allisonhooperAllison Hooper sits on the Sterling Board of Trustees and is co-founder of Vermont Creamery.  She was published in the Burlington Free Press where she shared her support of The Working Lands Enterprise which is an initiative geared to help business like hers grow.  With the Legislature now in session planning the Budget for 2016 she revealed how this initiative is a great example of the State investing in businesses that “use the bounty of our land to grow our economy and preserve our culture.”

As our business has grown, we have encouraged Vermont farmers to produce goats’ milk for us to make our cheese. We started a farm so we could model best practices, develop good genetics and entice other farmers to milk goats. We don’t pretend to be the best farmers out there, but we are figuring things out and supporting the other farmers who are producing the milk we need. One thing we have realized is how difficult it is to make a go of farming, especially for young people who may not have access to capital needed to buy the land and equipment needed.

Terroir means “taste of place” — everything is connected between the producer, the maker and the consumer. To have terroir as a possibility, we must have a working landscape. Here in Vermont, we are so lucky to have the culture and the people and the place that can produce some of the best food in the world. At Vermont Creamery, we know firsthand how important it is to support the enterprises that will use our natural resources responsibly to build thriving businesses. A modicum of state support helps these enterprises to keep our working landscape viable.

Please read the full article here!

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