McGarry Dairy Farm of the Year
WEST BERKSHIRE — McGarry Dairy, a 115-head Holstein operation in West Berkshire, has been honored as the Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year for 2021.
Ed and Diane McGarry operate the farm in partnership with their son, Brian. They started farming at their present location in 1993, but purchased a second nearby farm in 2018 as they needed more cropland. They rent out the six-bedroom 1860 farmhouse on the latter property as an Airbnb.
The farmers currently milk 100 cows twice a day in a double-four herringbone milking parlor, shipping their milk to Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamery. Their average daily milk production is 79 pounds per cow with 4.1 percent butterfat and 3.1 percent protein. Cows are housed in a freestall barn lined with rubber floor mats with foam underneath and bedding with separated solids. The younger animals are on sawdust with bedded pack in the maternity area.
The McGarrys have 430 acres of owned and rented land, including 200 acres of grass and 35 acres of pasture. They are able to grow almost all of their feed although buy 3,500 square bales of first- and second-cut hay for the younger cows. They hire a custom operator for their crops, getting four cuttings of hay each year, yielding about 11-12 tons of haylage per acre and four tons of dry matter. For their no-till corn, the yield is 18-20 tons of silage per acre. Because the farm is located in a colder pocket of the state with a shorter growing season, they grow an 83- or 85-day, drought-tolerant corn variety, going for maximum starch.
The McGarrys were among the first dairy producers in Vermont to experiment with Agolin, a plant-based feed additive, in their cows’ diet to increase the butterfat and protein content of milk while helping to reduce methane emissions.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott, the University of Vermont and Community College of Vermont announced the launch of the Upskill Vermont Scholarship Program, intended to address the training needs of Vermont’s workforce, specifically for unemployed or underemployed individuals seeking new opportunities through career change or advancement in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency.
The program, appropriated from funds received via American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will cover the cost of two free education and training courses per Vermont resident, while funds last, with a goal of enrolling 500 Vermont residents through the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.
Visit UpSkillVermont.org for more information and to begin the registration process.
RIPTON — The Vermont Elks annual Silver Towers Motorcycle & Classic Car Ride will be Sunday, July 18. Details about meet-up locations throughout the state, where to find pledge sheets or make a donations to follow. The event costs $10 per person and includes barbecue lunch. For more information, email Silvertowers@comcast.net of call (802) 345-4209. Silver Towers is an overnight summer retreat for people, 6 to 75 years old, with disabilities. This camp has been operating since 1958, located in Ripton. Silver Towers is funded by the Vermont Elks Association.
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and organizers of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race announce Union Mutual Insurance as the presenting sponsor of the 2021 race. The event will be held in-person in Montpelier on Sept. 16 and virtually Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. Registration is $33 per participant, regardless of virtual or in-person. Scholarships are available based on need. For more information and visit www.vcccsar.org to register.
MONTPELIER — The American Legion Department of Vermont convened its Annual Department Convention at American Legion Post 31, Elks Lodge 345 and Moose Lodge 1122 in Rutland. Officers for 2021-2022 are Catherine Tester, Crippen Fellows Post 50 in Castleton, was elected department commander, Thomas Scanlon, Post 27 in Middlebury, is senior vice commander; Jeremy Revell, Squadron 19 in Bristol, was elected detachment commander of Sons of The American Legion, Brian Massey, Jr., Squadron 3 in Montpelier, was elected senior vice commander; Lou Furry, Post 7 in Hardwick, was elected director of the American Legion Riders, Mark Cloutier, also Post 7 in Hardwick, is assistant director; Francisca Cech, Unit 3 in Montpelier, is now department president of the American Legion Auxiliary, Kelly Donaldson, Unit 49 in Fair Haven, was elected department vice president.
Vermont Arts Council
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Arts Council elected new officers at its annual board meeting and welcomed one new trustee. New chair is Rebecca McMeekin (Braintree) who has served on the board since 2018 and was previously vice-chair. McMeekin replaces Gail Nunziata who has chaired the board since 2018. New vice-chair is Greg Paus (Hyde Park) who has served on the board since 2017. Re-elected are secretary Ed Clark (Guildhall) and treasurer Greg Sargent (St. Albans). Mark Foley (Rutland) began his three-year term as a new trustee; four trustees ended their terms: Jo Sabel Courtney, Reeve Lindbergh, Nicole Nelson and Ed Strainchamps, all of whom joined the board in 2015.
Composting vs. bears
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says many people are having problems with bears looking for food near their homes, and with the food scrap ban in effect, the department is providing tips for people who are composting at home so they can avoid attracting hungry bears. If you know bears are active in your neighborhood, the best way to avoid attracting them is to take food scraps to one of the drop-off stations found by contacting your local solid waste management district or town at www.802recycles.com, or ask your trash hauler if they pick up food scraps for composting. Composting without attracting wildlife takes careful planning. Visit Fish and Wildlife’s website www.vtfishandwildlife.com for information about living with bears and to report bear damage.
WINOOSKI — Efficiency Vermont’s work to reduce Vermonters’ energy burdens and greenhouse gas emissions will expand, as it joins the effort to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state. Until now, Efficiency Vermont’s work has been limited to help Vermonters save energy in buildings, but due to a recent ruling by the Vermont Public Utilities Commission, Efficiency Vermont will expand into the transportation sector, as well.
Blessing of the Bikes
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The White River Junction U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Healthcare System announces the return of the Blessing of the Bikes held July 25 this year. The event will start at 11 a.m. in the front parking lot White River Junction VA campus on Veterans Drive, where Chaplain Lorna Graham will bless the motorcycles and their riders.
Grads/dean’s listRecent graduates of Saint Michael’s College in Colchester include: Benjamin E. DeCota, of Killington, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Health Science; Mary Margaret Faenza, of Mount Holly, Bachelor of Arts in English; Eliza Jo Tarbell, of Mount Holly, Bachelor of Science in Accounting; and Mackenzie Catherine Traska, of Rutland, Bachelor of Arts in Public Health & Sociology and Anthropology.
Kirsten Ashlee Werner, of Brandon, Courtney I. Creed, of Rutland, and Elizabeth Ann Parker, of Springfield, graduated from the University of Connecticut, where Paige Marion, of Manchester Center, Creed, of Rutland, Andrew Muller, of Shaftsbury, and Alison Felix, of Stamford, were named to the spring 2021 dean’s list.
The University of Maine spring 2021 dean’s list includes: from Addison County — Jay Jacobson, of Leicester; from Rutland County — Kjer Conway, Maia Conway, both of Rutland; from Windsor County — Ethan Rhoad, of Brownsville, Sage Allen, of Ludlow, Amelia Mattrick, of Rochester, and Olivia Rockwood of Windsor.
The University of Maine at Farmington spring 2021 dean’s list includes Em Remington, of Bennington, Honors; and Anna Holt, of Winhall, Honors.
ScholarshipsBARRE — The local chapter of The Forty and Eight, a national veterans organization, has awarded scholarships to five students in Vermont colleges’ nursing programs: Daniel Durgin, Barre, junior at Norwich University; Grace Giroux, Newport, sophomore at University of Vermont; and Keirsten Goodrich, Montpelier, junior, Natalie Drake, Whiting, sophomore, and Nichole Martin, Fairfax, senior, all at Vermont Technical College.
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