November 20, 2015 Vol. 79, Num ber 11Published monthly by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture www.Agriculture.Vermont.govNew UVM Dairy Science Teaching and ResearchCenter Dedicated with Ribbon CuttingACREAM students lead cows to theirnew home in the new teaching barn.Sally McCayBy Jeffrey R. Wakefield,University of Vermontfter nine months ofconstruction, the Universityof Vermont officiallydedicated new dairy science teachingand research facilities at the Paul R.Miller Agricultural Research Farmwith a ribbon cutting ceremony onOct. 29.The 4.1 million complex consistsof a 13,176 square-foot teachingbarn and milking parlor and an 8,764square-foot dairy research barn. Thenew structures have been designedand built with an emphasis onenergy-efficient ventilation, animalwelfare and sophisticated dairy management information systems for useby faculty researchers and students.The teaching barn is complete andwill be open for students beginningin early November. The researchbarn will be completed later in theyear, with occupancy by facultyresearchers expected to take placebetween the fall and spring semesters.“It’s very exciting to see this stateof-the-art new teaching and researchcomplex coming online,” said UVMInside This IssueView from116 State Street. . . . . Page 2Farm to Plate AnnualMeeting. . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3NE Dairy ProgramsApproved . . . . . . . . . . Page 4Draft Ag Water QualityRules Released . . . . . . Page 5Winter Short Coursesat VTC . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 6Consumer Night at the2016 Farm Show. . . . . Page 7A Guide to HolidayPlant Toxicity. . . . . . . . Page 8Food Safety ModernizationAct Rules . . . . . . . . . . Page 9Vermont Vegetableand Berry News . . . .Market Report. . . . . .Classifieds. . . . . . . . .Tractor Safety . . . . . .Thanksgiving DinnerPrice Up Slighly. . . . .4H Sheep Shearing. .Page 10Page 11Page 11Page 14Vermont Agency ofAgriculture, Food & Marketspresident Tom Sullivan. “UVM is atop choice for students and facultyinterested in animal science. Thesefacilities ensure that we’ll continueto attract the best and the brighteststudents from Vermont and beyondto our nationally recognized programand that we’ll remain a highly attractive destination for talented faculty.”“These new facilities will bea great teaching laboratory thatreally immerses students in theirlearning and substantially increasesour research capacity,” said TomVogelmann, dean of UVM’s Collegeof Agriculture and Life Sciences.“With record high student enrollments and the highest level of extracontinued on page 16PeriodicalsPostagePaid atMontpelier, VTand at AdditionalMailing Offices116 State StreetMontpelier, Vermont 05620-2901Page 15Page 16POSTMASTER: Send address change to: Agriview, 116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2901
November 20, 20152The View from 116 State StreetThis month we kicked off ourseries of public meetingsacross the state to gather inputon the draft Required AgriculturalPractices (RAPs). The full schedulefor the ten meetings we scheduledacross the state was shared in theOctober issue of Agriview. By thetime this issue goes to print, we willhave held meetings in St. Albans,Enosburg, Rutland, and Middlebury.So far, the meetings have been fullof robust, informative conversation.We appreciate the time farmers,and members of the community-atlarge, have taken to participate andshare their opinions – it is extremelyhelpful to hear their point-of-view.Additional meetings will be heldon the following dates:December 3, 2015White River JunctionHotel Coolidge39 S Main Street9am - 11amDecember 3, 2015BrattleboroFraternal Order of the Eagles54 Chickering Drive2pm - 4pmDecember 8, 2015St. JohnsburyComfort Inn and Suites703 Route 5 South9am - 11amDecember 8, 2015NewportEastside Reastaurant47 Landing St # 32pm - 4pmDecember 10, 2015MontpelierVermont State House, Room 11115 State Street9am - 11amDecember 10, 2015RandolphChandler Music Hall71 Main Street2pm - 4pmDuring these meetings, we willreview the proposed changes farmerswill be asked to make to complywith the Clean Water Act. This isa time for us to listen to the Agcommunity and gather feedback, sowe can better understand the impactthese changes could potentially have,from the farmers’ point of view.At the end of this process, we willreassess our proposed rules, andmake changes, if needed.If you have not alreadyparticipated in a meeting, I urgeall of you to attend. We areworking hard to make this processcollaborative, so the RAPs can servethe needs of the Ag community. Yourfeedback is critical, so we can be surewe get this right.If you are unable to attend ameeting, please download andreview the RAPs online at tions/rapPublic Comment regarding theDraft RAPs can be submitted bye-mail to [email protected] can be submitted in writing to:(UPS 009-700)Agriview is Vermont’s AgriculturalPublication of Record.It is pub lished monthly by theVermont Agency ofAgriculture Food & Mar kets,116 State St.,Montpelier, VT 05620-2901Telephone: (802) 828-5667Fax: (802) 828-2361www.Agriculture.Vermont.govChuck RossSecretary of AgricultureAlison KosakowskiEditorAdvertising and subscriptions:E-mail: [email protected] is mailed out ofUSPS White River Junction, VTPeriodicals paid at USPS Montpelier, VTand White River Junction, VTYearly subscription: 15The State of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and Provider.Editor’s NoteOn behalf of all of us at the Vermont Agency ofAgriculture, Food, and Markets, I’d like to wish you andyour family a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are all verygrateful for the work you do to promote Vermont agriculture.To our farmers, thank you for your hard work, that enables us toenjoy fresh, healthy, local food. To our partners, thank you for yourcontinued support of our programs, to benefit the Ag Community.And to our readers, thank you for continuing to invest in Agriview.We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place, surrounded byfolks who love and care for the land. May you be surrounded byloved ones this holiday season, nourished and sustained by thehearty food our farmers work so hard to provide.— Alison KosakowskiFollow VAAFM on Twitter @VTAgencyof Agand follow me @VTFarmGirlVermont Agency ofAgriculture, Food, and MarketsAttn: RAPs116 State StreetMontpelier, Vt 05620-2901The deadline for submittingfeedback is December 18, 2015.Thank you for your partnership.I am very proud of the way the Agcommunity has come together toengage in this process. Once again,our farmers are proving they arenot only critical to our communitiesand our economy, they are deeplydevoted to stewardship andpreserving the beauty of Vermont forgenerations to come.
3November 20, 2015Soil Regeneration and Clean WaterTouted As Foundation for Healthy Food atAnnual Vermont Farm To Plate GatheringBy Rachel Carter, VermontSustainable Jobs FundFarm in nature’s image”was the takeawaymessage shared byRay Archuleta, ConservationAgronomist at the USDANaturalResources andConservationService(NRCS) and keynotespeaker at the fifth annualFarm to Plate AnnualGathering. Held annuallyat the end of October, theGathering is the one timeeach year when the entireFarm to Plate Networkcomes together to reflect onwhat has been accomplishedand plan for the challengesthat lie ahead implementingVermont’s food system plan.Archuleta engaged the250 Farm to Plate Networkmembers in attendanceat the Killington GrandResort with a soil stabilitydemonstration, comparingno till versus tilled soilwhen immersed in water.The tilled soil rapidly cameapart while the no tillsoil retained its form. Thehealth of the no till soil is“maintained by principlessuch as cover cropping,integrating a diversityof plants and animals,and reducing chemical,biological, and physical stress.Archuleta impressed uponVermont’s farm and foodsector industryleaders anunderstandingthat the socialand ecological context ofthe food system providesvast opportunities to cleansethe water that runs throughit, grow healthy food, andprovide for flood protection.Vicky Drew, StateConservationist for theUSDA Natural ResourcesConservation Service(NRCS) in Vermont,introduced Archuleta byemphasizing the integralconnection betweensoil health and waterquality. “Conservation andstewardship start with howwe treat our soil. Soil isnot something to take forgranted. It is a preciousresource that must be fedand nurtured, much likewe feed and nurture ourchildren.”Vermont’s new CleanKeynote speaker Ray Archuleta demonstrates soil conservationprinciples with help from Tom Berry of Senator Leahy’s Office,and Tim Magnan, a farmer from Highgate.Water Act—the mostcomprehensive water qualitylegislation in Vermont’shistory—creates newregulations and devotesmore resources to reducepollution from farms, roads,and impervious surfaces.Drew reminded the audiencethat the USDA awarded 16million to Vermont throughthe Regional ConservationPartnership Program to helpaddress pollution in LakeChamplain. The grant wasthe second largest in thecountry and provides 26partnering organizations,agencies, businesses, andnonprofits with the resourcesto provide financial andtechnical assistance toagricultural and forestlandowners to improvewater quality in the LakeChamplain Basin. USDA alsorecently promised that 45million would be set asidethrough the NRCS EQIPprogram to help agriculturalproducers meet thesechallenges.Farmer perspectivesprovide invaluable insightsinto how work is conductedto reach Vermont’s Farmto Plate food systemgoals. Vermont Agencyof Agriculture, Food &Markets Secretary ChuckRoss moderated a healthysoil and water panel withHarvey Smith of SmithFamily Farm in New Haven,Paul Harlow of Harlow Farmin Westminster, and TimMagnant of Bridgeman ViewFarm in Franklin.Non-profit organizations,government agencies,institutions, and the privatesector (farmers/producers/food businesses) attend theGathering to strengthenpartnerships, build newcollaborations, and learnfrom one another. This year’sGathering also offered aseries of breakout sessionswhere Network memberscontinued system changeconversations and gainedgreater understanding offood system issues rangingfrom food-related healthchallenges, scaling-upproduction, farm viability,workforce development,and increasing consumerdemand.“The Farm to PlateAnnual Gathering andsubsequent meetingsthroughout the yearbring together diversestakeholders with manydifferent perspectives.We deliberately focus oncreating a trusting, inclusivespace to facilitate the toughconversations needed tocreate comprehensive changein our food system so thatVermont can relocalize foodproduction and distribution.Healthy local food should beaccessible to all Vermonters;provide economic viabilityto farmers, all types offood producers, andworkers; and improve ourenvironmental resiliency andsustainability—all of whichhelp Vermont reach itsFarm to Plate goals,” sharesJake Claro, Farm to PlateNetwork Manager.
November 20, 20154Farmers Approve 2016 PromotionPrograms For New England DairyBryan Davis Re-elected Chairman of the BoardNew England Dairy Promotion BoardBy Laura Hardie,NE Dairy Promotion BoardDairy farmer leadersrepresenting sixnortheastern statesvoted this month to approvethe 2016 budget andprogram proposals for NewEngland Dairy PromotionBoard (NEDPB) and NewEngland Dairy & FoodCouncil (NEDFC). Theaction to approve the 5.3million budget came at theannual meeting of the twocompanies that developand carry out promotion,education and researchprograms in New England onbehalf of dairy farmers. Themeeting was held November10-11 at Killington Resort inKillington, VT.“Dairy farmers from allover New England and NewYork came together at ourannual meeting to hearabout our dairy promotionsuccesses, discuss challengesand share ideas to increasedemand for New Englanddairy products,” said GaryWheelock, CEO for NEDPBand NEDFC.Highlights from the organizations two main initiativeswere presented to dairy farmers – the nationwide schoolwellness initiative, Fuel Upto Play 60, created by theNational Dairy Council andNational Football League,and Must Be The Milk, aNew England focused marketing campaign to educateconsumers about dairy.“As a dairy farmer, FuelUp To Play 60 and Mustbe The Milk are invaluable2015-2016 NEDPB/NEDFC Board of Directors Officers.From left to right: Vice Chair, Heidi Dolloff of Springfield, VT;Secretary, Deb Erb of Landaff, NH; Chair, Bryan Davis ofDerby, VT; Treasurer, Sherry Ouellette of Bridport, VT.programs. Fuel Up To Play60 encourages youth toconsume dairy and get atleast 60 minutes of physicalactivity every day. Ourpromotion dollars are goingtoward creating the nextgeneration of healthy dairyconsumers,” said BryanDavis, chairman of the boardfor NEDPB and NEDFC,“and the Must be The Milkcampaign helps consumersunderstand the long-termvalue and importanceof local dairy farms insustaining a local foodsupply, a strong communityand a healthy environment.”Fuel up to Play 60 isthe leading school wellnessprogram in the country withover 74,000 participatingschools nationwide,including more than 3,600schools in New England.Must be The Milkoutreach includes socialmedia, farm tours & events,videos featuring NewEngland dairy farmers, a blogwhere people can learn moreabout dairy agriculture anddairy recipes, as well as ane-newsletter.“In 2016, we will continueto promote nutrient-richmilk and dairy products inschools and also educateNew Englanders about dairyfarming and the value dairyfarms bring to our region,”Wheelock said.Dairy farmers also heardfrom Dairy ManagementInc. (DMI) leaders about therole the Checkoff playedin McDonald’s successfultransition from liquidmargarine to butter in its14,000 U.S. restaurants inSeptember of 2015.Amy Wagner, ExecutiveVice President, GlobalInnovation Partnerships atDMI, said that “Checkoffproduct scientists, whowork on site at McDonald’s,played a critical role inthe conversion to butter.Stephanie Ferrari, registered dietitian and manager ofcommunications for New England Dairy Promotion Boardspoke to dairy farmers and leaders this week at the NewEngland Dairy & Food Council and New England DairyPromotion Board annual meeting held in Killington, Vermont onNovember 10 and 11.They were the experts thatmade this happen fromworking with local ownersconducting operational teststo training team members toshowing the product to keyleaders.”“The switch to butterat McDonald’s is expectedto increase annual milkusage by 500 million to 600million pounds” said CarolynGibbs, CFO and ExecutiveVice President of Finance,DMI. Gibbs added thatDMI expects to see otherchains follow suit which shereferred to as the “catalyticeffect.”At the conclusion of theannual meeting, the boardof directors elected thefollowing officers: Chair,Bryan Davis of Derby, VT;Vice Chair, Heidi Dolloff ofSpringfield, VT; Secretary,Deb Erb of Landaff, NH andTreasurer, Sherry Ouelletteof Bridport, VT. Electedto the board’s executivecommittee are Ralph McNallof Fairfax, VT; Paul Doton ofWoodstock, VT and JamesJacquier of East Canaan, CT.New England DairyPromotion Board (NEDPB)is the local affiliate of theAmerican Dairy Association,which conducts salespromotions and marketingprograms on behalf oflocal dairy farmers. NewEngland Dairy & FoodCouncil (NEDFC) is a nonprofit nutrition educationorganization staffed byregistered dietitians. NEDFCis a state and regionalaffiliate of the National DairyCouncil (NDC). The twoorganizations share a Boardof Directors comprised oflocal dairy farmers and workjointly to increase demand forNew England dairy products.
5November 20, 2015Agency of Ag Releases Draft AgriculturalWater Quality Rules for Public InputTen Public Meetings Across the State Will Allow Stakeholders to Provide FeedbackBy Ryan Patch, VAAFMThe Vermont Agency ofAgriculture, Food, andMarkets (VAAFM)has released a draft copy ofthe Required AgriculturalPractices (RAPs) for a periodof public comment whichwill run through December18, 2015. This is a pre-filingperiod which will afford theopportunity for all interestedstakeholders to review theDraft RAPs and provideinitial comment beforeVAAFM will formalize thedraft this winter and willthen enter into the formalrulemaking process in thespring of 2016. Additionalpublic comment periodswill follow both the draftrewrite as well as the formalrulemaking period.For a copy of the draftRAP document, visit water quality/VAAFM-Draft-RAP.pdfTo help facilitate thiscomment and input process,VAAFM has scheduledten public meetings acrossthe state. These publicmeetings will includea detailed presentationof the draft RAPs, witha question and answersession to follow. In orderto maximize public input,VAAFM is also offering tohold smaller group meetingsfor interested organizationsand stakeholders to reviewthe rules in greater detail.A current list of publicmeetings is at: events/public-meetings“It is important for allstakeholders to understandthe rules are in draft form– and that their feedbackin this process is critical,”said Vermont’s AgricultureSecretary, Chuck Ross. “Weare holding these meetingsbecause we want to engagewith the public, to gathertheir feedback, and to ensurewe are implementing arealistic, workable frameworkfor agricultural practices inour state that effectivelyprotects our lakes and rivers.”VAAFM was directedby the Legislature to draftthe RAPs pursuant to Act64, signed into law on June16, 2015. Act 64 amendedand enacted multiplerequirements related towater quality in the State.The “Accepted AgriculturalPractices (AAPs)” wererewritten to a higher level ofperformance and renamedthe “Required AgriculturalPractices (RAPs).” VAAFMwas charged with revisingthe RAPs by rule by July 1,2016. Act 64 requires thatthe revised RAPs includerequirements for small farmcertification, nutrient storage,soil health, buffer zones,livestock exclusion, andnutrient management.“The Agency ofAgriculture wants to bevery transparent with thisprocess,” said Jim Leland,VAAFM’s Director ofAgricultural ResourcesManagement Division. “Thiscollaborative process willensure VAAFM develops arule which meets the intentof Act 64, and is workableand implementable by thediversity of agriculturaloperations in the state.”Act 64 also instructedVAAFM to establish a program certifying and trainingsmall farm operations. Withover 7,000 farms in the state,according to the 2012 USDAAg Census, many small farmscould be required to newlycertify compliance with theRAPs when the program isimplemented.“Farms of all sizes will beaffected by the RAPs, whichis why it is important for allfarmers to attend a meetingand provide comment,” saidLeland.Significant and expandingtechnical and financialassistance is available fromFederal, state and localcontinued on page 6
November 20, 20156Vermont Technical College AnnouncesWinter Short CoursesBy Alison Kosakowski,VAAFMWinter is a great timeto learn a newskill or explorea topic of interest. Withfewer daylight hours andchilly temperatures comesmore time indoors – mightas well hit the books! Thiswinter, Vermont TechnicalCollege is offering a robustassortment of courses to helpyou gain new skills and beatthe winter blues. Check outthese exciting offerings.Cold Climate Viticulture:Grape ScienceDecember 1-3, 2015Grape Science is the fallcourse in the Cold ClimateViticulture Series and willcover grape chemistry,harvesting, and basic wineprocessing.The comprehensivefour-session viticultureand enology programincludes topics in vineyardestablishment andmanagement, grape and winechemistry, and basic wineprocessing. The individualcourses are designed tohelp growers with little orno previous grape-growingexperience. Each sessionwill provide seasonal skillsneeded to operate andmanage a vineyard, and basicwine-making techniques.Hands-on experience in avineyard, laboratory, andwinery will be included.Yogurt ProductionDecember 7-9, 2015This three-day course isa practical, comprehensive,and technical guide toyogurt production and theprinciples governing thefermentation of milk tomake yogurt. In this coursestudents will learn skillsspecific to produce yogurtincluding food safety issues,fermentation science, andhands-on methods of makingyogurt. These include: milkbiochemistry, inoculants,sweetening, packaging,and economics of yogurtproduction. Students willalso learn Vermont andfederal laws applicableto yogurt production andbuild cash flow worksheetsfor yogurt productionoperations. Using commonmilk processing equipmentto make yogurt students willbe able to explain and applyfermentation science to theyogurt making process.Days 1 and 2 will be inclass and making yogurt.Students will make andprepare six types of yogurtin bench top incubators thatthey can keep for furtherexperimentation.Day 3 of the course willvisit three yogurt productionfacilities where students caninteract with entrepreneurs.Advanced ReproductiveManagementDecember 16-17, 2015This course is designedto help farmers withartificial insemination skillsfurther improve their dairyreproductive managementskills. Students will learnmethods of assessing herdreproductive performanceusing records, ways tomanage the commondiseases which affectreproductive performanceand the pros and consof several methods ofpregnancy detectionincluding blood testing,ultrasound and palpationstrategies. This coursewill have several hours ofpractical farm laboratory.Cold Climate Viticulture:Winery & EquipmentConsiderationsJanuary 8-10, 2016This course will cover winery design including (layout,function, and utilities), equipping a small winery, tastingroom, water and waste water,Federal and Vermont statepermitting, winery insurance,business planning, and wineryoperating cost. There will beseveral guest speakers whoare experts in winery equipment, insurance, lending, andaccounting that will guide inthe decision making process.Maple InstallationsJanuary 11-12, 2016Update your sapcollecting system andmaximize your sugar-bushproduction. This coursewill cover the planningand installation ofa modern pipelinevacuum sapharvesting system.Students will preparea sugar-bush forpipeline installation,design the layout fora pipeline system,install main lines, and installlaterals for efficient sapharvest.Maple Syrup BoilingJanuary 18-19, 2016The course will cover allaspects of boiling from sapcollection to bottling. Coursetopics will include discussions on sap concentration,reverse osmosis (RO) devices,fuel options and fans, filtering, syrup grading and flavor,evaporator makes and models, sanitation and bottling.Also check out the MapleProducts course!Anaerobic DigesterOperations*January 4 - May 2, 2016The Digester OperationsMaster Certificate is a16 week program at theRandolph Center campus.Students in this programwork directly with thedigester operations staffto ensure the smoothand efficient operation ofVermont Tech’s AnaerobicDigester. Activities includemonitoring digesterperformance and adjustingdigester operation,coordinating and executinglogistics of feedstock andeffluent, adjusting digesterdiet, collecting data, andinteracting with the staff.Upon completionof the certificateprogram each studentwill have gainedthe skills necessaryto understand themechanics andoperation of adigester system, aswell as other areas suchas permitting, regulatorycompliance and recordkeeping.*This is a 16-week trainingwith flexible times, not a shortcourse.Introduction to GTAW(TIG) Welding*January 21 - May 12, 2016Through this course,the student will gain anunderstanding of the joiningof metals through a varietyof welding methods aswell as the national codesthat apply to the methods.The student will learn thebasic components of eachmachine and will learn toread blueprints specificallyrelated to welding processes.A central component ofthis course is a lab in whichthe student will learn touse many of the techniquesand machines discussedin the lecture. This coursewill help prepare studentsfor American WeldingSociety (AWS) entry-levelcertifications; two hoursof lecture, three hours oflaboratory per week.*This is not a short course.It will run on a semesterschedule of meeting eveningsonce a week for class, and oncea week for lab. Call 802-7281677 for more info.
7November 20, 2015Fifth Annual Consumer Nightat the Vermont Farm ShowBigger & Better in 2016 – Prepared Food – Raffle PrizesJanuary 27, 2016 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Blue Ribbon Pavilion, Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex JunctionCelebrate thediversity of Vermontagriculture onWednesday, January 27that the 5th annual VermontFarm Show “ConsumerNight” at the ChamplainValley Exposition in EssexJunction. Local food andcrafts will take center stagein the Blue Ribbon Pavilionat the 2016 Buy LocalMarket and Capital CookOff, free events hosted bythe Vermont Agency ofAgriculture, Food & Markets.Attendees may enterinto a raffle for prizes fromSki Vermont, the VermontCheesemakers Festival,and the Vermont BrewersFestival. In addition to avariety of agricultural prod-ucts and crafts, for the firsttime in 2016 the Buy LocalMarket will feature prepared,ready-to-eat foods—such ashot slices of locally-producedpizza—so you can bring thewhole family for an eveningof food, fun, and learning.Don’t miss next month’sissue of Agriview for a list ofBuy Local Market vendorsand the full Consumer Nightschedule!Note to Farms &Agricultural Businesses:Vendor applications forthe 5th Annual Buy LocalMarket during ConsumerNight at the Vermont FarmShow will now be accepteduntil November 30, 2015.And for the first time, wecan accept applicationsFor Immediate ReleaseThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food andMarkets have received an application for a MilkHandlers license from the following entity: Odwalla,Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia to sell and transportationmilk and milk products in the State of Vermont. Ifanyone has germane information as to why or why notthis company should or should not be licensed thosecomments are to be sent to:The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and MarketsDairy Section Office116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2901All written comments must be received byDecember 15th, 2015.At that time the Agency will make a determinationas to whether a hearing will be held. If we determinethat a hearing is necessary and you wish to attend pleasewrite to the above address attention Dairy Section.from vendors of prepared,ready-to-eat foods. Vendorapplications to participatein the Buy Local Marketare available at the Agencyof Agriculture’s website athttp://go.usa.gov/ccafd (orcontact Faith Raymond [email protected] or (802) 828-2430). Forall other inquiries, contactKristina Sweet at [email protected] or (802)522-7811.The Buy Local Marketoffers free booth space forvendors of agricultural products and prepared foods,with the goal of representingevery corner of Vermont.Meet new customers, offersamples, and sell yourproduct! The event will becovered by local televisionand radio. Please considerparticipating in this eventoffering opportunities forconsumers to taste, learn,and buy Vermont agriculturalproducts from across thestate. We hope to see you inJanuary!
November 20, 20158A Guide to Holiday Plant ToxicityBy Dr. Leonard Perry,Horticulture ProfessorUniversity of VermontSeveral of our favoriteholiday plants shouldbe kept from childrenand pets, yet often they poseno serious danger in smallamounts. There are manyother and more toxic substances to children in homesto be mindful of, especiallycosmetics, cleaning products,and personal care products.The poinsettia (Euphorbiapulcherrima), the mostpopular flowering pottedplant for indoors, has gottena bum rap for a numberof years. It’s been falselyaccused of being poisonous,yet no deaths from this planthave ever been recorded. Infact, research studies at OhioState University have proventhat poinsettias present nohealth hazard.The rumors arise from ahighly questionable reportof a single fatality in Hawaiimore than 80 years ago,a child who reportedlydied after eating one leaf.However, that doesn’t meanthe poinsettia doesn’t havemildly toxic properties. Ifingested by pets or humans,it can irritate the mouth andstomach, sometimes resultingin diarrhea or vomiting.The sap may cause apoison ivy-like blisteringon contact with the skin onsome persons unless washedoff immediately. That’swhy it’s important to placepoinsettias, and other holidayplants, out of the reach ofchildren and curious pets.Keep in mind that pets andpeople may differ in whatplants are toxic, and towhat degree. Kalanchoe, forinstance, is not listed as toxicfor people but is mildly toxicfor pets.How safe are otherholiday plants to humans?Here’s the rundown on somecommon plants whichhave toxic properties.Holly (Ilex): Branches areused during the holidays inarrangements for the shiny(but prickly) dark greenleaves and berries. Eatingthe bright, red berries of thisplant usually result in notoxicity in small quantities.Large quantities causenausea, abdominal pain, orvomiting.Jerusalem Cherry(Solanum pseudocapsicum):This potted plant has beenmore popular in decadespast, but still can be foundduring the holidays (so alsocalled Christmas Cherry)for the rounded red fruitsagainst the dark green leaveson a plant about a foot high.Every part of this plantcontains the toxic substancesolanocapsine, especially inunripened fruits and leaves.Eating the fruit or foliagewill adversely affect theheart and can cause a rangeof symptoms includingstomach pain, vomiting,headache, drowsiness, toothers more severe.Mistletoe (Phoradendronserotinum): This plantparasite of deciduous treesin the Southeastern statesis used during the holidaysfor hanging above doorways,and for its white berries.While most exposures resultin little or no toxicity, eatinglarge amountscan cause acutestomach andintestinal disorders.These are caused by thechemical phoratoxin, relatedto ricin (t
New UVM Dairy Science Teaching and Research Center Dedicated with Ribbon Cutting By Jeffrey R. Wakefield, University of Vermont A fter nine months of construction, the University of Vermont officially dedicated new dairy science t