Top Stories for Tuesday July 21, 2009
Bourdeau Brothers A Vital Resource For Farming In The Champlain Valley
By Ed Barna
If dairy farmers aren’t getting paid enough for milk to meet their costs, and if dairy farms are still producing milk, then someone must be carrying the farms’ debt load.
Yankee Farm Credit lends to farmers, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and some banks. But few have given credit (so to speak) to the companies that deal with farmers’ feeds, seeds, needs and machines, which aren’t labeled banks but are in some cases holding more IOUs than the depository institutions.
If farmers owe too much money, then these farm-related businesses are owed money they might not recoup. Part of the danger of the present dairy crisis is that it may go deep enough to damage the business infrastructure that has heretofore made dairying viable in Vermont.
A good example of why dairying has held on so tenaciously despite a horrendous pricing system is Bourdeau Brothers in Middlebury. That’s the name at the store and administrative center on Seymour Street; legally, Bourdeau & Bushey, Inc. does business as both Bourdeau Brothers and Feed Commodities International. [ more ]
Celebrating French Heritage Day
By Cookie Steponaitis
“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.” Alexis de Tocqueville (1833)
When French nobleman and historian Alexis de Tocqueville traveled America in the early 1800’s, he saw it through the lens of a historian and a recorder of social history. Both encouraged and amazed by the birth of a new nation and its ideals of freedom, he wrote home to his family, “I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions.” Traveling the country, he recorded his journey in the 1835 printing of Democracy in America, he recounted the passion, ingenuity, durability and unbridled energy of the nation that was in the process of growth. He remarked constantly in his work about the joining of the French and new American cultures and how the bonds not only strengthened the new nation, but served as a future link between the people, cultures and countries.
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Celebrating The Essence Of A Vermont Summer & Forty Years Of The Artistry Of Warren Case
By Cookie Steponaitis
The 1952 Vermont Life Cover proudly bears the heading, “This is a story about a way of life… and the story of life in Vermont.” Adorning the cover is a quintessential summer scene with leaves of varying hues of green hanging suspended in a moment of warm sun in a crowded town square clamoring with life of all ages. Laughter rises, hands are clasped, and berries, flowers and music fill the mind with imagery. A well known landmark mountain is prominent in the background and the spires of a white church rise in the distance. A postcard image out of time, or is it? What defines a Vermont summer and how do others around the world view us based on an imagery that exports details about life in the Green Mountain State?
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