Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort th



(18 Apr 2014) VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:
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A GROWING DEMAND FOR FRESH, AFFORDABLE GOAT MEAT IS FUELING A UNIQUE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IN VERMONT.
THE VERMONT GOAT COLLABORATIVE, NOW IN ITS SECOND YEAR, HELPS FEED A CULTURAL AND DIETARY NEED FOR THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES FROM AFRICA, SOUTH ASIA AND ELSEWHERE…
SOUNDBITE: Karen Freudenberger, “This was more than just sort of a folkloric quaint little project. This was serious demand for meat and something that people very much wanted.”
THE COLLABORATIVE TAKES UNWANTED BUCKLINGS FROM SIX LOCAL DAIRY FARMS AND GROWS THEM INTO ‘EATING-SIZE’ GOATS.
THEY ARE SOLD TO AREA REFUGEES WHO’VE HAD TO RELY ON FROZEN IMPORTS FROM AUSTRALIA, OR TRIPS INTO MASSACHUSETTS FOR A GOAT THAT CAN COST HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS.
SOUNDBITE: Chuda Dhaurali, farmer from Bhutan: “we need like at least once a month, we need like the big goat”
THE GOAT PROJECT IS A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN A REFUGEE SUPPORT ORGANZATION AND THE VERMONT LAND TRUST, WHICH OWNS PINE ISLAND FARM. THE STATE IS LETTING THE COLLABORATIVE USE THE PROPERTY FOR FREE UNTIL IT IS SELF-SUSTAINING.
THE PROJECT DIRECTOR SAYS OTHER STATES HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST IN STARTING SIMILAR PROGRAMS.
SOUNDBITE: Karen Freudenberger: “the idea is not to get our farm huge so that we can send goats all over the country, but it’s to get a working model that then can be transferred and tweaked given people’s particular situations to make it work.”
THE FARM RAISED AND SOLD 80 GOATS LAST YEAR. AND HOPES TO RAISE HUNDREDS MORE IN THE YEARS AHEAD.
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HANNAH BUCHDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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