Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, October 12, 2010

Climate change drawn activists in Vt | Boston.com
Climate change activists turned out for events in Burlington, Vt., one of the places where thousands of work projects around the world were scheduled.

Participants said hundreds of people turned out for events Sunday to join work projects organized by the group 350.org.

Participating groups included CarShare Vermont, Burlington Bicycle Coalition, and Burlington Electric Department among others.
View the website 350.org
Vt. company says product spill poses no threat | Boston.com
An official at a Vermont calcium carbonate plant says the release of 500 pounds of finished product into the environment poses no threat to human health.

Officials at the Omya Inc., plant in Florence say the fine powder was released Sunday morning when a valve on a silo malfunctioned.

Most of the product was contained inside the plant, but some spilled outside.
New program pushes Vt. Milk in school lunches | WCAX.COM
It's lunch time at Summit Street school in Essex Junction, just part of the 52-thousand school lunches prepared each day in Vermont. And there is something new in the cooler -- 10 ounce plastic bottles of milk replace the old cardboard ones. But that is not all. The milk itself is different.

"Getting flavored milk -- always a concern about sugar. This formula for Garelick farm, this flavored milk -- they have taken out the HFCS, they have reduced the overall sugar and made sure kids still liked it, and that way they will drink it. But its a good way to get more milk and more nutrients into our kids," said Diane Bothfeld, Vermont Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

The Federal Department of Agriculture says that 11 percent savings on the cost of milk this year translates into a 130 thousand dollar savings for the Vermont food lunch programs and those savings are passed on to families. And this new milk deal represents another change. Last year school milk contained about 40 percent Vermont milk, now 85 to 90 percent of the school milk comes from Vermont farms.
USDA tours 300kW farm biogas facility in Vermont | BrighterEnergy.org
A team of US Department of Agriculture officials have visited a dairy farm in Vermont to see for themselves a new farm waste to energy project.

The Chaput Family Farm in North Troy has installed a 300-kilowatt anaerobic digestion facility to turn organic materials like manure into biogas for use generating electricity.

Electricity produced by the project will meet all of the farm’s needs, with excess power sold to the local utility. The facility will also provide heat and hot water for the dairy herd.
VPR News | Law School Opens Agriculture Center
Vermont Law School in South Royalton says it will open a new center on agriculture and food.

It's is designed to support everyone from advocates to farmers who are part of the growing trend toward community-based agriculture.

Officials in the center will provide legal and policy advice so anyone in the food system can help to support a rural working landscape.