Vermont Resorts to Cook Up Local Beef
SAM Magazine-Montpelier, Vt., Dec. 6, 2007-Several Vermont resorts will serve up Ski Vermont Burgers this winter as the result of a partnership between the Vermont Ski Areas Association, Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Beef Producers Association. First to offer Vermont beef on the menu are Bolton Valley, Jay Peak, Okemo Mountain and Stowe Mountain Resort, with others expected to follow.
"Jay Peak has always been a partner of the Vermont agricultural community through its support of the dairy industry," Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak said. "We're eager and excited to support beef farmers through this program. We use Vermont homegrown products whenever and wherever possible."
"We are lucky to finally support a high quality driven product, local beef on a year round basis," said Bolton Valley' executive chef Andrew J. LaHaye. "It supports local farmers and gives back to Vermont; it's a home run."
That's how the beef farmers see it, too. "The animal and the resulting product stays in Vermont instead of being shipped out of state for processing and utilization in a chain restaurant," said Guy Crosby, president of the Vermont Beef Producers Association. "The consumer can identify where the burger came from. This beef will have a different flavor due to its grass based diet. Overall, this program enables the consumer to buy local and taste the benefit."
The business of beef is a small but important part of the state's economy. There are 1,000 beef producers in Vermont, ranging from two to 2,000 head of cattle. Beyond their impact on the local food supply, though, beef operations also preserve Vermont's iconic farmland and barns, maintaining the historic charm that Vermont's tourism (and ski industry) has built upon. \