Posted by Nancy Danforth on Apr 20, 2022
This morning, Kate Lampton briefed us on the results of the Charlotte Land Trust Farm Study.

Kate Lampton from The Charlotte Land Trust


Susan called the meeting to order at 7:30.


Next week we are responsible for providing breakfast and a sign up sheet is going around.


Susan welcomed Kate Lampton, our speaker, and Francis Foster, also of The Charlotte Land Trust.


Age Well sent the club a thank you note for being a silver donor.  Further acknowledgment will be forthcoming as this is generous sponsorship.  Shelter Box also sent a thank you note for the $250 we donated as well as The Rotary Club of Dresdan, to whom we sent $600 for the disaster relief.


Susan reminded us of The Cots Walk, The Hinesburg Library dedication, and the the Walk Race event.


Martha Sanders was the winner of the gift basket for which tickets were sold as part of the fundraising for the Spin A Thon and the purchase of AED’s.  


Carrie mentioned we ought to start planning for the Golf Ball Drop, with the formation of a committee.


Diana shared that Green Up Day has a sign up sheet, come by the town office to pick up bags. There is a contest this year with prizes.


Ric announced that Shelburne Farms is reopening but they are not willing to host our Car Raffle.  They are only have two or three events.  Ric has pushed back and is waiting to hear.  


John Dupee collected the happy fines.  


Laurie Burke introduced Kate Lampton.  Kate is President of CLT.  She has been a land planner in Charlotte, Shelburne and Hinesburg.


Kate thanked the donors in the room.  For thirty years the CLT has been working for land conservation in Charlotte.  They have been working with The Center For Rural Studies on their farm study.  Focus groups were formed made up of farmers who completed a survey, hence, a farm list was created.


The survey revealed there are seventy seven farms in Charlotte with an average size of one hundred acres.  Collectively, they made less than $50,000 annually.  Two thirds of them are dependent on other sources of income.


Aging of the farmers is also of concern.  However, there is an influx of younger farmers and their make up is diverse.  


The majority of the farms are organic and utilize state of the art farming practices. They grow diverse crops such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, wheat, grapes, and shrimp. The marketing methods are also diverse: direct consumer sales, local distribution, agritourism.


The survey focused on the state of dairy farms in Vermont.  There are only two in Charlotte.  Raising beef cattle has become one way for these farms to utilize their land to replace their dairy operations. The farmers are supportive of land conservation and the program has made a big difference for a lot of farmers in starting and funding their farms.  


Finally, the survery revealed the concerns of farmers: lack of affordable housing(labor) and neighbor conflict (agritourism).


Jim Donovan presented Kate with the book “Letters to a Young Farmer:On Food, Farming, and Our Future,” by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to be presented in her name to the Charlotte Library.


Susan adjourned the meeting at 8:30.