Thursday, May 31, 2012

Facing Your Fear of Financial Statements

We all have fears, but if you have a small farm or business, you need to face a fear of understanding your finances head on. Check out our latest blog post from Heidi Krantz, Certified Business Counselor at the Vermont Food Venture Center. 

Your Fear of Financial Statements
a word of encouragement for small business owners
by Heidi Krantz

One of the most common challenges faced by start up and early stage business owners is FEAR OF FINANCIALS. This topic seems daunting to many yet it is a skill set that is critical to the success of your business. I’d like to encourage and challenge folks to face this fear and learn to use the information available in a few key pieces of financial information to manage their businesses with more skill and even enjoyment!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Local Words: "Spring = Crazy" on a Diversified Vermont Farm

Ah, it has been awhile since we've posted Local Words for you!

Spring is busy. Busy with us here at the Center for an Agricultural Economy as we wrap up spring and ramp up for summer and busy at the Vermont Food Venture as we continue to welcome new clients, plan new workshops and get ready for a busy summer of processing.

Spring is busy for farmers could say "crazy busy".

This great post from Will Ameden, "The Flying Farmer" in Cabot, is a great example of what many small and diversified farms are like in Vermont this time of year. You can read more about his farm and flying business on his blog, Catamount Aviation and Under Orion Farm.

Enjoy the pictures and the post and then get outside for some of your own spring "crazy".

-Elena Gustavson
Program Director

Spring = Crazy

by Will Ameden in Cabot, Vermont
It has started.
Spring, with all of it’s craziness,  and never ending to-do lists, means late nights on top of  early mornings.
With the arrival of 17 Black Angus cows that I will be boarding for a local neighbor,  and the implementation of my Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) grazing plan, something I began in October 2010, I am spending hours managing our new “grass munchers”. This means moving lots of small, one acre paddocks, building loads of new fence, installing yards of waterline and lugging in 100-gallon water tubs. I have the Angus divided into 2 herds and they stay in each paddock for just a few days.
The grass is also in “crazy” mode, growing fast and long, which means haying season will start any day now. My neighbor and friend Nate Smith, a top notch welder, spent an afternoon repairing my hay elevator and other welding jobs around the farm.
Between the on-farm sawing jobs like clapboards for the Birdsalls as well as lumber for the new farm stand and lumber shed, the sawmill has been busy with off-farm custom sawing jobs as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Join us for Hardwick's SpringFest 2012

Join the community of Hardwick for SpringFest on Saturday, May 26, 2012!

Beginning at 8:30am with the Spring Festival Run and ending with fireworks at dusk at Hazen Union High School, the day is chock full of activities, a Big Parade on Main Street, crafts, vendors, food and rides. Kiwanis will be on hand with their famous chicken bar-b-que and hosting a children's carnival of rides, cotton candy and more!

Join us, the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Buffalo Mountain Cooperative, at Atkins Field after the Big Parade, as we host local exhibitors, vendors, food, music and a dunk tank in celebration of agriculture, sustainability and community. Find us across the field, next to the Barn.

the Big Parade

Many thanks to the following vendors and exhibitors! 

SpringFest Tent

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SpringFest 2012

62nd Hardwick SpringFest

Saturday, May 26th
9am to 4pm

Hardwick's SpringFest is a daylong celebration, which is coordinated by the Hardwick Kiwanis, the Center for an Agricultural Economy, Hardwick AreaChamber of Commerce and several other businesses, individuals and organizations from the area. This annual celebration, now in its 62nd year, attracts thousands to the area from all over the region!

Starting with a 5K Run at 9am and the Main St. Parade at 11am, the festivities continue at Atkins Field for an outdoor exhibitors/vendors fair, crafts fair, rides, games and food.

Main St. Parade

Vermont Soy's Bicycle Blender!

The Center for an Agricultural Economy and the Buffalo Mountain Co-op are seeking vendors and exhibitors for what was formerly called the Sustainable Living and Agricultural Fair. We've integrated this separate fair to be a part of the entire festivities at SpringFest at Atkins Field!

Located near the granite shed and old barn at Atkins Field, we are inviting organizations and businesses who are food based or have an agricultural or environmental focus, to exhibit!

Examples of current and past vendors are the 4-H Club of Lamoille, Applecheek Farm, Hazendale Farm, HEART, Efficiency Vermont, Eden Ice Cider, Vermont Peanut Brittle, Vermont Soy, Northern Rivers Land Trust, Sterling College, Hazen Union, Vermont Foodbank, Vermont Natural Coatings and many more!

For more information and a registration form, please contact Rachel Davey at or Elena Gustavson at, or call 802.472.5840.