Quantcast

VTC considers future of farming in Vt. - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

VTC considers future of farming in Vt.

Posted: Updated:
RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. -

What is the future of farming in Vermont? And how does the state get there? A panel of farming entrepreneurs-- from beef and cheese to compost and CSAs-- offered their advice Tuesday at Vermont Technical College. Mechanical Engineering major Tyler McNaney was one of them. He doesn't make food-- rather parts.

"The biggest problem I see with the farmers in the maintenance of the machines breaking down. So, with the 3-D printing technology, they can change that. So, I guess that is how I'm helping. I'm keeping the machines running so they can keep planting those seeds," McNaney said.

VTC's Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems is teaching more students like McNaney to do the same. A $3.4 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Labor helped launch it.

"From dairy herd management to specialty food technicians to bio-digestion technicians that are new industries that will be emerging as a result of changes in technology," said Philip Conroy, the president of VTC.

And changes in Vermont's farming landscape-- an industry, at least when it comes to the number of dairy farms in the state, that has been on a slow decline. That makes Rachel Arsenault, who is pursuing a dairy herd management degree, a little nervous.

"To some degree because it is hard to get into the business. I didn't grow up on a dairy farm, so I don't have a farm to go back to," Arsenault said.

But the conference and the institute as a whole is working to change that by offering new ways to tackle an old trade.

"You can make it successful if you go about it successfully. If you make it efficient, if you are business-minded," Arsenault said.

A good example is panelist Lisa Ransom. She started farming on 30-plus acres in Moretown, but quickly realized there was a need for high-quality compost. Since then, Grow Compost Vermont has taken off.

"Vermont is incredibly innovative both in its legislation and in its young people, and innovative thinking around how we need to keep doing that in order to be sustainable," Ransom said.

This is one of four conferences that will be held on campus, all with the same focus: agriculture, innovation and education. Keeping Vermonters working the land here in the state and attracting others to do the same so the industry can continue to grow.

The next conference is in December, which is being cosponsored by the Agency of Natural Resources.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:04 GMT
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
  • Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:01 GMT
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
  • Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:53 GMT
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
  • Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:57 GMT
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
  • Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:02:12 GMT
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
  • ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:24:15 GMT
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
  • 2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:25:40 GMT
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
  • Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:24:11 GMT
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.