Vermont Grazing & Livestock Conference
The month of January is a time for renewal, a time for reflecting on the past year and planning for the new one. In farming, especially here in New England, the winter months are a time for rest, not only for the body but also for the mind. Farmers have so much planning to do and unfortunately, because farmers are hard at work much of the time, there is little time for socializing with other farmers.
Every year we look forward to winter farm conferences. One of our favorite gatherings is The Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference which is held annually in January at The Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, Vermont. A short drive for us up I 91, the setting is just gorgeous and we get to hang out with fellow farmers and foodies for an entire weekend, what's not to like? Aside from the learning that takes place in the talks that we attend, we are able to network with other New England farmers. We have met some amazing people over the years and have created lasting relationships with like-minded farmers which we feel is so important to staying motivated and positive in a difficult industry.
This year we were treated to a keynote speech by Diana Rodgers, a registered dietitian with a focus on teaching people about the case for better meat. Diana is working on a documentary called Kale vs. Cow: The Case for Better Meat which will delve into the reasons why red meat isn't all that bad, especially when cattle are raised in a regenerative model, healing the soil that they graze upon. We're excited for her movie as we think it's incredibly important for the population to recognize that yes, feedlots are bad, but not all meat has to be raised that way and giving up red meat altogether may not be the best choice for the environment and climate change. When we raise ruminants in a rotational way, such as the way we do here at WVF, we are able to heal the soil and actually build it for generations to come.
We can't wait to go to another conference! I'ts amazing how continuing education can put a spring back into your step, remind you of why you do the work you do, and how motivated you are when you come back to that work. We definitely feel the value of taking our staff to conferences such as The Vermont Grazing & Livestock Conference, what a difference these events can make in a team!