Vermont Tech gets $25,000 grant from Merck Fund for diversified agriculture program

first_imgVermont Technical College,Vermont Technical College has learned it will be the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the John Merck Fund to help promote its new Bachelor of Science degree program in Diversified Agriculture.The goal of Diversified Agriculture is to strengthen Vermont’s agricultural community by training future generations of farmers to manage diverse, sustainable and profitable farms that will supply the region with quality products.‘The John Merck Fund is thrilled that Vermont Tech has launched a comprehensive program to support young farmers as they pursue their dreams of owning and running successful, diversified farms,’ said Holly Tippett, Vermont Program Advisor to the John Merck Fund. ‘With the growing interest in farms that produce a variety of food-related products such as eggs, meat birds, vegetables and fruit, cow’s milk and goat’s milk, this program is on the cutting edge of agricultural economics’Program Chair and Interim Academic Dean Chris Dutton said, ‘Our ultimate goal is to expand the number of diversified farms in Vermont by graduating students with the business skills and agricultural experience to operate them successfully. By helping to fund a full time coordinator, the grant will allow us to reach out to prospective students across the state through connections to high school and tech center counselors, attendance at college recruitment and information events, and partnering with nonprofits active in diversified agriculture (e.g. New England Organic Farmers Association-NOFA).‘We believe Diversified Agriculture ‘ along with our Dairy and Agribusiness programs ‘ provide a broad and deep experience for students,’ Dutton said, ‘something they won’t find anywhere else in Vermont. We’re very grateful that the John Merck Fund shares our vision for the future of Vermont agriculture.’The John Merck Fund fosters the advancement of knowledge and development of innovative solutions in the fields of Developmental Disabilities, Climate and Clean Energy, and Environmental Health; and workforce development and sustainable agriculture in rural New England.Source: Vermont Technical Collegelast_img

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