The Farmer’s Watershed Alliance’s 2018 Annual Meeting was held at the St. Albans Elks Lodge 1566 on Thursday, April 12th. There were 68 attendees – check out some highlights below!
The evening began with opening remarks from our Chair, Darlene Reynolds. She gave an introduction, spoke of the importance of getting farmer’s stories in the media, Vermont’s current agricultural climate, and the ways in which the FWA supports our members.
Guests then enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Dairy Center Catering! After dinner there was a series of presentations. Catherine Davidson, FWA Program Coordinator, showcased the FWA’s 2017 achievements as well as 2018 projects that farmer’s can get involved with.
- Hiring of a full-time Program Coordinator – August 2017
- Updated website/web presence
- Building and implementing a cloud-based online database system for membership
- Additional funding awarded through writing successful grant/contract proposals/applications
- FWA’s first Precision Agriculture Forum – January 2018
- FWA’s first booth at the Vermont Farm Show – January/February 2018
- The 6 AerWays FWA owns – used on 978 acres over 7 farms
- Installing 3 Grassed Waterways on Farms this spring with funding awarded through the Lake Champlain Basin Program
2018/2019 Projects to get involved in:
- Grassed Waterways and Filter Strips program funded by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture
- 5-part Precision Agriculture on Farms in Vermont Video Series funded by the Lake Champlain Basin Program
Heather Darby, FWA Treasurer, gave a presentation on the UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Team/FWA ongoing Tile Drainage project, followed by a legislative update.
Jeff Sanders, FWA’s Farm Assessment Coordinator, talked about the work FWA has accomplished through the VAAFM Northlake contract. A total of $115,000 has been spent by VAAFM thus far on these projects. We have 7 contracted projects, of which 2 have been completed:
- Excavate fallen manure stack from man-made pond -> Completion of this project has reduced the potential for nutrients to leach into Lake Carmi and conservation habitat
- Barnyard improvement, clean water diversion, lane-way improvement -> Completion of this project has reduced nutrient loss to surface waters and improved the barnyard making for happier cows!
‘Remembering Dick Longway’: The FWA played an Across the Fence clip of when Dick won ‘2010 Vermont Dairy Farmer of the Year’. His family was given a plaque by the FWA recognizing him as a leader in the agricultural community, being on the forefront of implementing and promoting land stewardship on farms in Vermont.
The evening closed with a comedy & music performance by comedian Rusty DeWees!
Thank you to all of our members and sponsors who made this evening possible: