Winter 2018 Newsletter


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President's Report
by Jean Hamilton

My work in local food systems shows me firsthand the impacts of food and retail market consolidation on Vermont’s farmers, economy, and citizens. With feet planted into the grassroots of farm fields, farmers markets, and locally owned groceries, watching corporate acquisitions and mergers can feel like watching an approaching tsunami of wealth inequality, extractive industries, and dismantled public goods. While no one wants their communities to be gutted and polluted, we each struggle to resist the allure of cheaper prices, direct door delivery, and 24/7 access to consumables. How do we survive the tsunami? Or better yet, can we prevent it from sweeping over our community?...

Treasurer Report – 2018 Q1 through Q3
Giordano Checchi

As many of us know 2018 has been a year of major changes.  These changes negatively impacted the financial results of 2017 Q4 and up to the 3rd Quarter of this year.  In a process that started during the last quarter of 2017, the management of our Co-op transitioned from a Management Collective to a General Manager organization.  The new General Manager, Kevin Levesque, was appointed in June 2018, but he spent most of his initial time organizing the Co-op operations.  Changes started to be seen in August, and the preliminary numbers of the month of October confirm this positive trend...

The State of Dairy in Vermont
By Kyla Bedard, Dairy Certification Specialist, Vermont Organic Farmers

(Reprinted with permission by NOFA Vermont)

Dairy farms are quintessential to Vermont’s working landscape; a predominant reason for the open meadows, fields of grain and agricultural infrastructure we see statewide. Many farmers choose to farm for the opportunity to work the land, their love of animals, and being an important part of a rural community. Today, this way of life is being threatened by a global oversupply of milk and a broken commodity market in which farmers are being paid close to or below their cost of production. Dairy farming has always had its cycle of ups and downs, but for the last several years, conventional dairy prices have remained depressed without the usual upswing and now there is a similar shrinking of profit margins in the organic industry as well. These negative changes in the dairy market are forcing smaller farms to go out of business and leading to increased consolidation of the farms that remain. In 2010, there were 1,015 dairies in Vermont but today only 735 remain, of which over 25% (194) are certified organic...

Jersey Girls
by Gail Falk

When Chloe started stocking Rogers Farmstead yogurt in the Co-op cooler last year, it became my daily breakfast food.  I’ve been wanting to visit the Rogers Farmstead, owned by Nathan and Jessie Rogers, since I first tasted their smooth creamy yogurt at the Montpelier Farmers Market a few years ago.  I wanted to know what made it so yummy. Thanks to a Newsletter assignment, I got my chance...

Organic Dairy Scorecard
from The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org)

Unlike the industrial dairies, true organic farmers concentrate on soil fertility and nutrient-superior milk production from fresh pasture, and end up with cows that live long and healthy lives in comparison to 'organic' industrial dairies that are so similar to the inhumane and ecologically damaging conventional factory farms. True organic, pasture-based production produces milk with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial antioxidants...

Manager’s Report
by Kevin Levesque

The weather has changed and winter is upon us. With blankets of snow comes the covering of what we knew in the past, and thus begins the look forward. Recently, we hired a new Maintenance Coordinator for the Co-op after many amazing years with Kathleen Hayes at the helm. I am sure many of you already know Chris Thompson of the local Owl Hill Farm, but if not, then let me just point out how lucky we are to have him join our team at the Co-op. Additionally, our longtime sub Charlotte Domino has taken on the role of Membership Coordinator.  Charlotte is extremely passionate about our Co-op members, and we really look forward to the positive impact she will make within, and outside of the Co-op...

Building Committee Report
by Mike Brosky

It’s been a busy year for the Building Committee!  When the Co-op decided to move to a traditional management structure with a General Manager, it was also decided that more office space was going to be required.  In April of this year work began on converting a room adjacent the Community Center into an office with work completed in July in time for Kevin to move in shortly after starting... 

Introducing . . . . Our New Membership Coordinator!
by Charlotte Domino

Hello! I’m Charlotte, the new Membership Coordinator. I’ve been working at our Co-op for almost three years, and there are many things I’ve come to appreciate and love about this little store. I mean, what’s not to love? Local foods, local friends, supporting each other through local commerce and economy...

New Products
by Chloe Budnick

Meat, Dairy, Refrigerated, Ferments, Bulk, Bakery...

The Co-op Feeds Your Pets, Too
by Glenda Bissex

Check out the expanded pet section for more foods, canned and dry, and treats. We have a new, local supplier with an extensive catalog, so members can special order many items that are not regularly stocked. Additionally, bags of raw chicken necks or backs can be special ordered. I started feeding my cat raw necks on a veterinarian's recommendation that chewing them serves as a toothbrush. Be sure to feed only raw bones as cooked ones splinter dangerously...

Recipes
by Debra Stoleroff

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup / Cheese Blintzes / Tapioca Pudding with Berries...

 

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   Plainfield, VT 05667