03/21: Creative Solutions, Persistent Challenges: Land Access For New Farmers

Creative Solutions, Persistent Challenges: Land Access For New Farmers

Bethany Church, 32 Main Street, Randolph

New Date: Wednesday, March 21st. Doors open at 6:15

To include meal catered by Black Krim
Free for Farmers | $10-$15 suggested donation for everyone else

A panel discussion will lead off the evening with a shared dialogue on the future of Vermont’s working landscape that depends on equitable land access and successful transition of current operations. In an era of increasing real estate prices, challenges of development pressure, and marginalized farm viability, how can the working lands future we all envision for Vermont be realized? Farmers who will present are: Lila Bennett  from Tangletown Farm in West Glover; Corie Pierce from Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne; and Graham Unangst-Rufenacht of Robinson Hill Beef in Calais/Plainfield.

* Note: this program launches “The Pitchfork Series” hosted by Rural Vermont, and is also part of BALE’s “Building Resilient Communities” Series, alternating Wednesdays from 2/28-5/9.

Lila Bennett runs Tangletown Farm, a rotational, pasture based livestock farm, with her three children.  She started her farm on two acres in Middlesex, slowly snagging leased plots of land around Central Vermont, until it was profitable enough to purchase their current 188 acre farm in West Glover. The farm direct markets meat and eggs at farmers markets and has a moderate sized CSA.  The ethical treatment of animals and great land management  farming is what drives Lila’s passion for farming.



Corie Pierce is the sole owner and operator of Bread & Butter Farm, located on the town line of Shelburne and South Burlington, VT. The farm is 143 acres of conserved land where she produces grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and organic veggies; and also offers educational programs; plus several other small businesses operate from the farm. Corie grew up working on a larger vegetable farm in southern NH and quickly knew she wanted to start a farm if she could figure out a way to finance the land purchase.


Graham Unangst-Rufenacht grew up in East Montpelier and currently lives in Plainfield, VT. He leases land for grazing in Calais, land in East Montpelier for a nursery, and is part of a group developing a 6 unit cohousing and farm in Calais. Graham has served on the Board of Rural VT, and currently works for Rural Vermont on a part-time basis. He is a youth and adult educator, an herbalist, and co-owns Robinson Hill Beef – a seasonal grass fed and finished beef operation – and Walking Onion – where he helps people design and build their gardens, orchards, and small farms.



And while this vital dialogue occurs, Black Krim Tavern will be preparing a full-course, family-style dinner to serve to everyone in attendance immediately following the panel discussion. Live music will fill the edges of the evening… and over dinner… thanks to Randy Leavitt, Chloe Powell and Justin Park.

All area farmers (and their families) are invited to be fed for free, while there is a suggested donation of $10-$15 for everyone else (while no one will be turned away for lack of funds). As this event will be limited to the first 100 people in the door, this will be limited to first-come, first served with doors opening at 6:15 p.m.