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As you might guess most farms in VT are small family farms. The terrain does not lend itself to large tracts that can be corporately farmed. Traditional dairy is in decline as it is just too hard to compete with the big corporate farms in the midwest. The ones that do OK have gone organic or supply the regional cheese and yogurt manufacturers, or that make their own. Some farms have switched to small scale beef operations for local markets. The land is good for sheep and goats too. Most farms grow their own hay and corn for their animals. Apples thrive here and there has been huge growth in making hard cider. The Woodchuck and Angry Orchards brands are headquartered here. I have seen a trend towards trying different things such as grapes for wine, hops for local microbrews, honey etc. Anything that might keep the farms afloat. There are as well farms that do a certain amount of veggies for Farmer’s Markets and grocery store “local produce” sections. Locally produced is very popular here.

The two things we are best at is making maple syrup and growing stones. Maple syrup is part of our cultural identity. The fake “Aunt Jemima type stuff doesn’t cut it here.

As for stones you don’t even have to plant small pebbles in hopes of them growing into big ones. They seem to grow all on their own as the freeze-thaw cycle slowly brings them to the surface. We have to assemble the stone walls ourselves though.

I did read somewhere a govt. study that said VT is the only State on the East Coast that has enough agricultural resources to feed its own population. Of course only 624,000 people live here.