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 http://www.vermontwoodlands.org/workshops.asp



Vermont Wool Handling Clinic and Shearing School

April 25 and 26, 2015

Merck Forest and Farmland Center. Rupert, VT

The wool handling clinic will be on Saturday, April 25, at Merck Forest and Farmland Center. The clinic will include: preparing your flock for shearing; shearing day facilities, layout, equipment, supplies and responsibilities; animal welfare; wool handing, wool quality, skirting and fleece presentation. We will also have demonstrations of shearing and crutching and the basics of electric handpiece set up and care. Participants are encouraged to bring a fleece to skirt. We will have some fleeces available to work with as well.

The Shearing School course fee is $250.00. We do have equipment available to borrow. The wool handling clinic will be $75.00 ($60.00 for VSGA members). Schedule starts at 8:30 AM and concludes at 4:00 PM both days. Bring a lunch. We will supply coffee, tea and juice.

For more information or to register you can email Jim McRae at vtshearer@yahoo.com or call 802-483-2463.


April Events @ Earthwise Farm & Forest!!

Check out these 2 upcoming events at Earthwise Farm & Forest in Randolph!

  • Dowsing and Agriculture: Saturday, April 18th, 2015. This workshop will show you how you can use dowsing in your farming and gardening endeavors: from garden layout and design, working with Nature Spirits, Garden Devas and earth energies, picking out your seeds, determining soil nutrient needs, and much more. You will come away with not only a sense of the vast potential of dowsing for agriculture, but for all aspects of you life. Cost: $40 per person. www.earthwisefarmandforest.com/dowsing-and-agriculture
  • Cheese, Butter and Yogurt Making: Sunday, April 26th, 2015. Learn how to make delicious soft cheeses, yogurt and butter in your own kitchen! Get acquainted with using butter molds and adding herbs, or other flavors to your final product. With simple instruction and good quality raw milk, it is an easy and exciting activity providing nutritious, quality food for your family. Cost: $40 per person or $70 for 2 people. www.earthwisefarmandforest.com/raw_dairy_processing.html

For more information, contact Lisa McCrory – Lmccrory@hughes.net OR 802-234-5524

RAFFL Farmer Discussion & Potluck – Monday, 3/16

Join RAFFL, Evening Song Farm, Gildrien Farm, and Old Gates Farm for a lively and interesting discussion about farm scale then stay to share a meal and catch up with friends, old and new, before the season is fully upon us!

Deciding on Scale: What size farm is right for me?
March 16 – 5:00-7:30* @ Evening Song Farm, Shrewsbury
Facilitators:  Kara Fitzgerald & Ryan Wood Beauchamp, Evening Song Farm; Jeremy Gildrien, Gildrien Farm; Adam Stevenson & Kristin Jacoby-Stevenson, Old Gates Farm

Many factors go into the decision of desired farm size and what makes sense given the specific situation of each individual farmer.  Each of the farmers facilitating this discussion operates at a different scale and will share their stories of how their farm has evolved to the size at which it currently operates.  Join us to discuss how you decided on farm size and the questions you have about what size farm is right for you.

*This gathering will include a potluck dinner so bring a dish to share if you’d like!

Directions to Evening Song (from Rutland)
Take 103 south to the village of Cuttingsville, immediately after the Ford dealership make a left onto Town Hill Road.  Go 1/4 mile and make a right at the Fire Station onto Shunpike Road.  Go .7 miles up Shunpike and you’ll see a driveway on the right with a sign for Evening Song Farm.  If using GPS, punch in 680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT.

Questions?  Want to RSVP?  Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096.
Hope to see you there!

Agritourism Conference – Apply for Scholarships by 3/15!

Join farmers, educators, and service providers in Rutland, Vermont for a two-day exploration of open farms!
More information at www.uvm.edu/vtagritourism

Register on-line at https://www.regonline.com/vtagritourism-apr2015-rutland by Monday, March 23.

Scholarships are available. Please contact Barbara Noyes Pulling at Barbara@rutlandrpc.org or 802-775-0871 x207 before you register if you would like to apply for a scholarship. Deadline is Sunday, March 15.

Record Keeping Systems: A farmer-to-farmer discussion

February 19 – 3:00-5:00 @ Castleton Community Center

Facilitator: Becky Maden, Singing Cedars Farmstead

What information do you record on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?  How do you decide what to track?  Are you using Excel or Quickbooks?  What could be done to make your record-keeping systems more efficient and useful?

Learn about the record-keeping systems that farmer Becky Maden developed and used while co-managing Intervale Community Farm and then join the discussion to share what systems have worked for you.  Walk away with a plethora of ideas about how to streamline your own record keeping systems for this upcoming season!


School meals programs represent a big marketing opportunity for Vermont producers and suppliers, purchasing more than $15 million worth of food and supplies last year. However these programs must follow strict federal and state requirements for competitive procurement for every purchase they make. These long-standing regulations are just now beginning to be enforced in Vermont, and many schools who were not previously complying them will begin to implement competitive procurement practices in the coming year. Together, these two webinars will guide you through the federal regulations that these programs must follow, point out potential marketing opportunities for Vermont producers, and teach you how your business could be more competitive when bidding to supply school meals programs.
These webinars are for farmers, producers, distributors, and other businesses that sell (or wish to sell) directly to school meal programs in Vermont. 

February 17, 2015: Understanding Your Customers’ Needs & Regulations
This 1-hour webinar will discuss the market opportunities for various school meals programs. We will cover how the new menu requirements under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act effect what types and sizes of foods schools are looking to purchase, what competitive purchasing requirements school meals programs need to follow, food safety requirements for these programs, and other things that school food service managers wish you knew about doing business with their programs.

February 24, 2015: Standing Out During a Competitive Procurement Process 
In this 1-hour webinar, we will go deeper into the competitive purchasing procedures school meals programs must follow, and discuss ways that local producers can compete for this business. We will focus on ways that school meals programs may be thinking about what it means to “buy local” and do “farm to school” and how Vermont producers can fit their products and services into these efforts and compete for school business on more than just price.

When: February 17 & 24, 11:30am – 12:30pm
Instructors: Abbie Nelson, VT FEED/NOFA VT & Rosie Krueger, VT Child Nutrition Programs, Agency of Education
Audience: Vermont farmers, producers & distributors who want to sell to school meals programs
Cost: Free!
For more information, contact Rosie Krueger at 802-479-1246 or mary.krueger@state.vt.us