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How to Help Vermont Farmers and Cheesemakers

Photo courtesy of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

If you’ve been paying any attention to the news, you know that much of Vermont has been devastated by flooding following record-setting rainfall earlier this week. Farms have been hit especially hard; according to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), more than 40 farms have reported being adversely impacted, “ranging from isolated losses of fields/infrastructure/etc. to complete devastation across the farm.” And the damage is still being assessed as floodwaters continue to recede.

As any cheese lover knows, Vermont is a dairy powerhouse. Despite its small size, the state has just over 500 dairy farms, and 45 cheesemakers—who make some of the best cheeses in America. The water has not only flooded fields, it has covered and damaged roads, making transporting milk difficult or impossible. According to a newsletter from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, “With many of the thoroughfares washed out to and from our fulfillment hub in Hardwick, we are bound to experience delays. We’re going to focus on feeding the community, making sure the cheese gets cared for and that the herd is safe.”

What you can do to help

Buy Vermont cheese, either at your local cheese shop or specialty market, or directly from the makers. Here are some of our favorites:

Murray’s will be donating a portion of sales from July 13 through July 23 to the Vermont Flood Response and Recovery Fund. Find a list of their Vermont cheeses here.

See a full list of Vermont cheesemakers here.

More resources from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets can be found here.

Susan Axelrod

Susan Sherrill Axelrod is a former editor of Culture. Her love affair with cheese began at age 12, when she bicycled to a gourmet shop to taste an exotic newcomer—French brie. She lives with her partner in midcoast Maine, where she enjoys a well-made cocktail, hiking with their dog, Lucy, and spending as much time as possible on the water.

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