In winter 2021 a survey of Medium Farm Operations (MFO) and Large Farm Operations (LFO) was conducted in Vermont. The goal of this survey was to gather information on the economic situation across Vermont’s medium-to-larger farms, explore their adaptation to water quality regulations and to understand the next steps for farms moving forward. The survey was distributed to 143 MFO and LFO farm business owners through postal mail. Sixty-two useable surveys were analyzed resulting in a 44% response rate.
Results show that conservation practice adoption among MFO and LFO farms is high. The largest compliance factor this group of farms continue to address is silage leachate and feed storage. Medium and large farms are shown to have more short and mid-term staying power compared to certified small farms (surveyed in 2019) in Vermont. A larger percentage of MFOs and LFOs in this survey are confident about the business outlook for the farm over the next five years, have plans to expand or demonstrate low likelihood to exit the farm business. This report offers a robust assessment of Vermont MFO-LFO farms, offering results on questions about economic viability, technical assistance program needs, challenges and alternatives being considered by business owners.
Cannella, Mark P. and Kitsos, Anthony, "Conservation and Farm Viability on Vermont Medium and Large Farms" (2022). UVM Extension Faculty Publications. 20.