• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Last Morsel—A Boost for On-Farm Slaughter

A carcus being cut up

Written By

Caroline Abels

Written on

August 20 , 2013

Traditionally, farm animals in Vermont were slaughtered and butchered outside, in the open air. Today, all animals that are sold as meat must be slaughtered and processed in inspected facilities. But some Vermonters who raise animals for their own personal consumption prefer on-farm slaughter to taking their critters to an unfamiliar slaughterhouse. They often hire one of Vermont’s “itinerant slaughterers”—the handful of skilled folks who travel around the state providing this service. As shown in this photo, an itinerant slaughterer often kills, skins, and quarters an animal right in a client’s field or backyard.

State and federal regulations have long restricted the sale of meat from on-farm slaughtered animals, and still do. But in June, Vermont law was changed to allow an individual to purchase a live, hooved animal from a farmer and have that animal slaughtered on that farm, either by the buyer or an itinerant slaughterer. (The farmer cannot assist with the act of slaughter and can only sell a limited amount of animals in this way.) The change in law means more people can now consume on-farm slaughtered meat, and farmers have an additional income source. Information about the new law is posted on the website of Rural Vermont. To learn the many specific regulations, call the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.

—Photo and text by Caroline Abels

About the Author

Caroline Abels

Caroline Abels

Caroline Abels is the editor of Local Banquet and the founder-editor of Humaneitarian.org, a website that inspires people to buy and eat humanely raised meat.

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.