FAP and CSP Webinar and Q&A

Bruce Howlett from NRCS and Clark Parmelee from the VAAFM will join us for one hour to give brief overviews of each program and address questions from the audience related to signing your farm up for either. They will cover any changes or differences in the programs for 2020 and generally help you decide if either program is a good fit for your farm.

View the webinar at the following link. The webinar really gets started at 4:57 minutes in – best to just skip right to that time.

View Webinar Recording:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/vsxrEqHB-VlJTs_B8E_CC_cQMbnsT6a80Scc_aFfnUtX05E30sAyFufF5qP7ao9t

I have included a link to each program application. Please review the applications and join us with questions.

Sign up for Vermont’s Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) or NRCS’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

2020 VGFA Member Innovation Mini-Grant

The Vermont Grass Farmers Association would like to encourage and support innovative practices to increase the sustainability and vitality of grass-based farming in our region. We are soliciting proposals from members interested in trying new practices to increase profitability, reduce environmental degradation, or test new techniques.

Closing Date: March 31st, 2020 (postmarked)

November Workshops

Today’s Farmers, Tomorrow’s Watershed Contractors

Nov. 14th – Rebop Farm | 1320 Sunset Lake Rd. | Brattleboro, VT
Nov. 12th – POSTPONED – NEW DATE – Dec. 5th – Bridport Community Hall | 52 Crown Point Rd. | Bridport, VT

Events Start at 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

We will gather around the table to explore how farmers can equip themselves to grow quantified natural capital infrastructure and ecosystem services. We will share ideas and experiences about how it is physically accomplished, and discuss environmental measurement, measurement-synthesis, market development and ecological economics.

Abe Collins of LandStream will lead this two-part discussion and familiarize us with LandStream’s New Scale, a science and technology platform for quantifying landscape-function, natural capital and ecosystem services.

Ticket Price: $20 for CRWFA, CVFC, FWA, NOFA-VT, Rural VT, VGFA members or $30 for non-member

POSTPONED – Registration for Bridport: https://deepsoilatbridport.eventbrite.com, Registration is required, there will be a catered lunch and we need a head count.

Registration for Brattleboro: https://deepsoilatrebopfarm.eventbrite.com,
Registration is required, there will be a catered lunch and we need a head count.

October Workshops

On-Farm Slaughter Workshop with Itinerant Slaughterer Mary Lake

Howling Wolf Farm | 209 Tilton Road | Randolph, VT 05060

Friday, October 18, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT)

This is an educational workshop on the processing of two pigs from the farm guided by Mary Lake. Mary Lake is a professional itinerant slaughterer, butcher and sheep shearer who lives in Tunbridge. We will be experiencing the whole on-farm process during this workshop.

Mary learned the craft of slaughter through several years of full-time work with the Royal Butcher in Randolph, which is a USDA inspected slaughter facility. Her expertise and engagement through testimony was essential for the new improvements to the On-Farm Slaughter law. At the workshop, Rural Vermont will present the requirements of the updated law and give room for questions and discussion.

This workshop is a collaboration between Howling Wolf Farm, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Vermont Grass Farmers Association, and Rural Vermont.

Stick around for the Grazing and Land Management workshop at Howling Wolf Farm (10/18, 1pm-4pm)!

Ticket Price: $25 for a VGFA or Rural VT Member or $30 for non-members

Registration:  https://marylake_onfarm_slaughter.eventbrite.com, Registration is required

Today’s Farmers, Tomorrow’s Watershed Contractors

Stony Pond Farm | 336 Emch Road | Fairfield, VT 05450

Thu, October 24, 2019 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

We will be gathering in the field and around the table to explore how farmers can equip themselves to grow quantified natural capital infrastructure and ecosystem services. We will share ideas and experiences about how it is physically accomplished, and discuss environmental measurement, measurement-synthesis, market-development and ecological economics.

Abe Collins of LandStream will lead this two-part discussion and familiarize us with LandStream’s New Scale, a science and technology platform for quantifying landscape-function, natural capital and ecosystem services.

This workshop will happen in three locations across the state. The first one will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24th from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Stony Pond Farm. The other dates and locations will be announced soon.

Ticket Price: $40 for CRWFA, CVFC, FWA, NOFA-VT, Rural VT, VGFA members or $50 for non-member

Registration: https://deepsoilatstonypond.eventbrite.com , Registration is required, Stony Pond Farm will be catering lunch and we need a head count.

July Workshops

Wednesday, July 10th – Woodchip Barnyard Tour https://www.eventbrite.com/e/woodchip-barnyardpad-tour-and-lessons-learned-tickets-64385206887

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Snug Valley Farm, East Hardwick, VT

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Shire Beef, Vershire, VT

Did your barnyard take a hit this spring? Looking for a cost-effective solution to keep your animals dry and cozy? Beef or Dairy cattle – woodchip heavy use areas might be a good fit for your farm. Join VGFA for a tour of two woodchip barnyards that were constructed in 2018. Hear lessons learned from each farmer after one season of use – what are they glad they did and what might they do differently. If you are considering a barnyard upgrade, don’t miss this event.

Come to both or just meet us at one. Either way you are sure to learn a lot – there will be plenty of time for questions and conversation.

Registration is appreciated, it will help us gauge the crowd size. Both visits are free events for VGFA members and sponsors, $10 for non-members.

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Tour the Woodchip Barnyard at Snug Valley Farm. Ben Nottermann will share lessons he has learned during construction and the first year of use.

Meet us at Snug Valley Farm, 824 Pumpkin Ln, East Hardwick, VT 05836

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tour the Wood Chip Barnyard at Shire Beef, Niko Horster will share lessons he has learned during construction and the first year of use

Meet us at Shire Beef, 646 Reed Rd, Vershire, VT 05079

Wednesday, July 17th – Reducing Labor and Costs in Intensive Pasture Poultry Management. https://vgfapoultryschool.eventbrite.com

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Maple Wind Farm, 1148 E. Main St., Richmond VT 05477

Are you considering growing more birds? Join Bruce Hennessey at Maple Wind Farm’s poultry facility while he shares his experience raising laying hens, meat chickens and turkeys, from a backyard flock to scaling-up egg washing to processing thousands of birds in a state-inspected on-farm facility. He will focus on the ins and outs of managing costs and labor as you grow your flock. We will also be joined by a member of Rural Vermont’s staff to answer questions about on-farm poultry processing rules.

Registration is appreciated, it will help us gauge the crowd size. The Poultry Intensive Workshop is free for VGFA members and sponsors and $10 for non-members.

Wednesday, July 31st – What’s a Wool Rug have to Do With Water Quality, Carbon Sequestration, Rotational Grazing and Good Soil Health? With Kimberly Hagen at Osprey Farm

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Osprey Farm, 28 Norton Rd, North Middlesex, VT 05682

Clean Water Week Pasture Walk

Join us for a morning stroll through the pastures of Health Hero Farm in South Hero, VT on Sat. August 4th at 10:00 a.m.

Walk with Farmer Bob while he shares his experience with grazing beef cattle within view of Lake Champlain. He will discuss pasture management and the benefits of grazing animals. We will talk about how well managed pastures build soil health and support water quality as well as other numerous benefits.

This event is open to the public. No reservations required, but please to try and be there by 10:00 a.m. for the start of the program.

Where: Health Hero Farm, 350 West Shore Road, South Hero VT

When: Saturday, August 4th at 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

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Annual Meeting of the Members

Do you have questions about certifications? Would you like to share lunch with fellow farmers and talk about grazing? Are you interested in what VGFA has planned for 2018?

Join us for the Annual Meeting of the VGFA Members on Tuesday, April 10th from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Andrews Farm (Maple Wind Farm’s Processing Facility) 1149 East Main St., Route 2 in Richmond, VT.

Please pre-register for the meeting – it will help us plan the lunch.

VGFA Meeting Agenda

11:00 a.m. until 12:00 – Panel Discussion with Grassfed Dairy, Meat and Fiber Certifiers & Certifying Organizations. Panel participants include:

  • – Jean Richardson representing Grassmilk Certification
  • – Katie Amos representing Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Grassfed from A Greener World
  • – Kimberly Hagen presenting her experience certifying for American Grassfed Association
  • – Brian Kemp presenting his experience with GAPS certification

12:00 until 1:00 p.m. – Potluck Lunch and Networking —- Bring a dish to pass or make a suggested $10.00 donation to VGFA

1:00 until 2:00 p.m. – Official VGFA Annual Meeting

The meeting is open to the public. If you can’t bring a dish to pass, please consider contributing $10.00 per person for lunch. If you have any special diatary requirements or specific refreshment needs, please bring them with you. We’ll have regular coffee, hot water and seltzer available.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions – meghan@vtgrassfarmers.org

2018 Grazing and Livestock Conference

January 19 – 20th
The 2018 conference features keynote speaker Diana Rodgers, RD. In addition to her keynote presentation, “Kale vs. Cow” on Saturday, she will be a featured presenter in our Friday workshop intensive focused on marketing, communication with customers, meat quality, and fresh vs. frozen cooking.

Friday Workshop Intensive – Communication, Markets and Multi-Species Value
Diana Rodgers, RD of Radiance Nutrition
Kate Stillman of Stillman Quality Meats
Heather Sandford of The Piggery
Blake & Blaine Hitzfield of Seven Sons Farm

Saturday Conference – Feeding the Northeast: Marketing Meat, Milk and Multi-species
Saturday features 21 Workshops and Presentations, plus a Keynote by Diana Rodgers

Click to check out the Conference Schedule and all the Guest Speakers 

Click here to Register