New Farm Stays in 2022
Here's a fun story...
Early on in our farming journey, we realized that in order to regenerate all the land we hoped to, we needed to scale our farming operation beyond what our local markets and local infrastructure could support. To maximize regeneration, we'd need a lot of things: USDA processing, urban market access, distribution, big infrastructure (like trucks, and freezers, and coolers), and financing—none of which comes easily to a small family farm.
But in 2019—through luck and my loud mouth—we found some partners and investors (from the renewable energy world) who saw our vision for the widespread regeneration of our region and agreed that it was time for a radical rethinking of the food system.
The next thing Cally and I knew, we joined forces with them to form Regenerative Food Network, Inc.—a B-Corp dedicated to transforming our food system to support economic, ecological, and social regeneration.
Since then, we've been terribly busy. Here's what we—as a partner in RFN—have been up to....
We opened an abattoir!
Our first step was to reopen a recently-shuttered USDA red meat and poultry plant in Wilmington, Vermont. This has helped to bring more processing capacity to farms in the region and relieve a terrible bottleneck preventing farms from growing!
We Bought a Tannery!
In an effort to show ultimate respect for the animals we raise, and to reduce the waste of the process as much as possible, and to recover as much value as possible from what we—and other shepherds raise—we bought Vermont Natural Sheepskins, moved it to Manchester, Vermont, and are in the process of expanding its capacity.
Our Studio Hill sheepskins are now available through Vermont Natural Sheepskins!
We're launching a Meat Company!
To help speed and increase the regeneration of farmland, we're building Southshire Meats—a collaborative effort from regenerative producers from around our region. We're proud to be a founding farm!
The online marketplace is coming soon.
We're launching a Regenerative Food Center!
In order to help scale the region's farming, we needed to scale the region's farming infrastructure. We're breaking ground soon on our first Regenerative Food Center (RFC) in Bennington, Vermont. The RFC will be home to meat processing, value-added food manufacturing, co-packing, kitchens, distribution, freezers, coolers, and more! All for the use of Southshire Meats, the Bennington Food Hub, the regions farmers, and local companies.
Welcome to the Regeneration Generation
The days of relying on conservation alone to save the natural world are over. The time has come for us to take up the challenge of regenerating the world's natural resources, reclaiming degraded ecosystems, and changing the narrative that the ecological world must be sacrificed to the economic world.
Strong economic systems are strong ecological systems.
On our farm, we practice holistic management. This ensures that our farming practices strengthen and enrich the environments in which they're employed. Therefore, as we raise animals on our land, our fields grow more fertile and abundant—which then allows us to raise more even animals on the land...which then makes the fields even more fertile and abundant...and so on. With simple management changes supported by basic biological principles, all agriculture around the globe could achieve this ecological and economic positive-feedback loop.
We hope Studio Hill will serve as one example among many.