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Beer waste helps heifers

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2020 10:58:39 PM
Modified: 2/11/2020 10:58:33 PM

Wet brewer’s grains: They do a heifer’s body good. New research from the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire suggests that the residues left behind in the brewing process may provide a cost-effective, nutrient-rich feed replacement for dairy heifers.

Researchers replaced corn and soybean meal with wet brewer’s grain in heifers’ feed and analyzed the effect on the animals’ growth. They found that using the residue, known as “beer waste,” at a rate of 20% provided similar growth performance to diets using corn and soybean feed.

Raising heifers until they’re old enough to start calving at 22 to 24 months is a pricey prospect, especially at a time when the cost of feed is high while the price of milk has dipped, said the study’s authors, Professor of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems Peter Erickson and doctoral student Eric Hatungimana. Farmers have been feeding wet brewer’s grains to cows for years, but data on feeding it to heifers is limited, they said.

With about 800 breweries operating in the Northeast, beer waste offers a potentially abundant source of feed.

VLS opens Legal Food Hub

Vermont farmers and food producers who find themselves in need of legal assistance have a new resource at their disposal: the Vermont Legal Food Hub. A joint effort between Vermont Law School and Conservation Law Foundation, the program will connect income-eligible farmers and business owners with lawyers willing to offer pro bono services. It’s housed at VLS’ Center for Agriculture and Food Systems on its South Royalton campus.

Jennifer Rushlow, who now works as director of VLS’ Environmental Law Center, started the first legal food hub in Massachusetts in 2014 while director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Food & Farm Program. Legal food hubs have since popped up in Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Several attorneys have signed on to offer services through the Vermont Legal Food Hub, and two cases are already in the works, according to a news release. In addition to helping farmers, who tend to hire legal aid at much lower rates than other small business owners, the program will benefit students, organizers said. Students in the school’s Food and Agriculture Clinic will work on the cases, under the supervision of licensed attorneys.

The Vermont Legal Food Hub is accepting applications from Vermont farmers and food producers and recruiting attorneys to provide free services. For information, visit or contact Whitney Shields at or 802-831-1307.

Kilton to hostcheesecake contest

Bring them blanketed in cherries or marbled with chocolate and caramel. Bring them studded with candy and drizzled with sauces or utterly unembellished. Just bring your best cheesecakes to the Kilton Library in West Lebanon on Feb. 21 for the Lebanon Gourmet Cooking Club’s Cheesecake Contest. The free event begins at 7 p.m., and first-, second- and third-place ribbons will be awarded. For information call 603-359-7116.

Enfield holdsa ‘recipe night’

Family Recipe Night comes to Enfield next week. The Enfield Public Library is inviting home cooks to bring their favorite family dishes for a night of sharing food and stories on Tuesday evening in the Community Building. Participants will eat together and talk about why the recipes are special to their families. The event begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to everyone.

Farm-to-schoolgrants available

Vital Communities is accepting applications for its 2020 farm-to-school mini grants. The $500 grants can be used for school and after-school programs related to farms, agricultural heritage, farm products, food production or local food consumption. Ten grants will be awarded to schools around the Upper Valley, with first consideration for applications received by March 6. Past grant recipients include cooking classes for preschoolers, perennial gardens and field trips. To download the application or apply online, visit and click  on Valley Food and Farm, then Farm-to-School mini grants.

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