High in the mountains, in a part of Reading known as the “Vermont Alps”, sits the 61 acre Vermont Alpine Farm. This land has been a part of the working landscape since 1796 and today is home to the Channell family and their herd of grass-fed, grass-finished beef. The farm, sitting at almost 1800 ft in elevation, boasts 19 acres of fertile, prime soil. The location in Reading abuts other land protected by UVLT and the Vermont Land Trust. Alder Meadow Brook, a tributary of the North Branch of the Black River runs through the property. A visit to the farm displays cows grazing on the lush mountain meadow, views to the east of Mount Ascutney, and hoop houses growing a variety of organic produce. And today this farm has been protected forever.
Originally from the mid-west, the Channell Family have a deep connection with Vermont. Kevin Channell got his Vermont farming start raising organic produce as an apprentice through NOFA-VT which led to starting a successful fruit and vegetable operation with his wife, Laura, in Fairlee. After almost a decade they decided to return to their Midwestern roots to be closer to family while they raised their children. However, their love of Vermont brought them back to the Green Mountain State and in 2017 they settled on the farmland in Reading. Here, their markets for the F1 Wagyu x Devon beef cattle and produce include several local retailers in the Woodstock/West Windsor area, direct sales to local customers and cold shipping across the US. Their business also includes a farmstay cabin that provides visitors with a quiet, Vermont retreat on a working farm. Since moving back to Vermont and starting their farm they have been determined to protect the land they love from any further development.
Now in their mid-40’s with three sons, the Channels fall far below the average age of a Vermont farmer. A purchased conservation easement will enable the Channells to retire some of the startup debt and help to invest in new infrastructure and land in order to expand their farm business. They have chosen to make Vermont their forever home and hope to raise their family on the hard working values rural Vermonters are known for. Thank you Kevin and Laura for your forward thinking land preservation!
This project was completed with funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.