Quantcast

YCQM -- July 21, 2013 -- Andrew Meyer, Charles Shackleton - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM -- July 21, 2013 -- Andrew Meyer, Charles Shackleton

Posted: Updated:

You Can Quote Me -- July 21, 2013 -- Andrew Meyer of the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Charles Shackleton of the Naked Table Project join Kristin Carlson and Darren Perron to discuss the Vermont woods products industry and sustainable agriculture.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> AND GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M DARREN PERRON.

>> AND I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. THANKS FOR JOINING US. CHECK THIS OUT, IT IS OUR NEW TABLE ON THE "YOU CAN QUOTE ME" SET WHERE WE'LL CONTINUE TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH NEWSMAKER AND YOUR NEIGHBORS.

>> AND IT MAKES SENSE THAT THE FIRST GUEST TO SIT AT IT ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS PROJECT. PLEASE WELCOME ANDREW MEYER WITH THE CENTER FOR AGRICULTURE ECONOMY, AND HE ALSO RUNS VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS, AND CHARLES SHACKLETON IS WITH THE NAKED TABLE PROJECT. GENTLEMEN, THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING.

>> THANK YOU, GOOD MORNING.

>> CHARLIE, TELL US ABOUT THIS TABLE.

>> THIS TABLE IS MADE -- WAS GROWN FROM A SEEDLING IN VERMONT AND IT IS GROWN UP TO BE 100 YEARS OLD, WHICH IS ABOUT THE LIFE SPAN OF A TREE, AND THEN IT WAS HARVESTED AND IT WAS BASICALLY A SUGAR MAPLE, WHICH IS THE VERMONT STATE TREE, AND IT'S BEEN ALL THE WAY -- HARVESTED IT AND BROUGHT ALL THE WAY THROUGH FROM A SEEDLING TREE TO YOU GUYS, OR IN THE CASE OF THE NAKED TABLE, ALSO TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MAKE THEIR OWN TABLE OUT OF SOMETHING THAT'S LOCAL. AND WHICH THEY HAVE CREATED THEMSELVES WITH THEIR OWN HAND.

>> SO LET'S START, WE HAVE OUR PHOTOGRAPHER WENT TO ONE OF YOUR WORKSHOPS. WE SHOULD SAY WE PAID FOR THIS TABLE, WE PAID TO MAKE THIS TABLE AND PART OF WHAT YOU DO, YOU HAVE PEOPLE WITH HANDS-ON TO DO THE WORK. THIS IS A TIME LAPSE VIDEO, THIS IS AN ALL-DAY WORKSHOP THAT LANCE WENT TO, AN ALL-DAY WORKSHOP. WHY DID YOU WANT TO START THIS IDEA OF HAVING PEOPLE COME AND MAKE THEIR OWN TABLE?

>> WELL, I'VE BEEN A FURNITURE MAKER -- I'M 55 YEARS OLD AND I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY WHEN I WAS 23 AND I HAVE A FURNITURE BUSINESS WHICH I HAVE WITH MY WIFE AND WE LOVE TO MAKE THINGS BY HAND. WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR ABOUT 25 YEARS AND WE SUDDENLY REALIZED, PARTICULARLY WHEN WE WENT TO NEW YORK CITY AND THINGS, IT IS QUITE ASTONISHING THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY DON'T -- THEY JUST THINK IT'S ANOTHER PRODUCT LIKE PLASTIC, AND I WAS LOOKING AT MY WORKSHOP WINDOW ONE DAY AT THOSE TREES AND I THOUGHT, WOULDN'T IT BE INTERESTING TO MAKE A TABLE FROM THOSE TREES OUT THERE. AND I STARTED ON THIS AMAZING EXPLORATION WHERE I FOUND A FORESTER AND A SAWYER AND I MET ALL THE PEOPLE AND YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR HAIR STANDS ON END WHEN YOU'RE EXCITED AND YOU SUDDENLY FIND OUT WHAT AN INCREDIBLY DYNAMIC COMMUNITY IS HIDDEN THERE. THEY'RE ALL QUIET PEOPLE, BUT AS SOON AS YOU MET THEM OUT IN THE WOODS, THE SAWER, THE TRUCKER, THE GUY WHO DRIES THE WOOD, THE FURNITURE MAKER AND THE CUSTOMERS, THERE'S A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE AND THEY HAVEN'T REALLY ALL MET, AND THE AMAZING THING ABOUT THE FIRST -- I COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EYES, HERE WERE THESE PEOPLE OUT IN THE WOODS AND ALL DRESSED UP AND THEY NEVER SAT AT A TABLE MADE OUT OF A TREE THAT THEY HAD SAWN DOWN AND I WAS LIKE, I THINK WE'RE IN VERMONT, WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THIS MIGHT BE KEY TO OUR SURVIVAL BECAUSE SINCE WE'RE A VERY COMMUNITY-BASED STATE.

>> ANDREW, LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION. MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH FARM TO TABLE AND THIS IS WOODS TO TABLE.

>> RIGHT, AND VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS SPONSORED THIS EVENT THIS PAST WEEKEND AND WE WERE DRAWN TO THIS BECAUSE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY. THESE TABLES ARE LOCALLY HARVESTED AND GROWN AND THE CONNECTION THAT THE TABLE HAS TO SUSTAINABILITY IS PRETTY AMAZING. VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS MADE FROM A BYPRODUCT OF CHEESE AND WE THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE A GREAT FIT FOR A PROJECT LIKE THIS AND WE HELPED SPONSOR THE PROJECT AND PROCEEDS FROM THE PROJECT WERE RAISED FOR THE CENTER FOR AGRICULTURE ECONOMY.

>> TELL US ABOUT THE NATURAL COATINGS --

>> YEAH, BECAUSE I WAS FREAKING OUT BEFORE THE SHOW STARTED BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR -- NO COASTERS, I WAS GETTING VERY NERVOUS AND NERVOUS ABOUT YOUR PEN THERE, SO YOU KEEP TELLING ME NOT TO BE NERVOUS.

>> NO NEED TO WORRY. WE BUILT A PROTECTIVE FILM ON THIS TABLE USING OUR PATENTED TECHNOLOGY THAT WE DEVELOPED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT, AND ONE OF THE MOTIVATING FACTORS BEHIND THIS TECHNOLOGY WAS TO HELP SPUR VALUE-ADDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR VERMONT, CONNECTION TO CHEESE MAKERS USING THE WASTE OF ONE INDUSTRY, ALSO BEING ABLE TO ADD VALUE TO THE INDUSTRY, TWO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FACTORS OF THE ECONOMY IN VERMONT AND TAKING IT ONE STEP FURTHER IS HOW DOES THE COMBINATION OF OUR FINISH ON A TABLE LIKE THIS CONNECT TO COMMUNITIES, AND IN THE END, WE REALLY TRY TO BUILD A VIBRANT LOCAL ECONOMY.

>> WHY IS THAT COLLABORATION SO IMPORTANT IN VERMONT?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT A NUMBER OF HIGH-END FURNITURE MAKERS WHO HAVE TO MARKET THEIR PRODUCT OUTSIDE OF THE STATE. WE HAVE -- THERE'S MANY ISSUES THAT IMPACT THE FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY, LANDOWNERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE, AND THERE'S 90,000 PRIVATE LANDOWNERS AND ROUGHLY 4.5 MILLION ACRES OF FOREST IN VERMONT AND 80% IS OWNED BY THOSE LANDOWNERS. IT'S IMPORTANT AS GLOBALIZATION IMPACTS IT, INVASIVE SPECIES, TAX ISSUES, THERE'S GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE WHICH CAN IMPACT THE HEALTH OF THE TREES, ALL THOSE ARE FACTORS THAT ARE AGAINST THE BUSINESS SECTOR OF VERMONT AND THE MORE WE CAN CONNECT AND ADD VALUE TO THOSE PRODUCTS MADE HERE IN VERMONT, WE'RE NOT ONLY GOING TO IMPROVE THE LOCAL ECONOMY, WE'RE GOING TO CREATE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF VERMONT AND THAT'S WHERE THIS COLLABORATIVE APPROACH AND PARTNERING WITH CHARLIE AND THE NAKED TABLE PROJECT IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN.

>> I WANT TO -- ANDREW AND I WERE TALKING BEFORE THE SHOW, WE'RE ENTREPRENEURS, WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, WE'RE THE INITIATORS OF SOME PARTS OF THIS ECONOMY AND THERE'S A BALANCE BETWEEN ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE VERY -- WE HAVE OUR EGOS, WE HAVE OUR PRODUCT, AND WE'RE TRYING TO PROTECT THAT PRODUCT IN A WAY, BUT THERE'S ANOTHER SIDE WHICH I'VE SEEN IN ANDREW IN PARTICULAR IS THAT WILLINGNESS TO COLLABORATE AND PARTNER AND, YOU KNOW, OPEN YOURSELF UP AND BASICALLY HAVING A VERY GENEROUS ATTITUDE TO SHARING WHAT YOU KNOW AND I THINK IT'S COMPLETELY KEY TO OUR FUTURE, THAT SORT OF COLLABORATION. AND, YOU KNOW, IN THE BUSINESS WORLD IN VERMONT.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW, I'VE HEARD FROM LOGGERS PARTICULARLY IN THE LAST, YOU KNOW, COUPLE OF WEEKS THAT IT'S BEEN REALLY DIFFICULT TO GET INTO THE WOODS BECAUSE MOTHER NATURE, OBVIOUSLY, PLAYS A HUGE ROLE. THEY'RE A BIT BEHIND RIGHT NOW IN GETTING SOME OF THE WOOD PRODUCT OUT BECAUSE OF MUDDY WOODS AND THAT KIND OF THING. IF THERE'S ONE SORT OF STUMBLING BLOCK ALONG THE WAY, THOUGH, WHEN THERE'S SUCH A COLLABORATION, COULD THAT JEOPARDIZE THE ENTIRE PROJECT? DOES EVERY PIECE HAVE TO FALL IN PLACE?

>> ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE NAKED TABLE PROJECT?

>> THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE.

>> WELL, I THINK THAT IT'S LIKELIKE FARMING. THERE'S SO MANY FACTORS THAT IMPACT FARMING AND THIS IS VERY FAMILIAR TO FARMING, IT JUST TAKES 100 YEARS FOR THE CROP TO GROW, SO THAT'S AN INTERESTING FACTOR WHEN YOU CONSIDER WHAT A BUSINESS MODEL CAN LOOK LIKE FOR FORESTRY IN VERMONT. BEING MUDDY IN THE SPRING FOR TWO WEEKS IS AN IMPACT, BUT HAVING LOGGERS ABLE TO GO INTO THE WOODS IS MORE OF A FACTOR. WE'RE LOSING FARMERS AND WE'RE ALSO LOSING ON THE FORESTRY SIDE THE MILLS THAT MILL THE PRODUCTS.

>> THE SAW MILLS HAVE BEEN CLOSING.

>> AND IT COSTS A LOGGER 100% WORKERS COMP TO BE ABLE TO HIRE SOMEONE TO GO IN TO HARVEST THOSE LOGS, THAT ADDS AN INCREDIBLE RISK TO HIS JOB. SO THERE'S A NUMBER OF FACTORS. I THINK, YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE ISSUE THAT THIS FORESTRY INDUSTRY WOULD STEM ON WOULD PROBABLY BE THE KURNTCURRENT CURRENT FOREST PROGRAM --

>> THE TAX BREAKS AS LONG AS THEY GUARANTEE THEY'RE GOING TO CONTINUE AT A WORKING MAN IN THE LOGGING PROGRAM.

>> AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE INDUSTRY OF GROWING A TREE FOR 100 YEARS, THAT'S A LONG-TERM PLAN, AND SO THERE'S SO MANY ELEMENTS OF IT, AND THAT'S WHY I THINK WHAT YOU SEE IN VERMONT IS BECAUSE YOU KNOW THOSE ELEMENTS ARE THERE, SUCH AS FARMING, THAT YOU BETTER START LOOKING AT WHAT WE HAVE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITIES AND BUILDING OUR COMMUNITIES AND HOW DO WE SAVE THOSE MILLS, HOW DO WE SAVE THOSE SAW MILLS, HOW DO WE ADD A VALUE TO A PRODUCT LIKE WHAT CHARLIE IS DOING AND COLLABORATE SO WE CAN OPEN OUR MARKETS TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

>> WHAT IS THE END GOAL HERE? BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THERE'S A COUPLE THINGS GOING ON. THERE'S A PROJECT WHERE YOU HAVE PEOPLE CONNECT TO THE WOODS, BUILD THEIR TABLE, UNDERSTAND THAT CONNECTION, BUT THEN YOU'RE ALSO TALKING ABOUT A BIGGER ISSUE OF TRYING TO BRING BACK FURNITURE MAKING TO VERMONT? BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW, WE'VE HAD PLANT CLOSURES, PEOPLE LAID OFF, AND WE'RE HEARING FROM THIS IS GOING TO NORTH CAROLINA OR OVERSEAS.

>> WELL, THERE'S A LOT OF MISSIONS. WITH THE NAKED TABLE, CHARLIE CAN SPEAK TO HIS MISSION AND IT'S A LONG-TERM EDUCATION PROCESS OF GETTING PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH WHERE THEIR FOOD COMES FROM, WHERE THEIR TABLE COMES FROM.

>> WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR THE FURNITURE.

>> WELL, AND THEN THERE'S ANOTHER QUESTION OF WHAT IS MORE? THIS TABLE WAS HARVESTED LOCALLY. YOU KNOW, OTHER TABLES COMING FROM CHINA, THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER FACTORS THAT YOU MAY NOT CONSIDER AS FAR AS PRICE TAG. SUCH AS TO BRING A TABLE FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA, IT GOES BY THE WAY OF TRANSPORTATION, ALL THE OPERATIONS PUTTING THINGS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE AND IF YOU GET ONE LOCALLY, IT'S LIKE .11, AND IT SEEMS LIKE AN CHEAP TABLE, BUT TALK TO YOUR GREAT GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WHEN THERE'S NO ENVIRONMENT LEFT, SO YOU'RE GETTING IT CHEAP DOWN AT THE LOCAL STORE, BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO BE PAYING A HEAVY PRICE FOR THAT TABLE AND ALSO, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT ALL THE MONIES, ALL ALONG THAT CHAIN I TALKED ABOUT, ARE GOING RIGHT BACK TO THOSE PEOPLE AND I CAN TELL YOU, ALL THOSE PEOPLE NEED THAT MONEY BACK INTO THE LOCAL ECONOMY.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT PRICE. WHAT ABOUT A TABLE SET SOMEONE BACK IF THEY'RE WATCHING FROM HOME, LIKE THIS.

>> AND TO BE PART OF THE NAKED TABLE PROJECT?

>> TO DO THE PROJECT, IT'S $950 AND YOU GET A TABLE, YOU GET A MEAL, YOU GET A T-SHIRT, BUT THE BIGGEST THING THAT I NOTICE, YOU GET SOMETHING THAT IS ICONIC AND SYMBOLIC OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. IT WAS AMAZING AFTER THE FIRST NAKED TABLE PROJECT BECAUSE I GOT PHONE CALLS THE NEXT DAY. ONE MOTHER CALLED UP AND SAID THIS IS THE FIRST TIME MY KIDS HAVE EVER WANTED TO LAY THE TABLE BEFORE THE MEAL AND TAKE IT ALL THE WAY AND WASH IT UP AND THEY LOVE THAT TABLE. THE TABLE IS OBVIOUSLY SYMBOLIC OF PEOPLE COMING TOGETHER, SO FOR ME, TAKING AWAY WHAT I'VE SEEN, YES, YOU GET A TABLE, BUT YOU GET A SOUVENIR OF AN AMAZING WEEKEND WHEN YOU MET LOTS OF PEOPLE AND THE PROJECT IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTING PEOPLE TO EACH OTHER, MAKING THINGS BY HAND. YOU CAN SAY IT'S SYMBOLIC, BUT YOU CAN DO THIS WITH YOUR LOCAL MISSION GROUP AND AT THE MOMENT I'M HAVING A SWEATER MADE BY MY NEIGHBOR OUT OF SOME SHEEP WANDERING AROUND SIX MONTHS AGO AND I JUST THINK THAT'S SORT OF MIND-BLOWING, YOU HAVE A SWEATER ON WHICH WAS -- YOU KNOW ITS HISTORY, ITS STORY. AND AS YOU TV GUYS KNOW, STORIES ARE WHAT PEOPLE REMEMBER. THAT'S WHAT STANDS THE YEARS. IT'S SYMBOLIC, THE THINGS YOU CAN DO.

>> YOU MENTIONED IN THE BEGINNING THAT THIS SORT OF PROJECT AND IDEA IS KEY TO SURVIVAL. WHO DO YOU THINK IT'S KEY TO SURVIVAL FOR?

>> COMMUNITIES AND TO RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. OBVIOUSLY, YOU START WITH YOUR FAMILY SITTING AROUND THE TABLE, BUT IT'S THEN CONNECTING OUT TO THE RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AND BEYOND THE COMMUNITY, BETWEEN VERMONT AND THE NEIGHBORING STATES, BUT I'M ALSO A BIG BELIEVER IN AMERICA THINKING GLOBALLY AND SO IT'S A WIDE-RANGING THING, BUT IT'S THOSE RELATIONSHIPS AND I NOTICED DURING THIS ECONOMY, AND OUR BUSINESS WAS AFFECTED, THAT OUR PEOPLE, WE STARTED TALKING TO EACH OTHER PRETTY WELL. THERE WAS NO PRETENDING, AND THAT TALKING TO EACH OTHER AND PEOPLE CONNECTING IS HUGELY IMPORTANT AND I THINK -- I COULDN'T -- I'D LOVE TO MOVE BACK TO IRELAND OR ENGLAND, BUT I COULDN'T BECAUSE I'D BUILT THOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL THE PEOPLE AT THE LOCAL SAW MILL, AND THOSE ARE THE RELATIONSHIPS. WHEN YOU ARE IN THE DITCH, YOU KNOW THAT PERSON DRIVING BACK OR VICE VERSA AND YOU'RE GOING TO HELP THEM, SO IT'S RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING AND MAKING CONNECTIONS I THINK IS A PRETTY IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORY.

>> WALK US THROUGH, IF SOMEONE DOES GO THROUGH A WORKSHOP, WHAT HAPPENS IF FOLKS SHOW UP?

>> WELL, THE FIRST THING I SAY IS YOU'RE SEEING A SLICE OF THE HISTORY OF THE TREE FROM SEEDLING TO YOUR DINNER TABLE. WE'RE JUST GIVING YOU A SLICE OF THE EXPERIENCE, SO WE HAVE DONE ALL THE DANGEROUS BIT. LIKE WE MADE ALL THE PARTS. YOU START AT 9:30 AND THE TABLE IS FINISHED BY 5:00. BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, WE GO AND WALK IN THE FOREST WHERE THE TREES CAME FROM AND MAKE THAT VERY DIRECT CONNECTION. WE HAVE A PICNIC AND ALL THE PEOPLE GO FOR A WALK TOGETHER. DURING THE DAY, YOU BASICALLY PREPARE ALL THE PARTS AND JOIN ALL THE PARTS TOGETHER, AND THEN YOU PUT THE FINISH ON. AND THAT FINISH IS A KEY PART OF IT, PARTICULARLY THIS FINISH. I REALLY LIKE IT BECAUSE IT PRESERVES THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE WOOD AND IT DIDN'T YELLOW IT.

>> IT'S VERY TACTILE.

>> NATURAL FINISHES ARE NOT FEELING THE FINISH, YOU'RE FEELING THE WOOD, AND THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE FINISH. BUT IT ALSO DRIES QUICKLY SO YOU CAN DO IT IN A DAY. SO WE BASICALLY MAKE THAT TABLE IN A DAY AND YOU CAN SEE IT'S PRETTY REMARKABLE. IT HAS A SMOOTH VELVETY FINISH, AND THEN THE NEXT DAY, WE BRING ALL THE TABLES TOGETHER AND HAVE THIS MEAL TOGETHER, WHICH IS A CELEBRATION OF NOT ONLY THE TABLE MAKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES, BUT ALSO THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY, AND THEN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY, ANYONE THAT WANTS TO COME FROM ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET.

>> ANDREW, YOU'VE SEEN THE PROJECT TAKE PLACE. WHAT ABOUT SOMEONE WHO SAYS I HAVE NO FURNITURE-MAKING SKILLS, BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON'T?

>> ONE THING, THEY'RE WORKING WITH PROS FROM CHARLES SHACKLETON FURNITURE COMPANY AND THEY WILL HELP YOU MAKE THIS TABLE. MY DAUGHTER DID THE PROGRAM. SHE'S 9 YEARS OLD AND SHE CAME OUT AND DID A GREAT JOB, AND SHE'S CONNECTED TO THIS TABLE NOW. SO YOU HAVE THIS TERRIFIC HELP, BUT THE PROCESS OF MAKING THE TABLE GOES BEYOND JUST PUTTING THE TABLE TOGETHER AND GLUING IT AND FINISHING IT. IT AMAZING TO WATCH THE UNDERSTANDING AND TRANSFORMATION OF THE CONNECTION TO WHAT THEY JUST BUILT, SO THAT'S AN AMAZING THING TO SEE AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY INSPIRED US ABOUT THIS TABLE OR THIS PROJECT IS WHERE DO THESE TABLES END UP. AND VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS BUILT A TABLE AND THAT TABLE WILL BE PLACED AT CLAIRE'S RESTAURANT AS A COMMUNITY TABLE.

>> CLAIRE'S RESTAURANT IS PART --

>> IT'S A COMMUNITY RESTAURANT SELLING LOCAL PRODUCE AND WHY NOT HAVE A LOCAL CONNECTION TO THE FIBER, NOT JUST THE FOOD, BUT THE FIBER. AND IN A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN GATHER AND THE MODEL BEHIND THIS TABLE WILL BE ANYONE CAN COME AND SIT AT THE COMMUNITY TABLE AND YOU MAY SIT WITH A NEIGHBOR OR A STRANGER, BUT THAT'S ANOTHER ACCENT WAITION OF WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO WHAT IT MEANS TO THE COMMUNITY ABOUT THIS PROJECT.

>> I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS, I LOVE THE TABLE.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE, AND GENTLEMEN, AGAIN, WELCOME BACK. I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT SORT OF THE SOUP TO NUTS PART OF GETTING THIS TABLE DONE. SO IF SOMEBODY WAS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE WORKSHOP, COMING IN, DO THEY GET TO PICK, SAY, THE DESIGN OR IS IT PRETTY STANDARD? LIKE THIS IS THE TABLE YOU'RE GOING TO GET IF YOU GO TO THIS WORKSHOP?

>> WELL, YOU GUYS SORT OF SCRAPED THE SYSTEM A BIT AND YOU CAME OUT OF IT --

>> WE DO GET PEOPLE AND WE TRY TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE WHO WANT NARROWER, LONGER. OBVIOUSLY, WE'LL DO IT. YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE MONEY FOR CUSTOMIZING IT, AND WE HAVE ALL IMAGINATION PEOPLE, SO WE HAVE BATCH -- CHEST OF DRAWERS, ALL SORTS OF FUN THINGS, SO, YES, BASICALLY WE HAVE THE NAKED TABLE, IT'S JUST A RECTANGULAR ONE THAT YOU GUYS SAW EVERYONE ELSE MAKING, SO YEAH, THERE IS A FAIRLY STANDARDIZED THING.

>> AND IS IT ALWAYS SUGAR MAPLE OR ARE THERE VARIOUS WOODS?

>> WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HARVESTED THEIR OWN WOOD AND BROUGHT IT TO US AND SAID LET'S DO IT. IF IT'S ACCOMMODATIVE IN THE WORKSHOP, WE'LL DO IT. A LOT OF COMMUNITIES HAVE COME TO US AND SAID WE NEED TO DO ONE OUT OF OAK, AND SURE, WE'LL DO IT. THE WHOLE THING, IT'S NOT -- IT'S FUNDAMENTALLY NONPROFIT TYPE OF THING, SO WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP IT ALL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF REASON AND WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP IT SIMPLISTIC AND MAKE OUR MESSAGE SO THAT YOU'RE INSPIRED TO GO AND PERHAPS TRY SOMETHING WITH CHEESE OR, LIKE I SAID, KNITTING. THERE'S ENDLESS THINGS YOU CAN MAKE OUT OF PRODUCTS THAT ARE SITTING RIGHT AROUND, YOU KNOW, OUR COMMUNITIES.

>> AND MOST PEOPLE WHO SIGN UP FOR A WORKSHOP, ARE THEY VERMONTERS OR NOT VERMONTERS?

>> A COMPLETE MIX THERE. IN HARDWICK, I THINK THERE ARE MORE VERMONTERS, BUT THEY WERE FROM ALL OVER. BACK TO THE POINT, WHAT I REALLY LIKE ABOUT THE TABLE PROJECT IS IT'S NOT SORT OF A PROFESSIONAL FURNITURE-MAKING COURSE AND I JUST LOVE IT WHEN COUPLES COME IN TO MAKE THEIR TABLE FOR THEIR WEDDING PRESENT OR THERE'S A GRANDFATHER AND GRANDDAUGHTER. THERE'S ALSO PEOPLE THAT -- THEY'RE NOT FURNITURE MAKERS, THEY HAVE A MUCH BROADER VIEW AND I LOVE A NAKED COUPLES WEEKEND FOR VALENTINE'S DAY BECAUSE I NOTICED THAT PEOPLE -- I WATCHED PEOPLE'S RELATIONSHIPS, LIKE THE I THOUGHT THE GUYS WOULD TELL THE WIVES TO KEEP QUIET, AND IT TURNS OUT THE WIVES ARE EXTREMELY COMPETENT AT IT.

>> YOU FOCUS AT THE CENTER FOR AGRICULTURE ECONOMY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HAPPENING TO VERMONT'S AGRICULTURE?

>> I THINK THERE'S A RECOGNITION THAT WE NEED TO DIVERSIFY AGRICULTURE IN VERMONT.

>> DIVERSIFY AS IN IT'S NOT -- THE COW IS NOT KING ANYMORE, DIVERSIFY --

>> WELL, THE COW IS KING, AND BETTER HOPE IT REMAINS KING BECAUSE OF THE REVENUES THAT THEY BRING BACK TO THE STATE AND THE MILK THAT'S PRODUCED THAT FEED THE NORTHEAST AND PRODUCE THE VALUE-ADDED CHEESE, SO I BELIEVE THAT COW IS KING AND I ALSO BELIEVE THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER OPPORTUNITIES THAT NEED TO HAPPEN IN VERMONT TO REALLY MAINTAIN AND BUILD LOCAL ECONOMIES, AND THE CENTER FOR AGRICULTURE ECONOMY'S MISSION IS TO BUILD A HEALTHY FOOD SYSTEM IN THE HARDWICK AREA TO REVITALIZE THE AGRICULTURE VIABILITY OF THE REGION, SO LOTS OF -- IN ORDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, WE SEE THAT THE COLLABORATION AMONG THESE BUSINESSES IS CRITICAL TO SHARE RESOURCES, SHARE INFRASTRUCTURE, SHARE DISTRIBUTION. WE'VE GOT 19 MILLION PEOPLE WITHIN A SIX MILE DRIVE OF VERMONT --

>> 600 MILE.

>> SIX --

>> YOU SAID SIX MILE. I THINK IT'S MORE THAN SIX.

>> 600 MILES FROM VERMONT, 19 MILLION PEOPLE THAT NEED TO BE FED AND THEY NEED TO HAVE -- AND I THINK THERE'S A GREAT VALUE OF THEM CONNECTING TO WHERE THEIR FOOD AND FIBER COMES FROM, AND SO IN ORDER FOR US TO COMPETE AGAINST THE SAME THINGS THAT THE FORESTRY INDUSTRY IS COMPETING AGAINST, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY COSTS, CONCENTRATION OF MARKET PRICE AND WHATNOT, FOR US TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN BOTH SECTORS, FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE, THAT COLLABORATIVE APPROACH AT A COMMUNITY LEVEL IS CRITICAL.

>> ARE PEOPLE RECEPTIVE TO THE IDEA OF DIVERSIFICATION? THERE'S A LOT OF TRADITION THAT IS INVOLVED IN FARMING IN VERMONT AND GENERATIONS OF FARMERS HAVE -- IF THEY'VE BEEN A DAIRY OPERATION, HAVE BEEN MILKING AND THAT'S WHAT THEY DO. IS THERE SOME SORT OF, YOU KNOW, CHANGE IN THAT IN SAYING, OH, YEAH, YOU'RE RIGHT, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ELSE TO SUSTAIN THIS OPERATION?

>> IT'S PROBABLY TRUE WITH MOST ANYTHING, IF YOU DON'T ADAPT -- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO BE ABLE TO ADAPT AND THEN A FARMER BASICALLY DOING THE SAME THING THEY DID 30 YEARS AGO, A FEATURE OF THAT, IF THEY'RE GOING TO HAND IT DOWN TO THE NEXT GENERATION, THEY HAVE TO BUILD A BUSINESS MODEL AROUND IT, SO WE'VE SEEN A LOT MORE BUSINESS IN DIVERSIFYING ON THAT FARM. WE'RE GROWING SUNFLOWERS IN VERMONT NOW, GROWING CROPS THAT ARE BEING TURNED INTO VALUE-ADDED THAT CAN COME OFF OF THAT DAIRY FARM, SO IT'S REALLY -- I THINK THAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING AND EXCITING THING I SEE IN VERMONT RIGHT NOW ARE THE DAIRY FARMERS WHO MAKE UP SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR VALUES IN OUR ECONOMY IN VERMONT, TAKING THE RISK AND DIVERSIFYING INTO NEW PRODUCTS.

>> ANDREW, THAT'S A VERY MAJOR THING THAT JUST HAPPENED, PERHAPS YOU CAN TALK MORE ABOUT IT, BUT IT HAS TO DO WITH THIS BRINGING -- GROWING THINGS AND USING THEM IN TERMS OF SOMETHING --

>> THAT'S AN IMPORTANT COMMITMENT AND STATEMENT THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS MADE ON FUNDING WORKING LANDSCAPERS, WORKING FARMS PROJECTS, AND THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO -- IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. VERMONT IS VALUE AGRICULTURE, VALUE FORESTRY. WE'RE THERE BECAUSE IT MAKES UP ABOUT 80% OF THE STATE. SO I THINK THAT THERE'S A NEW AWARENESS, A NEW ENERGY, AND HOW DO WE MEASURE THAT? YOU KNOW, NEW JOBS, STRONGER COMMUNITIES. MORE LOCAL FOODS AVAILABLE. THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO TAKE TIME OVER THE NEXT 10 OR 15 YEARS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

>> YOU MENTIONED 10 OR 15 YEARS. AS YOU KNOW, HARDWICK HAS GOTTEN A LOT OF BUZZ ABOUT THEIR SORT OF LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT. WHERE DO YOU THINK HARDWICK IS? IS THERE MORE TO DO IN THAT COMMUNITY AND WHERE DO YOU THINK THE STATE IS? IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS IS A TWO-DECADE --

>> I THINK THE WHOLE STATE WOULD -- IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO INVEST IN AN AGE AND BUILDING OUT HEALTHY FOOD SYSTEMS. BUILDING OUT BUSINESS MODELS THAT CAN UTILIZE THE VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS THAT ARE COMING OFF THE FARMS, BREAKING INTO NEW MARKETS, CONTINUING TO BUILD OUR BRAND, YOU KNOW, AS MORE NAKED TABLES IN THE COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. THERE'S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND I THINK THE WORST THING THAT WE CAN DO AS A STATE IS SORT OF LOOK AT THIS AND SAY WE'VE SUCCEEDED BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS THAT NEED TO HAPPEN, AND THESE FARMS ARE TOO IMPORTANT NOT TO KEEP INVESTING IN THEM, SO IT IS GOING TO TAKE TIME.

>> HAVING SAID THAT, NOT ONLY IS IT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO LIVE WITH AMAZING COMMUNITIES, IT'S ALSO AN INCREDIBLY PROGRESSIVE -- PROBABLY THE MOST PROGRESSIVE ON THIS SUBJECT AND IT'S BECOME, I THINK, A INCUBATOR AND I THINK HARDWICK IN PARTICULAR.

>> AND A BRAND.

>> AND A BRAND, A TRUE AUTHENTIC THING THAT REPRESENTS THESE THINGS, WHICH IS BASICALLY VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD, SO NOT ONLY MAKING NAKED TABLE ICONIC, BUT VERMONT IS ICONIC OF A BETTER WAY TO LIVE IF WE'RE GOING TO SURVIVE.

>> YOU'VE BOTH PAINTED A VERY HOPEFUL AND DYNAMIC PICTURE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT WOULD DERAIL THAT? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CONCERNS YOU ON THE HORIZON ON THAT FRONT?

>> WELL, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY COSTS, CONCENTRATION OF MARKETS, GLOBALIZATION. THERE'S A NUMBER OF THINGS.

>> AND THOSE ARE BIG TICKET ITEMS.

>> THOSE ARE THINGS THAT MAYBE DON'T GET CONTROLLED HERE IN THE STATE.

>> AND THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM. IF YOU CAN'T CONTROL THEM, THEY'RE PROBABLY OUR BIGGEST ISSUES. THE THINGS THAT WE CAN'T CONTROL WILL PROBABLY COME BACK AND BE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES THAT WE FACE.

>> AND JUST QUICKLY, HOW MANY WORKSHOPS DO YOU DO IN A YEAR.

>> WE'VE GOT ONE COMING UP ON AUGUST THE 17th AND THIS YEAR SEEMS TO BE A BIG YEAR. WE'RE DOING A COUPLE OF CORPORATE ONES FOR COMPANIES COMING TO OUR WORKSHOP. IT DEPENDS ON THE DEMAND.

>> THANK YOU BOTH. CHARLES SHACKLETON WITH THE NAKED TABLE PROJECT, ANDREW MEYER WITH THE CENTER FOR AGRICULTURE ECONOMY. HE ALSO STARTS AND RUNS VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS.

>> I KNOW WE'LL ENJOY THIS, FOLKS.

>> THANK YOU, EVERYBODY, FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY.

CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates

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.