“The Future of the Family Farm” begins the OLLI semester

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Steve Taylor will begin the winter/spring 2020 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. with an outlook on the “Future of the Family Farm in the Connecticut Valley.” He will pose the question of whether to expect more decline or will there be a turning point? The program will be presented at the Nolin Murray Center, next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Pleasant Street in Springfield.

Family Farm
Steve Taylor. Photo provided

Family farms in the Connecticut Valley have been under extreme stress for generations, and he’ll discuss the array of challenges today leading many observers to hold little hope for their future. But others see signs of reversal of fortunes and cite forces that can lead to a brighter prospect for family farmers. He’ll assess the negative and the positive of the current situation.

Taylor is a farmer, a writer, and a “Scholar of All Things Rural.” He comes from a varied background of experience. He was the commissioner of New Hampshire Agriculture Department for 25 years, a local town public official, and a reporter and editor for the Valley News. He continues with his family farm business, especially maple sugaring in Meriden, N.H. He was the founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. He is well-known throughout the area as an engaging and informative speaker, having been a favorite previous presenter to the OLLI group on several rural topics.

OLLI, affiliated with the University of Vermont, is a local membership program geared towards seniors 50 years and older who want to engage in meaningful learning “just for the fun of it!” People of all ages who are interested in this type of program are welcome to attend.

The OLLI series programs are selected with input from the local members and carry varied themes from semester to semester including history, art, music, literature, health, nature, science, travel, and current events. Membership for the semester includes nine programs. Non-members are encouraged and welcome to attend individual lectures for a single program fee. Memberships, as well as single program fees, may be paid at the program.

The following OLLI program will be two weeks later, Feb. 11, and will be “Everything You Need to Know About the Birds and the Bees: Good Plants to Support Them” with garden writer, Henry Homeyer. This program is co-sponsored by the Springfield Garden Club.

Brochures have been distributed throughout the area towns at businesses, the local libraries, town halls, and Chamber of Commerce offices. The complete Springfield and statewide program list is available at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli.

For weather-related changes to the schedule you may check the above mentioned website or SAPA TV, 802-885-6248, or call 802-885-3094.

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