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Food Systems & Policy

A Boost to the Butchers

Julia Shipley | December 01, 2009 | Food Systems & Policy

Tony Brault and Gary Barnes

In March 2009, in an attempt to help strengthen Vermont’s meat-processing infrastructure, the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program awarded $40,000 in grants to four facilities. For recipient Tony Brault, it was perfect timing; he had been planning to add on a spiffy retail area to his slaughterhouse. But for grantee Gary Barnes, who runs a meat market, the amount he was awarded would barely begin to cover the cost of adding on a separate processing area for wild game, so as of this writing, he had not collected the grant funds. Nevertheless, the grants helped both of these meat facilities in northern Vermont, with and without funding, and here’s how.

An Interview with Tom Stearns

Caroline Abels | June 01, 2008 | Food Systems & Policy

Tom Stearns with his daughters, Ruby and Cora.

High Mowing Organic Seeds is a thriving Vermont company that sells to gardeners and farmers around the country. In January, High Mowing became one of four plaintiffs in a lawsuit that asks the federal government to postpone the release of genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets until a more rigorous environmental analysis is done. (Sugar beets are used to make sugar; table beets are the ones we eat.) Tom Stearns, founder and president of High Mowing Seeds, talked with Local Banquet about his company’s decision to join the lawsuit. – Caroline Abels

A Missing Link in the Local Food Chain

Bill Fosher | March 01, 2008 | Food Systems & Policy

Flock of sheep

In good weather, the drive between southwestern New Hampshire and the Capital District of New York state can be breathtakingly beautiful: there’s the view from Hogback Mountain, the wind farm in Searsburg, the Bennington obelisk. But at 4 a.m. during a December snow storm, while pulling a trailer loaded with lambs over a foggy two-lane road, the drive is tedious at best and can be downright hairy.

The Chicken Event

George Schenk | June 01, 2007 | Food Systems & Policy

Chicken Illustration by George Schenk

It began simply enough:  I wanted to buy my neighbor’s chicken to serve at my Waitsfield restaurant.

“Can’t,” responded my neighbor, Hadley Gaylord.

“Why?”  I asked.

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What we do

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.