Friday, September 23, 2011

CAE collaborates with local high school for soil monitoring!

The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) is collaborating with Lamoille Union High School in a project to test local farm soils and streams in order to assess their health.

Ecology students from Lamoille Union, under the guidance of their teacher Amber March and CAE Research Associate Heather Davis, will begin farm visits in October. Multiple soil tests will be performed including surveying farmers and then analyzing the data.

The information gathered will support the ongoing efforts of local food systems monitoring by the CAE and supplement available soil data with current information of soil health. This work is an important “action item” that has been identified by Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and the Northern Vermont Development Association’s (NVDA) Northeast Kingdom Food System Plan developed by the CAE in June.

“Soils are a very relevant place to start this monitoring project.” explains Davis, “in my previous research, many farmers indicated soils to be the most important thing relating to the success of their farming. Soils are the base of our food system, and healthy soils are fundamental to successful agricultural production.”

If you have a farm, and are interested in participating, please contact Heather Davis at (802) 472-8024 or They are looking for a diversity of farms to participate in this program, and it is currently limited to six.

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