Vermont Agency of Agriculture

Montpelier, VT, United States

Vermont Agency of Agriculture

Montpelier, VT, United States
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

On May 16, 2017 Ski Vermont donated a record breaking $19,980.00 to Larson Farm and Creamery in Wells, VT. The donation comes from the proceeds of the 2016-17 seasonal Fifth Grade Passport sales which helped over 3,100 children to ski and snowboard in Vermont for free this winter. The Ski Vermont grant, which is part of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, will help the Larson family develop marketing, packaging and cover initial startup costs for their new line of dairy products. New products will include cream-line milk, yogurt, skyr, gelato and butter. The WLE Initiative works to protect and progress the working landscape of Vermont by investing in agricultural and forestry based businesses. “Ski Vermont has been donating Fifth Grade Passport proceeds to the agricultural and environmental communities of Vermont for seven years now, and this year is no different. The Larson family and their farm represent what it means to be Vermonters who are putting their heart and soul into bettering their community and providing local, healthy and organic food options,” said Chloe Elliott, Ski Vermont Communications Manager. “We at Ski Vermont feel passionately about our passport program and the benefits of enabling children to partake in sports like skiing and snowboarding at a young age so that they can not only discover a lifelong passion for these sports, but they can also create healthy lifestyle habits, such as engaging in physical activity and eating locally sourced, healthy foods.” “It is so important to us to have Ski Vermont’s continued support of the agricultural and tourism industries here in Vermont,” said Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Business Development Section Chief with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. “Both the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative and Ski Vermont have a mission of protecting the landscape of the Green Mountains while also growing a sustainable economy. To achieve this we must support local businesses and invite Vermonters and visitors to experience all that our state has to offer, from skiing and snowboarding, to local foods like Larson’s dairy products.” Next season, 2017-18, will mark the eighteenth year of enriching families’ winters with the Fifth Grade Passport program. Each year the program grows exponentially and as of the final seventeenth year headcount, the program has enabled over 23,100 children to partake in skiing and snowboarding at Vermont’s resorts. Next season’s passports will go on sale in early fall of 2017 for $11 and passports can be purchased at skivermont.com/FGP. Ski Vermont is a proud ambassador of the thriving winter tourism industry in Vermont, where the legislature has designated skiing and snowboarding as the official state sports. Vermont is not only the #1 ski state in the East and among the top ski states in the US, but also reigns supreme in snowmaking quality and coverage, variety of terrain and historical impact on the sports of skiing and snowboarding - making it one of the most significant ski and ride destinations in the world. Ski Vermont’s mission is to help create a legislative, economic and social environment in which the state's ski areas can grow and prosper. It serves over 20 Alpine and 30 Nordic member resorts in three major areas: Governmental Affairs, Marketing and Public Affairs. In 2012, the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) was signed into law. The Initiative supports, grows, and sustains Vermont’s entrepreneurs by providing technical and financial assistance to help Working Lands businesses innovate and grow. The grant money and loan programs directly impact businesses and service providers by helping to create jobs, build infrastructure, provide technical aid, and promote growth. The program also protects Vermont’s greatest natural resource: its land. Founded by Richard and Cynthia Larson in 1977, the Larson family is proud to offer fresh, healthy food to their community in Wells, VT and beyond. With a herd of 33 Jersey cows, the Larson’s product line includes fresh milk, beef, eggs and as the result of the 2017 Ski Vermont grant, will expand to offering cream-line milk, yogurt, skyr, gelato and butter. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/dfa73ab6-d642-4b72-be63-f426afcce762 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4fb5c1be-d280-4e5e-89d8-fbed1af02a7d


On May 16, 2017 Ski Vermont donated a record breaking $19,980.00 to Larson Farm and Creamery in Wells, VT. The donation comes from the proceeds of the 2016-17 seasonal Fifth Grade Passport sales which helped over 3,100 children to ski and snowboard in Vermont for free this winter. The Ski Vermont grant, which is part of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, will help the Larson family develop marketing, packaging and cover initial startup costs for their new line of dairy products. New products will include cream-line milk, yogurt, skyr, gelato and butter. The WLE Initiative works to protect and progress the working landscape of Vermont by investing in agricultural and forestry based businesses. “Ski Vermont has been donating Fifth Grade Passport proceeds to the agricultural and environmental communities of Vermont for seven years now, and this year is no different. The Larson family and their farm represent what it means to be Vermonters who are putting their heart and soul into bettering their community and providing local, healthy and organic food options,” said Chloe Elliott, Ski Vermont Communications Manager. “We at Ski Vermont feel passionately about our passport program and the benefits of enabling children to partake in sports like skiing and snowboarding at a young age so that they can not only discover a lifelong passion for these sports, but they can also create healthy lifestyle habits, such as engaging in physical activity and eating locally sourced, healthy foods.” “It is so important to us to have Ski Vermont’s continued support of the agricultural and tourism industries here in Vermont,” said Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Business Development Section Chief with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. “Both the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative and Ski Vermont have a mission of protecting the landscape of the Green Mountains while also growing a sustainable economy. To achieve this we must support local businesses and invite Vermonters and visitors to experience all that our state has to offer, from skiing and snowboarding, to local foods like Larson’s dairy products.” Next season, 2017-18, will mark the eighteenth year of enriching families’ winters with the Fifth Grade Passport program. Each year the program grows exponentially and as of the final seventeenth year headcount, the program has enabled over 23,100 children to partake in skiing and snowboarding at Vermont’s resorts. Next season’s passports will go on sale in early fall of 2017 for $11 and passports can be purchased at skivermont.com/FGP. Ski Vermont is a proud ambassador of the thriving winter tourism industry in Vermont, where the legislature has designated skiing and snowboarding as the official state sports. Vermont is not only the #1 ski state in the East and among the top ski states in the US, but also reigns supreme in snowmaking quality and coverage, variety of terrain and historical impact on the sports of skiing and snowboarding - making it one of the most significant ski and ride destinations in the world. Ski Vermont’s mission is to help create a legislative, economic and social environment in which the state's ski areas can grow and prosper. It serves over 20 Alpine and 30 Nordic member resorts in three major areas: Governmental Affairs, Marketing and Public Affairs. In 2012, the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) was signed into law. The Initiative supports, grows, and sustains Vermont’s entrepreneurs by providing technical and financial assistance to help Working Lands businesses innovate and grow. The grant money and loan programs directly impact businesses and service providers by helping to create jobs, build infrastructure, provide technical aid, and promote growth. The program also protects Vermont’s greatest natural resource: its land. Founded by Richard and Cynthia Larson in 1977, the Larson family is proud to offer fresh, healthy food to their community in Wells, VT and beyond. With a herd of 33 Jersey cows, the Larson’s product line includes fresh milk, beef, eggs and as the result of the 2017 Ski Vermont grant, will expand to offering cream-line milk, yogurt, skyr, gelato and butter. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/dfa73ab6-d642-4b72-be63-f426afcce762 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4fb5c1be-d280-4e5e-89d8-fbed1af02a7d


Eisen R.J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | MacMillan K.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Swope B.N.,Inviragen | Saxton-Shaw K.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2013

Serum samples from 489 free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were screened for antibodies against the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) using plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNTs). EEEV antibodies were detected in 10.2% of serum samples. This is the first evidence that EEEV is present in Vermont. Serum was collected from deer in all 14 counties in the state, and positive EEEV sera were found in 12 (85%) of 14 counties, suggesting statewide EEEV activity in Vermont. Analysis of the spatial distribution of PRNT-positive samples revealed a random distribution of EEEV throughout the state. The results indicate widespread EEEV activity in Vermont and suggest that EEEV is not a recent introduction to the state but that EEEV activity has not been detected until now. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, APHIS VS and Vermont Agency of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The first known outbreak of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Vermont occurred on an emu farm in Rutland County in 2011. The first isolation of EEE virus (EEEV) in Vermont (VT11) was during this outbreak. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that VT11 was most closely related to FL01, a strain from Florida isolated in 2001, which is both geographically and temporally distinct from VT11. EEEV RNA was not detected in any of the 3,905 mosquito specimens tested, and the specific vectors associated with this outbreak are undetermined.


PubMed | University of Massachusetts Boston, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vermont Agency of Agriculture and University of Vermont
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Ticks and tick-borne diseases | Year: 2016

Reducing exposure to ticks can help prevent Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases. Although it is currently recommended to dry clothes on high heat for one hour to kill ticks on clothing after spending time outdoors, this recommendation is based on a single published study of tick survival under various washing conditions and a predetermined one-hour drying time. We conducted a series of tests to investigate the effects of temperature, humidity, and drying time on killing nymphal and adult blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). Muslin bags containing 5 ticks each were washed then dried or dried only with six cotton towels during each drying cycle. All nymphal and adult ticks were killed when exposed to wash cycles when the water temperature reached 54C (130F); however, 50% of ticks survived hot water washes when the water temperature was <54C. The majority (94%) of ticks survived warm washes [temperature range, 27-46C (80-115F)] and all ticks survived cold washes [15-27C (59-80F)]. When subsequently dried on high heat setting [54-85C (129-185F)], it took 50min to kill all ticks (95% confidence limit, 55min). Most significantly, we found that all adult and nymphal ticks died when placed directly in the dryer with dry towels and dried for 4min on high heat (95% confidence limit, 6min). We have identified effective, easily implemented methods to rid clothing of ticks after spending time outdoors. Placing clothing directly in a dryer and drying for a minimum of 6min on high heat will effectively kill ticks on clothing. If clothing is soiled and requires washing first, our results indicate clothing should be washed with water temperature 54C (130F) to kill ticks. When practiced with other tick-bite prevention methods, these techniques could further reduce the risk of acquiring tickborne diseases.


Kim J.J.,Vermont Geological Survey | Comstock J.,Vermont Agency of Agriculture | Ryan P.,Middlebury College | Heindel C.,Waite Heindel Environmental Management | Koenigsberger S.,Middlebury College
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

In 2000, elevated nitrate concentrations ranging from 12 to 34 mg/L NO3[Formula presented] were discovered in groundwater from numerous domestic bedrock wells adjacent to a large dairy farm in central Vermont. Long-term plots and contours of nitrate vs. time for bedrock wells showed “little/no”, “moderate”, and “large” change patterns that were spatially separable. The metasedimentary bedrock aquifer is strongly anisotropic and groundwater flow is controlled by fractures, bedding/foliation, and basins and ridges in the bedrock surface. Integration of the nitrate concentration vs. time data and the physical and chemical aquifer characterization suggest two nitrate sources: a point source emanating from a waste ravine and a non-point source that encompasses the surrounding fields. Once removed, the point source of NO3 (manure deposited in a ravine) was exhausted and NO3 dropped from 34 mg/L to < 10 mg/L after ~ 10 years; however, persistence of NO3 in the 3 to 8 mg/L range (background) reflects the long term flux of nitrates from nutrients applied to the farm fields surrounding the ravine over the years predating and including this study. Inferred groundwater flow rates from the waste ravine to either moderate change wells in basin 2 or to the shallow bedrock zone beneath the large change wells are 0.05 m/day, well within published bedrock aquifer flow rates. Enrichment of 15N and 18O in nitrate is consistent with lithotrophic denitrification of NO3 in the presence of dissolved Mn and Fe. Once the ravine point-source was removed, denitrification and dilution collectively were responsible for the down-gradient decrease of nitrate in this bedrock aquifer. Denitrification was most influential when NO3[Formula presented] was > 10 mg/L. Our multidisciplinary methods of aquifer characterization are applicable to groundwater contamination in any complexly-deformed and metamorphosed bedrock aquifer. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Molaei G.,Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases | Armstrong P.M.,Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases | Graham A.C.,Vermont Agency of Agriculture | Kramer L.D.,New York State Department of Health | Andreadis T.G.,Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) causes a highly pathogenic zoonosis that circulates in an enzootic cycle involving the ornithophagic mosquito, Culiseta melanura, and wild passerine birds in freshwater hardwood swamps in the northeastern U.S. Epidemic/epizootic transmission to humans/equines typically occurs towards the end of the transmission season and is generally assumed to be mediated by locally abundant and contiguous mammalophagic "bridge vector" mosquitoes. Methods: Engorged mosquitoes were collected using CDC light, resting box, and gravid traps during epidemic transmission of EEEV in 2012 in Addison and Rutland counties, Vermont. Mosquitoes were identified to species and blood meal analysis performed by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome b gene polymerase chain reaction products. Infection status with EEEV in mosquitoes was determined using cell culture and RT-PCR assays, and all viral isolates were sequenced and compared to other EEEV strains by phylogenetic analysis. Results: The host choices of 574 engorged mosquitoes were as follows: Cs. melanura (n=331, 94.3 % avian-derived, 5.7 % mammalian-derived); Anopheles quadrimaculatus (n=164, 3.0 % avian, 97.0 % mammalian); An. punctipennis (n=56, 7.2 % avian, 92.8 % mammalian), Aedes vexans (n=9, 22.2 % avian, 77.8 % mammalian); Culex pipiens s.l. n=6, 100 % avian); Coquillettidia perturbans (n=4, 25.0 % avian, 75.0 % mammalian); and Cs. morsitans (n=4, 100 % avian). A seasonal shift in blood feeding by Cs. melanura from Green Heron towards other avian species was observed. EEEV was successfully isolated from blood-fed Cs. melanura and analyzed by phylogenetic analysis. Vermont strains from 2012 clustered with viral strains previously isolated in Virginia yet were genetically distinct from an earlier EEEV isolate from Vermont during 2011. Conclusions: Culiseta melanura acquired blood meals primarily from birds and focused feeding activity on several competent species capable of supporting EEEV transmission. Culiseta melanura also occasionally obtained blood meals from mammalian hosts including humans. This mosquito species serves as the primary vector of EEEV among wild bird species, but also is capable of occasionally contributing to epidemic/epizootic transmission of EEEV to humans/equines. Other mosquito species including Cq. perturbans that feed more opportunistically on both avian and mammalian hosts may be important in epidemic/epizootic transmission under certain conditions. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that EEEV was independently introduced into Vermont on at least two separate occasions. © 2015 Molaei et al.


PubMed | Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, Vermont Agency of Agriculture and New York State Department of Health
Type: | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2015

Eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) causes a highly pathogenic zoonosis that circulates in an enzootic cycle involving the ornithophagic mosquito, Culiseta melanura, and wild passerine birds in freshwater hardwood swamps in the northeastern U.S. Epidemic/epizootic transmission to humans/equines typically occurs towards the end of the transmission season and is generally assumed to be mediated by locally abundant and contiguous mammalophagic bridge vector mosquitoes.Engorged mosquitoes were collected using CDC light, resting box, and gravid traps during epidemic transmission of EEEV in 2012 in Addison and Rutland counties, Vermont. Mosquitoes were identified to species and blood meal analysis performed by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome b gene polymerase chain reaction products. Infection status with EEEV in mosquitoes was determined using cell culture and RT-PCR assays, and all viral isolates were sequenced and compared to other EEEV strains by phylogenetic analysis.The host choices of 574 engorged mosquitoes were as follows: Cs. melanura (n=331, 94.3% avian-derived, 5.7% mammalian-derived); Anopheles quadrimaculatus (n=164, 3.0% avian, 97.0% mammalian); An. punctipennis (n=56, 7.2% avian, 92.8% mammalian), Aedes vexans (n=9, 22.2% avian, 77.8% mammalian); Culex pipiens s.l. n=6, 100% avian); Coquillettidia perturbans (n=4, 25.0% avian, 75.0% mammalian); and Cs. morsitans (n=4, 100% avian). A seasonal shift in blood feeding by Cs. melanura from Green Heron towards other avian species was observed. EEEV was successfully isolated from blood-fed Cs. melanura and analyzed by phylogenetic analysis. Vermont strains from 2012 clustered with viral strains previously isolated in Virginia yet were genetically distinct from an earlier EEEV isolate from Vermont during 2011.Culiseta melanura acquired blood meals primarily from birds and focused feeding activity on several competent species capable of supporting EEEV transmission. Culiseta melanura also occasionally obtained blood meals from mammalian hosts including humans. This mosquito species serves as the primary vector of EEEV among wild bird species, but also is capable of occasionally contributing to epidemic/epizootic transmission of EEEV to humans/equines. Other mosquito species including Cq. perturbans that feed more opportunistically on both avian and mammalian hosts may be important in epidemic/epizootic transmission under certain conditions. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that EEEV was independently introduced into Vermont on at least two separate occasions.


Lewis C.B.,Vermont Agency of Agriculture | Peters C.J.,Tufts University
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems | Year: 2012

Demand for locally and regionally produced meat has stimulated increased interest in livestock production among New England farmers. The region's livestock producers lament lack of access to slaughter and processing infrastructure. However, there is very little research on New England's slaughter industry to document this perceived problem. For this reason, we tested the hypothesis that a shortage of slaughter and processing infrastructure constrains the production of livestock for meat in New England. The region's large animal slaughter facility owners and managers were surveyed to determine current slaughter and processing capacity and identify challenges facilities face in meeting increased producer demand. The estimates of current capacity were then compared to USDA data on livestock slaughter and large animal marketings. The region's existing abattoirs could slaughter 63-84% of all animals marketed, but could process only 29-43%. New England's infrastructure for slaughter operated at only 38% of total physical capacity in 2009, while on-site processing infrastructure operated at 66% of total physical capacity (78% if only on-site inspected capacity is considered). Moreover, surveys with facility operators showed that the primary constraints faced by existing slaughterhouses are a shortage of skilled labor and the seasonality of the livestock industry, with periods of very high demand for slaughter in the fall and very low demand in the spring and early summer. Additional infrastructure, particularly for processing, would be needed were regional livestock production to increase. However, simply increasing physical capacity will not address the issues of labor availability and demand seasonality expressed by slaughter facility owners. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.


Heiss S.N.,University of Vermont | Sevoian N.K.,Vermont Agency of Agriculture | Conner D.S.,University of Vermont | Berlin L.,University of Vermont
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2014

Farm to institution (FTI) programs represent alternative supply chains that aim to organize the activities of local producers with institutions that feed the local community. The current study demonstrates the value of structuration theory (Giddens in J Theory Soc Behav 13(1):75–80, 1983; The constitution of society: outline of the theory of structuration. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1984) for conceptualizing how FTI agents create, maintain, and change organizational structures associated with FTI and traditional supply chains. Based on interviews with supply chain agents participating in FTI programs, we found that infrastructure, relationships, and pricing were seen as important factors that enabled and constrained FTI organizing. Additionally, we describe how FTI organizing serves to simultaneously reinforce and challenge the practices associated with traditional supply chains. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as well as directions for future research. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Loading Vermont Agency of Agriculture collaborators
Loading Vermont Agency of Agriculture collaborators