2018 Summer Newsletter is Here!

Read the entire PDF here!

In this Issue:
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News and Events, 2018 Summer Newsletter

2018 Annual Crops & Soils Field Day
July 26 – Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vt.
Join Heather Darby’s crew to learn about the many research projects going on behind the scenes at Borderview Farm. For more information visit go.uvm.edu/nwcropsoil or contact Susan Broulliette, 802-524-6501 ext.
432 or susan.brouillette@uvm.edu.

Breakfast on the Farm
July 28 – Kayhart Brothers Farm, West Addison, Vt.
Join us and a host of event volunteers for an exciting free breakfast and tour of the Kayhart Brothers Farm. Steven and Tim operate 1,800 acres of farmland in the heart of Addison County. The Kayharts are also members of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition. Breakfast on the Farm is in its
fourth year, offering the public a unique opportunity to tour state-of-the-art facilities, meet farmers, pet cows (maybe even see one giving birth!), learn about conservation initiatives, and enjoy a free breakfast made with local dairy products. Tickets are required so get yours now online! Volunteers are also needed. Check out the website and spread the word:

Innovation in Crop and Nutrient Management Field Day
August 3 – Location TBD
Join us to learn about new and exciting ways to manage crops and nutrients on farms. Hear from regional and international speakers about innovative practices and equipment that can improve farm economics and natural resources. There will even be a live equipment demo after lunch! Contact Nate Severy for more information, 802-388-4969 ext. 348 or nathaniel.severy@uvm.edu.

Addison County Fair and Field Days
August 7-11 – 1790 Field Days Road, Vergennes, Vt.
We can’t believe it’s already that time of year again! Grab your maple creemee, come watch a hand mowing competition, see the latest 4-H projects, and be sure to visit our crop display located in the southeast corner of the 4-H Exhibit Hall. Our team spends the whole week at the fair in  rotating shifts. We will show off our new grassland manure injector, the NRCS rainfall simulator and loads of info on our projects. AND of course,
we will be displaying your crops! Farmers, we NEED your entries to make our display a success! Contact our office (802-388-4969) with entry questions and drop off entries at the fairgrounds by noon Monday, August 6.

Agricultural Water Quality Business Help Ongoing through September
We know these are tough times to be in business, and the UVM Extension Agriculture Business Program is still offering financial reviews and cash flow analysis on projects related to compliance with the RAPs water quality regulations. This grant-funded assistance will end in the fall and if you are thinking of contacting them, do so before the funding ends! See page 5
for more information on this program or contact Tony Kitsos, 802-524-6501 ext. 440, tony.kitsos@uvm.edu.

Read our entire newsletter here!

Questions can be directed to our office, 802-388-4969

Putting a Public Face on the Pursuits of Farming

By Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional

As seen in our Summer 2018 Newsletter – but including additional links below.

Farming is often a solitary pursuit. While it takes a team to make a farm  succeed, daily activities often happen in solitude. Whether it is in the milk house, greenhouse, fields, tractor, shop or office, very few people will
ever “see” you at work. While that is often viewed as a positive, it also leads to a disconnect between farmers and neighbors.

Why does this matter? Try to remember the last negative interaction with someone outside the farming industry. Was this a result of lack of knowledge and understanding? Misinformation? Perhaps partially your responsibility for not considering how farming endeavors impact a neighbor? Regardless, I have found that when the farming community
opens up to the nonfarming community, the results can be powerful.

Many neighbors have no idea what you do and may be too uncomfortable to ask. I have been at public farm tours where neighbors came into a dairy barn and said, “I drive by here every day and never knew there were cows in  these buildings.” People who drive by your farm often think bunker
silos are compost bins. Gone are the days when everyone’s grandparents or aunts and uncles were farmers. Folks no longer spend summer weekends helping family or neighbor bring in hay or crops. Seeing a tractor in
front of them on a state highway only makes them think about being late to an important appointment. Landlords who own your rented fields don’t always understand that manure is an organic fertilizer which makes their
hay field greener, replenishes nutrients, and builds soil health. Herbicides and insecticides, regardless of their form, are as taboo a topic as politics
or religion.

It is difficult to make time to share farming information and justify the hours away from “productive” pursuits. However, I argue that putting a face on farming is a worthwhile endeavor. It isn’t always comfortable or easy. Without a personal connection to a farm it is easy to lump you in with all the negative press and assume all farms are the problem. However, when these folks are invited to visit your farm, they learn just how much goes into
your daily farming pursuits and hopefully that will have a lasting effect.

Looking For Ways To Get Involved With The Public? Here Are A Few Examples:

Breakfast on the FarmDon’t be intimidated by the scale of this event.  It is well-organized and supported by hundreds of volunteers and experts who are there to represent you and the farming community well.  Want to learn more?  Volunteer on July 28 and see what it’s all about.

Social Media – A low impact way to share your farming endeavors.  Here are some great local examples:

Open Farm WeekA Dig In Vermont coordinated, week long event. For a small fee, any farm can participate and be promoted across the state. You must welcome visitors and host some sort of farm activity. However, technical assistance is available to help create a valuable on-farm experience for participants.

Crops Exhibit and Farm Product Contests – Join the competition at Addison County Field Days or Vermont Farm Show with hay, crops, honey, eggs and vegetables. Not only can you earn blue ribbons, premiums and bragging rights; you help us educate the public about farming in Vermont.

Cabot Open Farm SundayCabot Creamery and AgriMark Farms can participate in Cabot’s Open Farm Sunday in October.

Workshops/Field Days/Tours  – Volunteer!  The next time your friendly Extension Agent, Crop Consultant, Feed Consultant, or Politician asks if you’ll host a group at your farm…just say YES!

Champlain Valley Farmer CoalitionJoin the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and find like-minded farmers with good tips and tricks on engaging the public on your farm. Other farmer organizations in Vermont include Farmer’s Watershed Alliance and Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance.

Contact Kirsten Workman if you’d like to host an event! 802-388-4969