In March, our farm was featured in Preservation Magazine, which is published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You can read the article here
It was lovely for them to take an interest in our family and farm, but I felt I needed to clear up a few misconceptions. Here is my response to the editor.
My name is Alison and my family's barn is featured in your article, "How Artisanal Cheese Is Helping Save Vermont's Historic Landscape."
It was nice to be featured and we appreciate the writer's interest in our family farm, but feel he missed a very important point. Our farm was compared to two artisan cheese businesses in the state. The thesis seems to be that farms like ours are not viable, and thus our barn is at greater risk than their's. We are glad to see those businesses are thriving (in fact, since publication, Vermont Creamery was purchased by Land o'Lakes - a great achievement), but our business is growing, too. The author seems to suggest that we are struggling, and that our barn is in jeopardy. That's just not true.
There are a lot of new and exciting things happening in Vermont agriculture. Jasper Hill was founded in 1998, I believe. Vermont Creamery was founded in 1987. We have been here since 1854 - for seven generations. As the article notes, our barn is 100 years old and was built by my husband's great, great-grandfather. It is part of our family's history. What keeps these big, old, impractical barns standing through the generations are families who care about them. Not cheese, not alpacas, not hemp. People.
I am glad these new farms are here, and succeeding. I appreciate all they are doing to revitalize rural Vermont communities. But don't count us out. We're not going anywhere, and neither is our barn.
Alison Kosakowski Conant