the new american farmer

posted August 26, 2009

An old article, but solid.  Read a more recent article on Travis & Amy Forgues here

The New American Farmer
By Noel C. Paul

ALBURG SPRINGS, VT. – If the average farmer is American Gothic, Travis Forgues is decidedly postmodern: He wears denim 0211p15ashirts and stone-washed bluejeans. His hair hangs down to his shoulders. He is 28 years old.

Even in the gray light of winter, when a harsh wind pounds the flatland here on the Canadian border, Mr. Forgues (pronounced forgs) relishes being outdoors with his cows. In a vain effort to corral his heifers for a photograph, the young farmer runs among them, playfully kicking snow onto their hooves.

In a business known for its unforgiving hours and grueling repetition – a business in which the average practitioner is older than most clergy – Forgues’s youthfulness stands out. But many nearby colleagues also add that Forgues has a veteran farmer’s principles, combined with a commitment to reform. He is an organic dairy farmer, which means he doesn’t treat his cows with antibiotics and hormones or feed them grain grown with pesticides. The organic alternatives require more time and more up-front costs, but they also result in milk that many consumers view as a premium product worth paying for.

As Forgues sees it, the organic model allows farmers to operate with the best interests of the animals and the earth in mind, while making enough money to stay out of debt.

continue reading at:  http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0211/p15s02-wmgn.html