Youth Ag IDA Program

Application Deadline – Friday, May 15th!  Program starts in June!

The Youth Ag. IDA program is for youth ages 14-21 who are seeking to build a sustainable career in agriculture.  It’s built around a year of hands-on instruction, business coaching, and learning from established farmers – all while saving money towards a business asset purchase that will be matched 2:1.

What does this look like?

  • Participants attend a year (approximately 10-20 hours- depending on preference) of fun, informative, hands-on learning experiences (these classes have an estimated $1,500 value)
  • Participants complete approximately ten hours of online coursework
  • Participants complete a business plan
  • Each young farmer saves $500
  • The program matches the young farmer’s savings with $1,000
  • The young farmer participant will then have that $1,500 to use for an asset purchase

The program brochure is here. (This has a printable brochure and registration form for folks who prefer paper) & Online registration is here.

Please email Program Coordinator Liz Kenton with questions:


What: Students are actively researching crops in school greenhouse trials providing data on production and flavor profiles for use by professional growers

Where: the Middlebury Union High School Greenhouse

When: Friday May 15th 9-10:30

Why: Students have the opportunity to influence crop selection that can be used by farmers in farm to school work

The Alternative Education students who manage the Middlebury Union High School greenhouse have been busy this spring running seed trials for early spring greens production. The students seeded greens in early March and have been recording data on time to germination, time to harvest, soil and air temperatures, as well as qualitative data on taste. Students have seeded many varieties of kale, spinach, and lettuce, as well as some unusual varieties such as Italian dandelion greens, garden sorrel, purple orach, as well as many others. There are several varieties of spinach being raise too: Space, Regiment, Shelby, Corvair, and Pigeon
The purpose of this trial was to record all the growth and harvest data and have it available to local growers that do early spring production as well as winter greens production. The data as well as actually getting to see the varieties growing, and the opportunity to taste the varieties should be valuable to anyone growing commercially.

Please contact Steve Colangeli for more information on the open house. His email is scolangeli@addisoncentralsu.organd phone is 802-382-1185

Seeking a Part-time Organic Grower

Singing Cedars Farmstead has been producing organic vegetables and meats for retail and wholesale markets for the past 12 years here in Orwell. The farm is privately located along the shore of Lake Champlain.  We are seeking an experienced grower to assist in all aspects of our small scale diversified farm, starting immediately and working into the fall.

This position’s primary responsibility is assisting in all aspects of the growing, harvest and sales of greenhouse tomatoes. The grower will also assist in all the other day to day farm aspects; including setting up pasture for rotational grazing, chicken chores, planting, cultivating and harvesting veggies grown in the field. Vending at farmers market is a possibility too.

Initially we are seeking a person to work 15-20 hours a week spread out over 2 or 3 days. Hours may increase as the season progresses, and availability. Pay starts at $11 an hour.

The ideal candidate would have previous experience working on organic veggie farms, and/or a horticultural background with sales experience. The ideal candidate should also be able simultaneously maintain a working hustle and good attention to detail with an artistic aesthetic. The work is physically demanding by its nature, but the work environment is positive and peaceful.

Please reply with a brief letter of introduction, interest and your experience to:

Thank you, Scott Greene

And check out the Facebook page for pictures of the farm—–

Small Farm Day at the Statehouse – This Thursday 5/7

“Small Farm Day” at the Vermont Statehouse
hosted by Rural Vermont & the Young Farmers’ Coalition

Statehouse, Montpelier

There’s been a lot of talk at the State House this year about “small farms” –  especially in the debate over how to improve water quality in our state.

Rural Vermont and the VT Chapter of the Young Farmers’ Coalition are partnering to host a day that will put a face on the “small farmer” and highlight the crucial role they are playing in the future of Vermont agriculture! Join us and introduce your farms and the practices and values that guide your farming work and support water quality and a stronger community.

On Small Farm Day, Rural Vermont will offer a briefing on issues and legislation affecting small farms and the people who support them, advocacy training, and we’ll help arrange opportunities for you to talk with your legislators. This will also be a great day to network with other farmers and learn more about how you can play a role in shaping public policy.

Here’s the schedule for the day:

10-11:00 – Issue briefing and advocacy training – Room 10

11:15-11:45 – Press Conference in the Cedar Creek Room

11:45-1:15 – Conversations with your legislators – Cafeteria & Committee Rooms

1:15 – 2:00 – Report back on what you heard and learned – Room 10

2:00-3:00 – Social Gathering at the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier

* Our good friends at the Three Penny Taproom will be donating 10% of bar proceeds to Rural Vermont all day Thursday! So invite all your customers, friends, and neighbors – meet up, drink up, and support Rural Vermont!

RSVP with your full contact info to lucy@ruralvermont.orgSee you at the People’s House!

Find more info about Rural Vermont and its 30 year history of amplifying the voices of farmers and advocating for a fair food system, visit and join at

The VT Young Farmers’ Coalition was created by and for young Vermont farmers. Their areas of focus include policy change, network building, and farmer development. Find them on Facebook.

Free Movie – May 6 at 7pm

RAFFL’s Free Movie Night is only two days away!!  We’re showing the 2014 movie, Chef.

This free event is RAFFL’s way of saying THANK YOU to everyone in our community who supports local farms, local food, and local businesses. The free movie night is on Wednesday, May 6 at the Paramount Theater in downtown Rutland.

Join us on May 6, and invite your friends! Show starts at 7pm. Watch the trailer.

2015 Succession Planning Workshop for Landowners

TIES TO THE LAND: Take steps to guide the future of your land, a succession planning workshop for landowners

Protecting Vermont’s forested working landscape involves helping landowners understand the strategies they can use to keep their land intact when passing it to the next generation. VT Woodlands Association and UVM Extension, with support from Forest Viability and WLEB, is hosting a series of workshops to help landowners begin this very important process.

This 6-hour workshop will be offered on two different dates at two different locations:  

  • Saturday, May 9 at Franklin Conference Center, Rutland  
  • Tuesday, June 2 at Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee  

9am to 3:00pm (Registration begins at 8:30am).

Cost: $35. Each additional family member $20.

More information and registration can be found at