Written by Kate Stephenson After spending the past seven years providing low interest loans to farmers across the state to grow their businesses, the Vermont Farm Fund is expanding to partner with the Vermont Land Trust to offer loans to farmers who have gone through VLT’s Farmland Access Program. The Farmland…
Download 3.3: Livestock/Meat (PDF 8MB)
Vermont livestock producers range from families with a few animals kept mainly for their own use, to hundred-head operations raising for the commercial market. Consumer interest in source-verified, organic and/or grass-fed meat produced using specific standards creates a significant advantage for Vermont livestock farms because Vermont has an oustanding climate for grass production.
Additionally, as the Vermont dairy industry continues to respond to market stresses, dairy farmers with substaintial herd management experience may wish to explore other forms of production, or former dairy farm land may be available for other types of livestock husbandry. Dairy management skills, equipment, and infrastructure are transferrable to both beef and sheep production.
Although demand for Vermont grown meat typically outstrips supply, farmers face considerable challenges to increased livestock production, including the cost and seasonality of production, access to slaughter, and insufficient production assistance for the development of high quality animals for the market.
Search the Atlas: Find beef, pork, lamb, goat, poultry, as well as butchers and processors. -Show Categories
Written by JJ Vandette Fifteen years ago, Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching started selling the extra produce from their prolific vegetable garden. They invested in some chickens, then some livestock, some more land, and before they knew it they were farming full-time. Fast forward to today. Jericho Settlers Farm is a…
Written by Jake Claro When you ask people their definition of the Vermont food economy, they’ll often talk about farms, farmers’ markets or CSAs. What’s often missing from the conversation are the supply chain of local businesses such as distributors, food processors and manufacturers, and seed, feed, and equipment dealers. Vermont’s local…
Written by Kate Spring In 2013, writer Kate Spring and her husband started Good Heart Farmstead with the mission to make local food more accessible. Not only did they aspire to make it easier for people to find local food, but they wanted to make it easier for them to afford…
Written by Nadine Berrini In 2006, Lisa MacDougall and a business partner started Mighty Food Farm on five leased acres in Pownal with a 1953 Ford Golden Jubilee and an old Troy-Bilt rototiller. She now has 200+ members in her year-round CSA and 10 employees. Lisa spent six years searching for…
Written by Molly Willard Vermont Tech is one of several educational institutions in Vermont helping to strengthen the food system. In collaboration with other educational institutions, degrees and certificate programs are offered to help meet Vermont’s Farm to Plate food system plan goal to offer a wide range of curricula,…
Written by Shane Rogers Green Mountain Farm Direct, a food hub run by Green Mountain Farm-to-School, is working to connect local farmers with schools, restaurants, and institutions across northern Vermont to increase the farm’s sales and boost consumption of local food in institutions and the overall region. Those partnerships have created…
Written by Katie Spring Published in Vermont's Local Banquet In 2012, new farmers Jesse McDougall and his wife, Cally, decided not to spray the kinds of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that had long been applied to their hayfields in Shaftsbury. Their 50-acre farm, which had been in Cally’s family since 1936, was…
Written by Caitlin Gildrien Published in Vermont's Local Banquet Early on a January morning in 2011, Pete Johnson of Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury heard a funny noise. When he looked out his window, he saw his barn engulfed in flames. The building and all of the equipment and product inside was in…
Prepared by Carrie Abels for the Financing Cross-Cutting Team Bread & Butter Farm, which straddles the South Burlington/Shelburne border, sells an array of farm products and experiences—everything from grass-fed beef to fresh-baked German bread to winter vegetables to farm-fresh burgers served on Friday evening “Burger Nights.” But the diversity of Bread &…
Written by Caroline Abels Vermont's Local Banquet Ironically, given that it’s the only slaughterhouse in Vermont with public viewing windows, the new Vermont Packinghouse doesn’t have a single window on the outside, save on the front door of the main office. I peered through that office window when I visited the newly…
Written by Mari Omland Read more in Vermont's Local Banquet Spring 2014 issue. At a wedding last summer, I sat next to a neighbor who buys her Thanksgiving turkey from our farm. She described her daily drive-by dose of the farm, and her ritual of slowing down to see where the goats, pigs,…
Whiz by it on Route 2 between Richmond and Bolton and you might think it was an abandoned rail car, a housing unit for migrant farm workers, or a storage shed. Bland and inconspicuous, the boxy structure doesn’t look like it has the potential to re-shape Vermont’s local food scene…
White walls and stainless steel sinks and industrial-sized freezers and workers in smocks may not form our image of “local food.” But if Vermont agriculture and food production are to remain viable, places like the Mad River Food Hub might become increasingly necessary. Opened in October 2011, the Mad River Food…
Yes, there is a knoll—and it’s misty. At least it was on the day this past October when I visited Misty Knoll Farms, Vermont’s largest chicken producer. Standing on the small rise at the eastern edge of the farm in New Haven, facing a swath of Addison County dairy land below…
Tony Brault has cut things all his life, everything except his own hair, and he’s so busy lately, he hasn’t gotten around to letting someone else at it. One of his earliest memories as a kid in the Northeast Kingdom is “standing on an overturned soda crate, cutting meat beside…
At Maple Wind Farm in Huntington, the beef cattle “harvest their own feed,” as farmer Bruce Hennessey likes to say. They’re grass-fed cattle, meaning that for six and sometimes seven months of the year they eat grass on pasture, using their own energy to walk around and fatten themselves. Bruce, who…
Prepared by Alex DePillis, Senior Agricultural Development Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Highlights: 180 kW (AC) of installed capacity ● ≈200,000 kWh generated annually ● Minimal changes to the roof structure required ● Largest PV installation on a barn in Vermont Download the pdf. Upon retirement, Carol and Perry Hodgdon sold…
- John W. Comerford, Lynn F. Klme, Karen E. Knoll, and Jayson K. Harper, "Agricultural Alternatives: Dairy Beef Production", Penn State University, 2008.
- Rosalie J. Wilson, Vermont Ground Beef Marketing Study, 2006.
- Schwab, D, et al., "Grass-fed and Organic Beef: Production Costs and Breakeven Market Prices, 2008 and 2009", Animal Industry Report 658 no. 1, 2012.
- David S. Conner and Diana Oppenheim, "Demand for Pasture-Raised Livestock Products: Results from Michigan Retail Surveys," Journal of Agribusiness, 26 (1), 2008: 1-20.
- B. Larsen, J. Kleibenstein, and M. Honeyman, "Cost of Organic Pork Production", Iowa State University, 2001.
4. Animal Welfare
- Jason Lusk, F. Bailey Norwood, and Robert W. Prickett, "Consumer Preferences for Farm Animal: Results of a Nationwide Telephone Survey", Oklahoma State University, 2007.
1. Vermont Data
2. USDA - Vermont Beef Data
3. USDA - Vermont Poultry Data
4. USDA - Vermont Pork Data
5. USDA - Vermont Lamb and Goat Data
- USDA NASS New England Agricultural Statistics - Sheep, Lamb, and Goats (2003-2012)
- USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, Vermont Sheep and Lamb Inventory 2007, Table 29 page 25.
6. USDA - Vermont Livestock Sales Data
- Figure 3.3.1: Moving Meat from Farm to Plate jpg 2MB
- Figure 3.3.2: Inventory of Vermont Livestock Farms jpg 151K
- Table 3.3.1: Inventory of Vermont Livestock jpg 339K
- Table 3.3.2: Number of Vermont Livestock Sold jpg 305K
- Figure 3.3.3: Value of Sales from Vermont-Raised Livestock, 1997 to 2007 jpg 361K
- Table 3.3.3: Value of Vermont Livestock Sales as a Percentage of Total Sales and Nondairy Sales, 2007 jpg 231K
- Figure 3.3.4: Vermont Cattle Operations jpg 589K
- Figure 3.3.5: Vermont Cattle Inventory jpg 143K
- Table 3.3.4: Vermont Beef Cow Inventory, 2007 jpg 203K
- Table 3.3.5: Vermont Beef Sales by Size of Farm, 2007 jpg 204K
- Table 3.3.6: Vermont Sheep and Lamb Inventory, 2007 jpg 155K
- Table 3.3.7: Vermont Ewes 1 Year or Older Sales, 2007 jpg 156K
- Table 3.3.8: Vermont Hog and Pig Sales, 2007 jpg 198K
- Figure 3.3.6 Vermont Poultry Inventory jpg 119K
- Figure 3.3.7: U.S. Per Capita Meat Availability (Consumer Weight, Boneless Equivalent), 1970-2010 jpg 406K
- Table 3.3.9: Food Availability per Capita for Selected Products, 2007 jpg 2MB
- Figure 3.3.9: Animal Slaughtering and Processing Facilities with Production Locations by Type jpg 1MB
- Table 3.3.10: Vermont Inspected Slaughter Facilities jpg 842K
- USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture Livestock Maps