work in isolation, so it’s great to come together—in the same place—and talk and work out problems in real time and face-to-face, and realize there are others of us out there doing the same work,” says Abby Long, manager of Three Rivers Grown in Pennsylvania.

Abby is referring to UVM’s Food Hub Management Certificate Program, where she had the chance to brainstorm and problem solve with other food system professionals.

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Courtesy Photo
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