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VPR Cafe: Value-Added Agriculture

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Many farms in Vermont are utilizing value-added agriculture, which means a farm can be growing vegetables, producing maple syrup and offering their land as a mountain bike venue all at the same time.

The Morse Farm in Montpelier, that used to just grow vegetables, is now a maple syrup producer, a cross-country center and a mountain bike venue. In the farm world, this is known as value-added agriculture – when farmers use everything the land has to offer.

Sally Pollak, who writes for the Savorvore section of The Burlington Free Press, describes value-added agriculture. "It concerns taking the raw product, whatever that might be, let's say milk, and rather than selling it in bulk as a commodity product, turning it into something right then and there on your farm, like cheese or yogurt," she says. "Then you have more control over pricing. You literally are adding value when you turn it from a raw product into something else."

You can read Pollak's story about value-added agriculture and The Next Generation Intern Program at UVM where, starting in the fall, students can earn a bachelor of science degree in food systems.

The VPR Café is made possible by Kimball Brook Farm, organic milk and cream from Vermont grass-grazed cows.

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