Love a good burger? So do we! We've recently developed a new program to get local, grass-fed beef into our school cafeterias!
Here's how it works: dairy cows need to calve every year to keep producing milk; however, most dairy farms don't know what to do with the bull calves. This first year of the program, we are raising the unwanted bull calves on our pastures, but hope more and more farmers will raise some for the Smart Burgers Program. Getting beef into schools at prices Schools and farmers can both afford is a challenge at best, and often it makes the draw toward conventional cheap meat too great. We have to get away from factory farmed foods in school lunches, and farmers can't afford to sell at the prices schools can afford to pay. We are hoping that the Smart Burgers Program can subsidize the in-between. So, if a school can only pay $3lb but a farmer needs to make $5/lb, Smart Burgers can raise enough money to cover the middle. That is why your donations are so important! It is our hope that it will be worth it to farmers across the state to begin to raise cows for Smart Burgers, and more and more good beef will be served to our Vermont kids. All our children should enjoy hormone and antibiotic free, wholesome meat in their lunch!
The first Smart Burgers will be on the Green Mountain Farm-to-School truck in the fall. If you'd like to support this program you can donate here!
How to Get Involved:
The program accepts donations and will apply for grants, with the mission of keeping the cost of burger to schools low while still making it worthwhile for farmers to raise the cows. It is our hope that this will eventually allow dairies to raise their own bull calves up to market weight and then sell to the Smart Burgers program, which will take care of the marketing and distribution, another tricky loop to close. This way, schools across Vermont can have wholesome beef for the kids and the dairy farms can have something to do with the bulls.
Why We Do This:
We farm because we want to raise animals for meat with care. We want to know that there is healthy food in the world without antibiotics in it. We want people to trust that the meat they are eating came from animals that lived the way they were supposed to. It feels great to be working with the Dairy farms and closing one more gap. You can learn more about our farm, farming practices, what we offer and where to purchase at tangletownfarm.com. We are taking orders now for our year-round CSA and we will be at the Montpelier Farmers’ Market each and every market.
Also coming soon is the Smart Burgers website, smartburgers.org, where you can learn about the program or donate. We hope to see you this summer at the farmers’ market, where there is every kind of food from every kind of farm. Sustainable means Vermonters feeding Vermonters, from Chicken to Carrot. Come support and enjoy the many healthy and sustainable choices produced so close to home.