11/17/08 7:50AM By Charlotte Albright
In that still rustic corner of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom, you see plenty of silos and hardly any condos. Herds of cattle graze by dirt roads. Buildings may be worn and weathered, but farmers still live in them, and hope to pass them down to their children.
In the recent VPR Series, Farm Families, we met six of these families, and heard why they hold onto land that may no longer yield profits. They told us about their history on the land and we talked with them about how they plan to pass farm values to their children and grandchildren.
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In part one of our series, "Farm Families" VPR's Charlotte Albright looks at the issue of passing along the family farm to a new generation.
We visit a strawberry grower, and we talk with a local historian. They were both born in Caledonia County. One stayed on the family farm and brought his kids into the business. The other left home, but came back to the farm to write books about rural life.
Charlotte Albright talks with farm family number five - a close knit clan trying to find new ways of making their living off the land - as we continue our stories about some of the oldest farms in Caledonia County.
Farming in Caledonia County is different from other parts of Vermont. Winters are often harsher, but the soil is rich, and the love of land runs deep-so deep that some are willing to live on the poverty line just to stay where they were born.Click here to listen to Part Four
Conversations about the future, and planning for what will happen to the land, the cows and the machinery, and simply what's going to happen to the farm, can be difficult. UVM Farm Business Specialist Bob Parsons says many times those conversations don't happen. Parsons says when these discussions don't happen, there can be unfortunate consequences.