Chalker Farm in Vergennes Awarded Funds for Capital Improvements & Conservation
Brian and Cindy Kayhart operate a 30-cow dairy and raise 75 head of beef cattle at Chalker Farm in Vergennes, VT. In 2017, VHCB invested $114,000 through the Vermont Land Trust in a conservation easement on the 410-acre farm. Less than a year later, in January 2018, the Kayhart's were awarded $14,829 in grants from the VHCB Farm & Forest Viability Program for various farm improvements. A portion of those funds, $3,000, were awarded to resurface a barn floor and came in the form of a Dairy Improvement Grant, using funds provided by Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy, LLC to improve milk production and support business viability. At the same time, the Kayhart's received an additional $11,829 Water Quality Grant to help them implement a rotational grazing plan designed in partnership with staff at UVM Extension and partially funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. This long-term investment comes from the State of Vermont capital fund and will convert cropland along the river back into sod, thereby reducing erosion and soil compaction. The project will have positive impacts on soil health, cattle health, and farm profitability.