Monday August 12, 2013

Big Picture Farm in Townshend awarded top Animal Welfare certification

TOWNSHEND -- The herd of dairy goats at Big Picture Farm are now certified as Animal Welfare Approved. This certification and food label lets consumers know that these animals were raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S., using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm.

Like other AWA farmers across the country, Lucas Farrell and Louisa Conrad recognize the growing consumer interest in how animals are being raised. Farrell and Conrad raise 30 dairy goats on about 90 acres of pasture. The goats produce milk used in Big Picture Farm’s goat milk caramels, which recently won the 2013 Good Food Ward in the Confections category.

Farrell and Conrad raise animals outdoors on pasture because of the benefits for animals, consumers and the environment. The farmers use a rotational model of grazing, which "minimizes the parasite population and helps us to avoid chemical wormers, as well as ensuring the pasture has plenty of time to replenish before the goats graze that area again," says Farrell.

Big Picture Farm’s award-winning goat milk caramels are available from almost 200 retail outlets nationwide. For more information, visit www.bigpicturefarm.com.

BFFDA names Hawthorne
as new executive director

BELLOWS FALLS -- Mary Helen Hawthorne has been named to succeed Rosemarri Roth as the new Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance executive director.


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Hawthorne took the helm in early June.

Hawthorne has a wealth of knowledge and experience having been the executive director of Springfield’s downtown organization from 1999-2009. She says, "I am so pleased to be working again in the downtown development arena. I find the work interesting, exciting and challenging. I look forward to renewing past relationships and making new ones, particularly engaging those interested in revitalizing the community."

BFDDA’s annual meeting was be held on June 27. The upcoming year’s work plan will focus on growing the membership base and strengthening committees and supporting their programs of work.

The incredible work toward the revitalization of Bellows Falls, performed by the many passionate leaders and volunteers over the past 15 years, has translated into visible results. Bellows Falls has experienced a rebirth and continues a growing vitality.