The Our Farms, Our Future podcast series brings together the sustainable agriculture community for thought-provoking conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here, and where we’re headed. With each episode, we hope to share different perspectives within the sustainable agriculture community while tackling such topics as building resilient farming systems, farm profitability, and fostering community through local food systems.
For this episode, two agricultural engineers discuss adapting innovation on the farm.
Trevor Hardy is manager of one of New England’s largest distributors of agricultural supplies at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire. Chris Callahan is an agricultural engineer with University of Vermont Extension. Both guests say engineering plays a crucial role in synthesizing the newest research and technology with the diversity and complexity of farming practices on the ground.
The Agricultural Engineering Program of UVM Extension is dedicated to enhancing Vermont’s food systems through analysis, design, evaluation and adoption of infrastructure, technology and equipment that meet the needs of food producers and processors.
Vermont’s food systems are experiencing increased localization, value addition, diversification, extension of growing season and increased market demand. New crops and new ways of growing and harvesting crops are being explored and adopted. Regional processing of crops to value-added food products is on the rise. Consumers are demanding nutritious, safe, and locally-sourced foods through-out the year requiring a focus on extended growing season and improved storage mechanisms. This is happening at a time when energy is expensive and environmental impact is increasingly important. As a result, the agricultural landscape and the people who work in it are changing and adapting. The dynamic nature of the food system demands technical assistance in several areas including engineering.
Farmers and processors with specific technical needs and research & development ideas related to Vermont food systems are encouraged to contact us.
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Hey there! I thought I should introduce my self now that I’ve been a part of the UVM Extension community for a few months now, met many of you (farmers, colleagues) and look forward to getting to know many more impactful individuals in the agricultural and food system space with-in (primarily) Vermont communities.
I’m Andy Chamberlin and work with Chris Callahan on agricultural engineering types of projects. The main focus of the work I do is to help fruit and vegetable farmers with their post-harvest processes to increase efficiencies to drive success and increase profitability all with food safety in mind. Continue reading Introducing UVM Extension’s New Ag Engineering Technician!
As you may know, UVM Extension has initiated an Agricultural Engineering program and I am so pleased to have been selected to lead it. My job is to conduct research, technology development & transfer, applied engineering, education and outreach to support the development and enhancement of Vermont’s small-scale food and agricultural systems.
I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity to support Vermont’s food systems and to continue working with farmers and other agricultural professionals throughout the state and beyond.
Some of the specific areas I expect to focus on initially include greenhouse energy efficiency, renewable fuels, post-harvest fruit and vegetable processing, enhanced refrigeration, and application of control technologies to food production. But I am very interested in hearing what technical challenges you think are most critical to you. If you have a moment, please send me your thoughts on where you think the most significant technical challenges are in your operation. My complete contact information is provided on the left hand side of this site.
The right hand side of the site includes links to some of my favorite references and calculators which may be useful for you as well. If you run into problems with any of them or have additional questions, let me know. Or if you have ideas for references or links that I should include, let me know that as well.