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McGarry Dairy, owned by Ed (left), Diane and Brian McGarry, recently was honored as the 2021 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year. The award is presented annually by University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association in cooperation with the New England Green Pastures Program.

BIRTHS

Central Vermont Medical CenterA daughter, Brynlee Rose Mills, was born July 1, 2021, to Allison and Theodore Mills, of East Barre.

A daughter, Penelope Valentina Fleury-Cassani, was born July 6, 2021, to Amber Fleury and Kurt Cassani, of Montpelier.

Gifford Medical CenterA son, Jack Hideo Houston, was born June 28, 2021, to John and Erica (Shulman) Houston, of Tunbridge.

A daughter, Anna Ruth Groberg, was born July 1, 2021, to Dan and Mary Margaret Groberg, of Montpelier.

A son, Thatcher Allen Roy Wheeler, was born July 1, 2021, to Hannah Wheeler, of Williamstown.

A son, Lane Ambrose Whooley, was born July 3, 2021, to Daniel and Elizabeth (Clark) Whooley, of Bethel.

A daughter, Asher Grace Whalen, was born July 5, 2021, to Zak and Olivia (Drury) Whalen, of Rochester.

COLLEGE NEWS

Saint Michael’s College recent graduates include Anthony Yeung, of Barre, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Psychology; and Alexander Charles Henderson, of Waitsfield, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Jason Rudy, of Hyde Park, and Anna N. Scoppettone, of Middlesex, graduated from the University of Connecticut, where Scoppettone, of Middlesex, and Fintan Trimble, of Sharon, were named to the spring 2021 dean’s list.

The University of Maine spring 2021 dean’s list includes: from Caledonia County — Katherine Cowan, Ally Morrison, both of Barnet, Lyle Hansen, of Lyndon Center, Chase Empsall, of St. Johnsbury; Essex County — Sarah Styles, of Guildhall; Lamoille County — Luc Truso, of Morrisville, Olivia Foster, of Wolcott; Orange County — Brittney Clifford, of East Thetford, Chiara Smith, of East Montpelier, Caleb Jones of Waitsfield.

The University of Maine at Farmington spring 2021 dean’s list includes: Emily Cetin, of Barre, High Honors; Cassidy Whitley, of Barre, High Honors; Walker Willey, of East Hardwick, Honors; Samuel Molleur, of Walden, High Honors; Nathan Poulin, of Williamstown, High Honors; and Emma Olson, of Wolcott, High Honors.

Norwich University features retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip “Phil” Breedlove, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Commander of U.S. European Command, as keynote presenter at the International Symposium of Military Academies at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in Plumley Armory. This event, which will also be livestreamed, is free and open to the public.

4-H NEWS

4-H Horse QuizNEW HAVEN — The annual state horse quiz bowl competition, in conjunction with the state 4-H horse show, took place at Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven. More than 30 4-H members participated, with rosette ribbons awarded to the 10 highest individual scorers in each age group.

Winners in the Senior Division (age 14 and up) were Chloe Barewicz, Jericho (first); Katherine Heath, Bristol (second); Vivienne Babbott, Hinesburg (third); Haileigh Demers, Westford (fourth); Tucker Murdough, Essex Junction (fifth); Greta Friesan, Hinesburg (sixth); Meghan Clark, Guilford (seventh); Jasmine Akley, Vernon (eighth); Emma Reen, Lincoln (ninth); and Savana Kirby, Orwell (10th).

Top contenders in the Junior Division, divided into two groups, were:

Juniors (age 11-13): Jillian Murdough, Essex Junction (first); Annabel Carson, South Londonderry (second); Addie Ploof, Westford (third); Logan Claypool, Milton (fourth); Piper Thompson, Hinesburg (fifth); Seanna Erickson, Florence (sixth); Rose Ouimet, Castleton (seventh); Emma Cater, Colchester (eighth); Samantha Provost, Milton (ninth); Charlotte Thompson, Castleton (10th).

Juniors (age 8-10): Ivy Lea-Simons, Shelburne (first); Giselle Fenoff, Danville (second); Paityn Paradee, Swanton (third); Addison Erickson, Florence (fourth).

Grace Parks, Essex, and Faith Ploof, Westford, competed in a special division against the top four individual high scorers in the contest. Both Grace and Faith were members of past state quiz bowl teams that took part in national competitions so were ineligible to officially compete in this year’s state contest.

4-H Horse JudgingNEW HAVEN — The annual state horse judging contest, in conjunction with the state 4-H horse show, took place at Addison County Fair and Field Days in New Haven. The 4-H’ers, divided into groups according to their age, judged Morgans, quarter horses and hunter under saddle classes. Placements were as follows:

Juniors (8-10): Giselle Fenoff, Danville (first); Ivy Lea-Simons, Shelburne (second); Paityn Paradee, Swanton (third); Addison Erickson, Florence (fourth).

Juniors (11-13): Karson Cook, Georgia (first); Kelsey Paradee, Swanton (second); Annabel Carson, South Londonderry (third); Logan Claypool, Milton (fourth); Madison Markwell, Greenfield, Massachusetts (fifth); Jillian Murdough, Essex Junction (sixth); Emma Sibley, Milton (seventh); Emma Cater, Colchester (eighth); Addie Ploof, Westford (ninth); Seanna Erickson, Florence (10th).

Seniors (14 and older): Jasmine Mooney, St. Johnsbury (first); Grace Parks, Essex (second); Faith Ploof, Westford (third); Jenna Dolloph, Chester (fourth); Vivienne Babbott, Hinesburg (fifth); Megan Carson, South Londonderry (sixth); Madeline Tylenda, Essex Junction (seventh); Greta Friesan, Hinesburg (eighth); Tucker Murdough, Essex Junction (ninth); Katherine Heath, Bristol (10th).

4-H Summer EventWEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Eastern States Exposition will present the 4-H Summer Event for agricultural-minded youth to showcase their educational work and take part in competitions with their animals, Sunday, July 25, through Thursday, July 29. Competitions will take place for dogs, horses, dairy cows, sheep, dairy goats and beef cattle. 4-H activities and events will continue to be held during The Big E, Sept. 17 to Oct. 3. The 4-H Beef Sale will also be held Sept. 27 and the public is invited to bid on the steers raised by 4-H’ers.

AROUND TOWN

Blessing of the BikesWHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The White River Junction U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Healthcare System announces the return of the Blessing of the Bikes held July 25 this year. The event will start at 11 a.m. in the front parking lot White River Junction VA campus on Veterans Drive, where Chaplain Lorna Graham will bless the motorcycles and their riders.

Remembering HiroshimaMONTPELIER — The annual Remembering Hiroshima Peace Walk and Ceremony begins at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 6 at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in downtown Montpelier and proceeds in silence down State Street to the high school. Participants will carry peace cranes made and donated by a Hiroshima resident whose family experienced the bombing. At 7:15 p.m., the exact time of the dropping of the bomb, the procession will stop and the bells of Christ Church will chime 76 times, once for every year since the bombing. A short ceremony will take place at the high school, culminating in sending flowers with intentions for peace down the Winooski River. Visit buddhistpeaceactionvt.org for more information.

Cornhole fundraiserBERLIN — Green Mountain Community Fitness (GMCF) is bringing back its annual CornFit Tournament from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at their new facility, 652 Granger Road in Berlin (former site of First in Fitness). Proceeds benefit Green Mountain United Way’s local programs and services to improve financial stability and support working families in central and northeastern Vermont. Visit gmunitedway.org/event/cornfit to register.

ScholarshipsWASHINGTON COUNTY — Washington County Retired Educators Association announced two scholarships awards to Emily Bouchard from Harwood High School and Lukas Lamson from Northfield High School. The $500 scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who plans to pursue a career in education.

BARRE — The local chapter of The Forty and Eight, a national veterans organization, has awarded scholarships to five students in Vermont colleges’ nursing programs: Daniel Durgin, Barre, junior at Norwich University; Grace Giroux, Newport, sophomore at University of Vermont; and Keirsten Goodrich, Montpelier, junior, Natalie Drake, Whiting, sophomore, and Nichole Martin, Fairfax, senior, all at Vermont Technical College.

National LifeMONTPELIER — The National Life Group Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to almost 150 organizations in northern Vermont and north Dallas, Texas, the communities where its primary offices are located. The general grants are in addition to other rounds of funding the foundation has already approved, including $609,000 awarded to hundreds of nonprofits chosen by employees and retirees and matched by the foundation.

AROUND STATE

McGarry Dairy Farm of the YearWEST BERKSHIRE — McGarry Dairy, a 115-head Holstein operation in West Berkshire, has been honored as the Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year for 2021.

Ed and Diane McGarry operate the farm in partnership with their son, Brian. They started farming at their present location in 1993 but purchased a second nearby farm in 2018 as they needed more cropland. They rent out the six-bedroom 1860 farmhouse on the latter property as an Airbnb.

The farmers currently milk 100 cows twice a day in a double-four herringbone milking parlor, shipping their milk to Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamery. Their average daily milk production is 79 pounds per cow with 4.1% butterfat and 3.1% protein. Cows are housed in a freestall barn lined with rubber floor mats with foam underneath and bedding with separated solids. The younger animals are on sawdust with bedded pack in the maternity area.

The McGarrys have 430 acres of owned and rented land, including 200 acres of grass and 35 acres of pasture. They are able to grow almost all of their feed although buy 3,500 square bales of first- and second-cut hay for the younger cows. They hire a custom operator for their crops, getting four cuttings of hay each year, yielding about 11-12 tons of haylage per acre and four tons of dry matter. For their no-till corn, the yield is 18-20 tons of silage per acre. Because the farm is located in a colder pocket of the state with a shorter growing season, they grow an 83- or 85-day, drought-tolerant corn variety, going for maximum starch.

The McGarrys were among the first dairy producers in Vermont to experiment with Agolin, a plant-based feed additive, in their cows’ diet to increase the butterfat and protein content of milk while helping to reduce methane emissions.

Upskill VermontMONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott, the University of Vermont and Community College of Vermont announced the launch of the Upskill Vermont Scholarship Program, intended to address the training needs of Vermont’s workforce, specifically for unemployed or underemployed individuals seeking new opportunities through career change or advancement in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency.

The program, appropriated from funds received via American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will cover the cost of two free education and training courses per Vermont resident, while funds last, with a goal of enrolling 500 Vermont residents through the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.

Visit UpSkillVermont.org for more information and to begin the registration process.

Elks fundraiserRIPTON — The Vermont Elks annual Silver Towers Motorcycle & Classic Car Ride will be Sunday, July 18. Details about meet-up locations throughout the state, where to find pledge sheets or how to make a donation to follow. The event costs $10 per person and includes a barbecue lunch. For more information, email Silvertowers@comcast.net of call (802) 345-4209. Silver Towers is an overnight summer retreat for people, 6 to 75 years old, with disabilities. This camp has been operating since 1958, located in Ripton. Silver Towers is funded by the Vermont Elks Association.

Upcoming raceMONTPELIER — The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and organizers of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race announce Union Mutual Insurance as the presenting sponsor of the 2021 race. The event will be held in-person in Montpelier on Sept. 16 and virtually Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. Registration is $33 per participant, regardless of virtual or in-person. Scholarships are available based on need. For more information and visit www.vcccsar.org to register.

Legion leaders

MONTPELIER — The American Legion Department of Vermont convened its Annual Department Convention at American Legion Post 31, Elks Lodge 345 and Moose Lodge 1122 in Rutland. Officers for 2021-2022 are Catherine Tester, Crippen Fellows Post 50 in Castleton, was elected department commander, Thomas Scanlon, Post 27 in Middlebury, is senior vice commander; Jeremy Revell, Squadron 19 in Bristol, was elected detachment commander of Sons of The American Legion, Brian Massey, Jr., Squadron 3 in Montpelier, was elected senior vice commander; Lou Furry, Post 7 in Hardwick, was elected director of the American Legion Riders, Mark Cloutier, also Post 7 in Hardwick, is assistant director; Francisca Cech, Unit 3 in Montpelier, is now department president of the American Legion Auxiliary, Kelly Donaldson, Unit 49 in Fair Haven, was elected department vice president.

Vermont Arts Council

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Arts Council elected new officers at its annual board meeting and welcomed one new trustee. New chair is Rebecca McMeekin (Braintree) who has served on the board since 2018 and was previously vice-chair. McMeekin replaces Gail Nunziata who has chaired the board since 2018. New vice-chair is Greg Paus (Hyde Park) who has served on the board since 2017. Re-elected are secretary Ed Clark (Guildhall) and treasurer Greg Sargent (St. Albans). Mark Foley (Rutland) began his three-year term as a new trustee; four trustees ended their terms: Jo Sabel Courtney, Reeve Lindbergh, Nicole Nelson and Ed Strainchamps, all of whom joined the board in 2015.

Composting vs. bears

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says many people are having problems with bears looking for food near their homes, and with the food scrap ban in effect, the department is providing tips for people who are composting at home so they can avoid attracting hungry bears. If you know bears are active in your neighborhood, the best way to avoid attracting them is to take food scraps to one of the drop-off stations found by contacting your local solid waste management district or town at www.802recycles.com, or ask your trash hauler if they pick up food scraps for composting. Composting without attracting wildlife takes careful planning. Visit Fish and Wildlife’s website www.vtfishandwildlife.com for information about living with bears and to report bear damage.

Efficiency Vermont

WINOOSKI — Efficiency Vermont’s work to reduce Vermonters’ energy burdens and greenhouse gas emissions will expand, as it joins the effort to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state. Until now, Efficiency Vermont’s work has been limited to help Vermonters save energy in buildings, but because of a recent ruling by the Vermont Public Utilities Commission, Efficiency Vermont will expand into the transportation sector, as well.

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