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Vermont NRCS Successful Landowners

Vermont's Outstanding Stewards of the Land


Lyn and Jim Des Marais

Hulett FamilyFiske Family, Rock River Watershed











Vermont Farmer Greg Cox Embraces Community and Conservation

Greg Cox owns and operates Boardman Hill Farm in West Rutland, Vermont. His diverse farm includes ten acres of organically certified fruits, vegetables, flowers, and he manages a popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). His stewardship led him to work with the conservationists at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) who helped him implement a system of conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). For example, he installed four high tunnels to protect plants from extreme weather and enable season extension by growing earlier in the spring and later into the fall. Mr. Cox credits the high tunnels for helping make a popular winter farmer’s market in Rutland a reality. “You can dine all year long,” he says. “The high tunnels make it possible. It’s the single biggest reason we can have a year-round food system in the Northeast, because things don’t grow during our cold, dark winter season.” Read more about the conservation efforts at Boardman Hill Farm.

The Evolution of Vermont’s Molly Brook Farm: Making the Transition from Conventional to Pastured and Organic

Seven generations, one hundred Jersey Cattle, and 565 acres (including 250 of open land). Add in a dedicated husband and wife team and you have the rich history of Molly Brook Farm in Cabot, Vermont. Myles and Rhonda Goodrich own and operate the farm, named after the meandering Molly Brook that makes its way through Cabot. The picturesque farm has been in the family since 1835 and the Goodrich family was one of the original founders of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative in 1919. They teamed up with their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for assistance with a transition from conventional to organic dairying. The transition will include a change from livestock confinement to grazing, which required converting 53-acres of crop fields to hay and pasture.

Read more about the Goodrich's conservation success.

Vermont Dairy Farm Protects Natural Resources and Herd Health with Bedded Pack System

The Hulett family of Pawlet, Vermont, own and operate a 1,000 acre cattle operation. The family has worked with the USDA NRCS in Vermont to construct a bedded pack system for 145 animal units. These systems provide manure storage as well as animal comfort and health. They received technical and financial assistance through NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Read more about the Hulett's conservation success.

Champlain Valley Farm Leverages Resources for Sustainability

Vermont farmer, David Conant, is a leader in the farm community for his ability to strike the balance of healthy land, valuable crops and productive dairy cows. The Conant Riverside Farm is aptly named for its picturesque location in a valley along the Winooski River. While farming in the floodplain can be challenging, Conant retains a state of appreciation and responsibility for his land.

Read more about the great work the Conants are doing for water and soil quality.

Small Farm is the Perfect Fit for Vermont Livestock Farmer, Gordon Waite

Gordon maintains his continually cheerful attitude because he enjoys caring for his animals’ health and welfare, despite the constant concern of coyotes, foxes, and dealing with seventeen expectant mothers. Gordon currently is looking after fifty newly hatched chickens and helping his daughter succeed in the egg business, a true family collaboration.

Read more about Gordon's dedication to conserving his 67-acre farm.

Conservation Success at Cedar Hill Farm

Bristol, Vermont - Cedar Hill Farm sees efficiency benefits from protecting their natural resources with NRCS technical and financial assistance and is leaving a legacy for future generations.

Read the story of how they became the 2013 Conservation Farmer of the Year  from the Otter Creek Conservation District and view amazing before and after images.

Vermont Farmers Enhance Success with NRCS Techncial and Financial Assistance

Westford, Vermont - Over the past eight years, the Pouliots have worked diligently with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the development of their conservation plan. The Pouliot farm’s success in resource conservation is a tribute to the concept of private landowners taking ownership of conserving natural resources.

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Farmers Help Further Water Quality Science

Williston, Vermont - Local Producers Implement New USDA Water Quality Monitoring Program. Join us for a look at the Williston Cattle Company and how their innovative management culture is helping further water quality science in the Lake Champlain Basin.

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WHIP Forestry Initiative is Helping Vermonters Rebuild Wildlife Habitat

Enosburg, Vermont - Conservation practices offered through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) New England / New York Forestry Initiative have assisted Richard Carr in improving his forest quality and enhancing the existing wildlife habitat on his property. NRCS technical assistance helped Carr formulate a strategy for achieving and maintaining his forest management goals.

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Keeping Forests Productive in the Northeast Kingdom

Troy, Vermont - David and Sylvia Hutchinson achieve conservation objectives by enrolling 150 acres in the NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) New England / New York Forestry Initiative. Conservation practices implemented on their land through this special initiative improved the functionality of their forest, and led to an increase in sightings of all types of wildlife on the property. 

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EQIP: The Bottom Line for Profits and Pastures  

The Forgues Farm in  Northern Vermont once just barely eked out a living for Travis and  Amy Forgues and their growing family.  Like other dairy farmers, their traditional confinement system, based on corn silage and alfalfa, kept their operation going but without much left over. As milk prices fell the Forgues went deeper into debt.  For over 17 years, they had struggled with their traditional dairy enterprise and then finally, had had enough.

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 EQIP Hard at Work in Vermont

Next year, the NRCS-administered Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)  contract for the East Hill Farm in Plainfield, Vt will expire.  But not before the two family owned operation will become the first horse farm in Vermont to receive a Conservation Farm of the Year award.

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 Keeping the Green in Green Mountain State

The NRCS Farmland & Ranchland Program (FRPP) is going to help the Green Mountain State stay that way if more farmers follow the example of the DeVos family of Ferrisburgh, Vt.

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 Organic Gaining Ground

There is just not enough of Rock Bottom Farm's organic ice cream to go around. "It's going to be along time before supply exceeds demand", says Earl Ransom, owner of Rock bottom Farm along with his wife, Amy. 

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