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Our 2022 ‘Land Stewards’ Awardees

  • 5 Min Read
  • June 22, 2022

Awards given to eight students

Since 2005, the Vermont Land Trust has honored high-school students who are dedicated to farming, forestry, and land stewardship. Juniors and seniors enrolled in agricultural, food, and natural resource programs in Vermont schools are nominated by their teachers. This year, eight students received our Land Stewards Awards, along with a check for $300.

Peter Armata, Westford

Peter Armata says being outside in the forest is where he belongs. His experience and connection to the land has deepened as a student at The Center for Technology in Essex.

Teacher Brian Japp nominated Peter for the award after watching him learn about the economic and ecological role of forestland. He said that through this learning, Peter discovered he wanted to build a career that supports the health working forestland.

Peter’s immediate goal is to start a small firewood business. He’s ordered logs and is in the process of procuring a wood splitter. His hope is that his small business will be a launching point for a long career in our working forests.

“I hope to expand my firewood business into something I can do full time,” said Peter. “With the decline in people working in the forest, I hope I can inspire younger people to enjoy the woods the way I do.”

Bradley Bowers, Hartland

As a farmhand at Lemax Dairy Farm, Bradley Bowers has gained skills and expertise in all aspects of dairy farming. He broadened his knowledge to include natural resources management as a student at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center.

Citing Bradley’s work with the White River Partnership on water quality and monitoring invasive species, his teacher Matthew Dragon said he can always count on Bradley to be a responsible, focused leader.

Bradley is interested in owning a dairy farm someday. In the meantime, he’s happy working the land, whether it be hauling hay on the farm or making maple syrup with his family.

“I love working the land… it’s awesome to watch what I can accomplish in a day,” said Bradley. “It’s gratifying to see what the land can produce for both people and animals.”

Kaitlyn Brown, Glover

According to Animal Systems Science Instructor, Emily Dehoff, Kaitlyn Brown’s genuine love of animals is readily apparent by the way she describes her “babies,” the Brown Swiss cattle herd she owns.

Kaitlyn spends a lot of early mornings and late nights with her herd in Derby and working for Andersonville Farm in Glover. “I love walking outside and seeing the cows peacefully grazing when I am doing my work in the pastures,” said Kaitlyn.

She has won multiple awards, including Grand Champion and Supreme Champion, for cattle exhibitions at the Barton Fair. As a student at North Country Career Center, she’s just as dedicated.

Not many people find their passion early in life… but listening to Kaitlyn talk about dairy cattle, you’re certain she’s found hers, said Dehoff.

Timothy Curran, Whiting

Tim Curran comes from a family steeped in agriculture. He works on several dairy farms and sugaring operations in the Middlebury area. At Hannaford Career Center, he learned new skills to become an agricultural mechanic.

His teacher, Aaron Townshend, nominated him for the award because of his competence, commitment, and dedication to agriculture.

“I enjoy being outside with the sunshine on my skin and the smell of fresh cut hay in the air,” said Tim. “I like working the land with tractors and with my bare hands and hand tools. I like working with others who share this same love of agriculture.”


Wyatt Flanders, Hardwick

Wyatt Flanders spends most days milking, cleaning, and feeding 120 head of cattle, or haying and fertilizing their grazing fields. And that’s just at home—he also works at the LeBlanc Dairy Farm, where he holds many of the same duties. At Green Mountain Technology & Career Center, Wyatt learned about maple sugaring, sugarbush management, and sustainable timber harvesting.

“Wyatt truly cares about the land and the animals on the land,” said his Forestry & Land Management Instructor, Meghan Luther, who described his work managing forest openings at his family’s land and planting apple trees to benefit wildlife.

Wyatt plans to continue to work on his family farm and the LeBlanc farm. He is also job shadowing with a local timber harvesting and tree service company. His future plans are to incorporate both of these industries, logging in the winter months and farming the rest of the year.

“I grew up farming and hunting,” said Wyatt. “I know the importance of managing the land both to benefit our farm animals and for Vermont’s wildlife. I enjoy being hands-on and working outside and keeping these Vermont traditions alive.”

Kody Grout, Randolph Center

By the time Kody Grout was 10 years old, he was raising beef and sheep for extra spending money. “It was hard work, but always paid off,” he said.

Kody is graduating from the Diversified Agriculture program at Randolph Technical Career Center. He continues to raise and sell meat animals and works at a dairy farm. He often milks before class and heads back to the farm afterward. His instructor Ryan O’Malley nominated Kody because of his commitment to working the land, and for his hard work and dedication as a student.

Kody plans to work in the forest products industry and raise animals on the side. In time, he hopes to have his own farm or logging operation. “I grew up in Randolph,” said Kody. “My love for all things outdoors started at an early age. I love Vermont and all that the land has to offer!”

Douglas Holland, North Haverhill

Doug Holland is more at home in the woods than in a town or city. He loves learning about the temperate forest ecosystem and its native flora and fauna—both in Vermont, where he attends school, and in New Hampshire, where he lives. He is a certified trapper and uses natural methods to tan deer hides.

At River Bend Career and Technical Center, he was committed to continuing his appreciation and care of the land around him. His instructor, Ian Blackmer, nominated Doug for the award, citing his curiosity and care for both land and people, which make him a great steward of the natural landscape. Doug plans to explore his post-secondary opportunities in Vermont in the agriculture and forestry fields.

“I like to think of a lot of the work I do outside as being a part of something bigger,” said Doug. “The things you do depend on the season: in spring you plant seeds and get things ready for summer. All around you, things are coming back to life, trees are starting to grow leaves and you start to see more animals running around. When fall arrives, you’re getting ready for winter, harvesting vegetables, and packing things away; at the same time so are the animals. It’s just nice to be part of that cycle to feel like you belong.”

Noah Huebner, Reading

From a young age, Noah Heubner’s life has revolved around the land and forests of Vermont. He grew up hunting, fishing, trapping, gardening, and milling with his father, and developed a strong passion for the land.

As founder and owner of a small business—Huebner Forest and Land Stewardship—Noah mows and trims lawns and prunes ornamental and apple trees. He also has experience operating his family’s sawmill. At River Valley Technical Center, he applies what he learned in the classroom to the lab activities.

“Noah always participates 110%,” said his instructor, John Harmer. Harmer nominated Noah for the award because of his thoughtfulness, reliability, hard work, and diligence.

Noah has been accepted to Vermont Technical College’s VAST Program, in which he will be attending college and concurrently completing his senior year of high school.

“I plan to become a Vermont Licensed Land Surveyor, and pursue forestry as well,” said Noah. “These jobs will allow me to have plenty of time enjoying the beauty of nature, as well as ensuring the preservation of it for future generations to come.”


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