Top Stories for Tuesday May 8, 2007
Will Colony Collapse Disorder Affect Vermont’s Agricultural Economy?
By Larry Johnson
Vermont honey bees produce 2/3 of a million pounds of honey annually, and make a small but important contribution to the state’s economy; more importantly, however, these hard working little fliers contribute untold millions of dollars to the agricultural economy of this state by pollinating its crops. Without bees in the world, we would quickly starve.
So whatever is happening to the bee population across the country is, to say the least, worrisome. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as many as 25% of the country’s bee population, in 27 states, has disappeared since last summer, and no one has a definitive answer as to why the bees are leaving their hives and not returning. [ more ]
Vermont Organic Fiber - A Hidden Treasure
By Dale Piper
Perhaps Middlebury's best kept secret is Vermont Organic Fiber Company, a producer of certified organic wool and cotton fabric, yarn and commercial batting, located in a warehouse on Seymour Street. The company's founder, Matt Mole, grew up on a Vermont farm, raising beef cattle, and graduated from UVM, where he majored in Agricultural Economics. That, combined with his farm upbringing, convinced him that rather than follow the traditional path of dairy or beef, a better path would be to find a niche market. While in school he worked on a hemp research project, which intrigued him. Knowing full well that there are still too many roadblocks to the commercial use of hemp in the state, he turned his attention to other fibers produced organically, primarily wool.
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A&W Set For Mid May Opening
By Mike Cameron
The Middlebury A&W season is about to begin and this year there will be a new chapter in the last remaining A&W in all of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
As we mentioned last week in this two part feature, Tony Neri and David Nienow will begin to write that next chapter over the next couple of weeks and both are excited about the prospects for the business.
“Solon, Sarah and Kim have done a great job keeping the A&W a popular summer spot for folks in Middlelbury and from around the region,” David Nienow explained during a recent interview with The Voice. He was referring to Solon G. Colburn, Sarah Cassidy and Kim Smith who recently sold the A&W property to Tony and Nancy Neri. The Neris will also own the A&W franchise, purchased from Yum Brands Inc. [ more ]