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The Effects of Climate Change on Maple & Dairy in Vermont: 50 Years in the Future

535 Lost Nation Rd
Craftsbury Common, VT

There will be major shifts in the dairy and maple industry worldwide over the next 50 years. Bulging worldwide population and shifts in climate will position some regions to benefit strongly in food production, including Vermont where dairy and maple thrive.

In the next 50 years, we will add 3 billion people to the earth’s population and about 2.5 billion of those folks will live in Africa and Asia. So, the demand for food worldwide will grow tremendously -- needing nearly 5-times more milk than the U.S. produces annually today. Demand for maple as a sweetener is also projected to increase. The regions of our country that have ample water to produce dairy products will shift eastward and northward. It is anticipated that regional maple production will be challenged by climatic changes.

Vermont is in a position to create a plan for dairy and maple to continue to be sustainable sources of nutrition for our region and beyond. Few foods deliver dairy’s powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way. Maple is valued as a sweetener for its flavor profile and bioactive molecules. For dairy and maple to continue their prominence in Vermont agriculture there are several things to consider, but importantly we must focus on what the world will be like in 50 years.

The Craftsbury Land Committee is presenting “The Effects of Climate Change on Maple & Dairy in Vermont: 50 Years in the Future” at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center at 7:00 on Wednesday, Sept 20. The speakers include Dr. Britt a scientist, teacher and consultant who has worked at Michigan State University, North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Britt is the author of 600 scientific and technical publications. He will be joined by Dr. Travis Reynolds, an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby College and a producer of organic maple syrup and beef at Stannard Farm. There will be a group discussion following their presentations.