The UVM Farmer Training program is unique in design because of its rich partnerships with successful farms in the greater Burlington area that allow students to learn alongside expert farmers. This weekly experience with three innovative farms exposes students to diverse farm models and enhances the learning gained from managing 5 ½ acres of vegetable fields from seed to market.
Corie Pierce, Owner, Bread & Butter Farm
Corie Pierce is a farmer and educator. She is the owner and operator of Bread & Butter Farm in South Burlington/ Shelburne, Vermont. Bread & Butter Farm is a diversified farm where they produce delicious and creamy raw milk, grass-fed beef, pastured raised pork, and vegetables, specializing in growing greens all winter long in unheated, passive solar greenhouses. Additionally, the farm is a community hub, hosting a winter concert series (Silo Sessions) led by her musician partner Chris Dorman and other educational workshops, internships, and programs.
Leading up to farming full-time, Corie attended the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship and then worked at Michigan State University where she developed and launched the Organic Farming Certificate Program based at the Student Organic Farm.
Most recently, she was the garden manager and Sustainable Agriculture faculty at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. Corie grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire, and got her farming start at Barker’s Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. She loves basketball, yoga, biking, music, and spending time with her partner Chris Dorman and their children Henry and Samantha.
Brandon Bless, Bread & Butter Farm
Brandon Bless is an agroforester and educator living and working at Bread and Butter Farm as the Land and Animal Manager. In collaboration with Corie Pierce and Henry Cammack, Brandon oversees the more than 200-acres of managed grasslands, woodlands, and wildlands and the farm’s diversity of 100% grass-fed cattle and sheep, woodland pigs, pastured poultry, and abundant wildlife. Brandon comes to Bread and Butter Farm with degrees and education in agroforestry, ecological forest management, sustainable building and design, and ethnoecology, as well as over a decade of farm and land management experience in various climates and geographies both in the New England region and internationally. In addition to teaching in the UVM Farmer Training Program, Brandon is also adjunct faculty in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Sterling College. His work with land and animals focuses on the restoration and regeneration of healthy habitats and ecosystems through profitable, community-based food production. Brandon and his wife Stephanie Bless are happy and grateful to call Bread and Butter Farm home.
Andy Jones, Manager, Intervale Community Farm
Andy Jones has managed the Intervale Community Farm since 1993 and is one of the pioneers of the CSA movement in Vermont. Andy’s diverse skills, optimistic outlook, and incredible vision have helped the farm grow into the largest CSA in Vermont.
Andy wears many hats at ICF: financial planner, mechanic, carpenter, community builder, teacher, and horticulturist. Along with the farm’s Board of Directors, Andy has built the farm into the wonderful community resource that it exists as today.
Besides his incredible dedication to the Intervale Community Farm, Andy has served on the NOFA-VT board and the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association board, and has been a sought-after speaker in many classes and workshops relating to agriculture.Andy attributes much of his farming success to a high consumption of coffee.
He also enjoys eating vegetables in all stages of growth and loves to share the farm with his wife, Helen, and sons Davis and Ian.
Adam Hausmann and Jessica Sanford, Owners of Adam’s Berry Farm
Field Trip Farms
|Field trips give students an opportunity to gain a different perspective of life on the farm and see a diverse set of farming operations and marketing models throughout the state. Vermont is home to a wide array of innovative farmers who are willing and open to host students on their farms for tours, workshops, and work parties during the peak of the growing season. Through the program, students will be introduced, and at times inspired by an extensive network of farmers that are committed to small-scale agriculture as a career path and a way of life.
Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm is located in the Burlington’s Intervale. They collectively own and manage this 12 acre certified organic farm, which was founded in 1992. As a collective, each partner works to make production and marketing decisions jointly. They grow a variety of vegetables, annual herbs and root crops, specializing in high quality greens. Digger’s Mirth sells their produce to Burlington businesses and restaurants, at the Burlington Farmer’s Market and from their mobile veggie stand in the streets of the Old North End. The name Digger’s Mirth comes from the Digger movement, which took place in England in the mid-1600s: supporters were striving to create a connection between humans and their natural surroundings, and believed in collective land ownership and farming.
Elmer Farm is a conserved 90-acre farm located in East Middlebury. They grow 25 acres of mixed vegetables, grains, and dry beans. Annually, the farm is inspected and certified by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). This reassures their members that the crops are grown responsibly and safely without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Like so many of the old farmsteads in Addison County, the Elmer Farm has a long heritage of providing food for it’s community. This farm belonged to the Elmer family since the early 1800’s. The receding glaciers bestowed the farm with a wonderful mix of fertile soils, almost thirty acres of sandy loam, excellent for growing vegetables and grains.
Footprint Farm is a small farm in most respects. They farm on about 10 acres in Starksboro, Vermont. They raise certified organic vegetables, flowers, and eggs, as well as pork and maple syrup that are not certified but are produced using the same organic principles. They have a CSA at the heart of their farm, which is a membership program in which 60 families from their community sign up for a season’s worth of produce, eggs, or pork. They also sell at the Shelburne Farmers Market, grow and arrange flowers for weddings, and host events from mushroom forays to puppet shows to preserving workshops.
High Mowing Seeds is a located in Wolcott Vermont. What started as a one-man operation is now a thriving business making available to home gardeners and commercial growers over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seed. True to their roots, High Mowing Organic Seeds continues to grow many of the varieties they sell on their 40 acre farm, setting them apart from the majority of other seed companies.
Maple Wind Farm is a diversified pasture-based livestock, poultry, organic vegetable, and maple products farm located on two conserved properties in Huntington and Richmond, VT. Using environmentally sustainable practices and alternative energy inputs, they produce 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, certified organic and non-organic broiler chickens, layer chickens for eggs, and certified organic turkeys, all on pasture. They process our own poultry and poultry for other farmers at our Richmond-based Vermont-inspected poultry processing unit. Maple Wind Farm also operates a small sugar bush, offers winter yurt rentals, and relies on wind and solar power for much of its power requirements. They sell direct at our farm in Huntington (by appointment), at the summer Richmond and summer and winter Burlington farmers’ markets, and wholesale to restaurants and food markets and coops in Vermont and greater New England.