Student Reps: the Student Voice in Vermont First – Part I

It’s hard to believe it is officially the end of the fall semester!  As we wrap up the semester – before I get to intended topic of this post – I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to a few stories from this past semester that involve eating invasive species, the reemergence of the coveted UVM Dairy Bar, Vermont spuds on VPR, to name a few. Check them out here – we’ve been busy!

The real crux of this post is to highlight two folks behind the scenes in the Vermont First world.  In fact, to give each their proper due, I will break this post into two.  This fall, we launched Vermont First Student Reps, an internship program for students at our Vermont campuses to learn more about Vermont First, sustainable procurement in Vermont and beyond, and to represent the student voice on each campus.  Today’s post highlights one of our Student Reps, and stay tuned for the second installment!

We spent some time with Student Rep Flannery Mehigan, a junior at University of Vermont, to learn more about why she is interested in Vermont First and what she does when she’s not focused on her Vermont First responsibilities!

FLANNERY MEHIGAN

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Student Rep Flannery Mehigan, UVM, getting ready for the holidays!

College: University of Vermont

Year: Junior

Major/Minor(s): Environmental Studies with minors in Psychological Sciences and Dance

Favorite class this semester: Contact Improvisation, a wonderful form of dance focused on exploration of bodies and their unique relations to space

Favorite Christmas food: My mom makes a delicious Moroccan Spiced Pie with squash, spinach, chickpeas, and a whole slew of amazing spices.

What does ‘local’ mean to you? When I think of local I think of a way to connect people to their homes and surrounding landscapes. When we make the decision to purchase local, we create a tangible and dynamic relationship between food and farmer. In the evening when I prep veggies grown in Vermont for my dinner, I feel overwhelming gratitude for the fact that I can make local a priority in my budget, that I can take the time to try my best to support Vermont producers as I strive to eat seasonally.

What interested you in being a VT First Student Rep? I’m interested in my position as a VT First Student Rep because it has continued to strengthen my perspective on local food systems. There is a whole arrangement of externalities to consider when thinking about bringing local food into institutions like colleges and hospitals – externalities I found myself neglecting to consider before this position. Farm to institution is an amazing movement and I feel immensely grateful to be witnessing it in a place like Vermont.

What have you enjoyed about your experience so far? I have loved my experience as a Student Rep thus far. I have enjoyed being able to think about the complexities of supply chains and consider the difficulties of food access. As a VT First Student Rep I’ve been able to strengthen my perspective of the Vermont food system and continue to foster a deeper connection to how I live and relate to food here.

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UVM Dairy Bar: A Old Favorite with a New Twist

On Monday, August 28th UVM Dining served up its first scoop of ice cream made with UVM milk since the closure of UVM’s Carrigan Hall, home to the original Dairy Bar from 1950-1995. In collaboration with UVM CREAM (Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management), St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, and Wilcox Ice Cream, the Davis Center is now home to a new ice cream vision.

How did we bring it back? We prioritized Vermont First. UVM Dining has committed to working with farmers, distributors, processors, and supply-chain players in Vermont before we look elsewhere. It’s all based in our pledge to bring farm to our institution. The UVM ice cream journey starts with the high-quality milk from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ very own CREAM program. Located at the Miller Research Educational Center on Spear Street in Burlington, Vermont, CREAM is a student operated dairy farm. With 34 Holstein and Jersey cows, this superior herd has plenty of milk to spare for our ice cream. Through the hard work of both cows and CREAM students, the milk continues its journey to St. Albans Coop Creamery in St. Albans, Vermont.

St. Albans Coop has been making dairy products for nearly a century. With the arrival of the milk from UVM CREAM, farmers create a delicious ice cream mix. That mix will soon find its way to Wilcox Premium Ice Cream in East Arlington, Vermont.

Why Wilcox? Howard Wilcox, ’66, Animal Science, first learned to make ice cream from his father. At UVM, Howard was one of the few students making ice cream in the original Carrigan Hall Dairy Bar. Today Wilcox Premium Ice Cream uses pieces of equipment from the original Dairy Bar in their operation. Howard, Christina, Craig and the rest of the Wilcox crew take the ice cream mix made with milk from UVM CREAM to create a variety of fantastic flavors. From “Sweet CREAM” to “Melody Mint Chocolate Chip” there’s a flavor for everyone. A portion of sales from the ice cream sold on campus even makes its way back in support of the CREAM program.

But that’s not all! This space is also home to a new smoothie selection. Made with organic fruit and utilizing Fair Trade bananas, we recognize ice cream isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for Maple Blueberry (made with pure Vermont maple syrup from UVM’s Proctor Maple Research Center) or Triple Berry, stop by the Dairy Bar to fuel your day.

We’ve worked hard to keep the tradition of UVM ice cream alive, so head to the 2nd floor of the Davis Center to give it a taste yourself.

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UVM CREAM students enjoying a first taste of the UVM Dairy Bar. Photo Credit: Keith Waterfield

UVM’s Highly-Anticipated New Dining Hall Opens!

UVM Dining launches culinary teaching kitchen with opening of new Central Campus Dining Hall

News Release — UVM
Aug. 24, 2017

Contact:
Jeffrey Wakefield
jeffrey.wakefield@uvm.edu

The University of Vermont’s much anticipated Central Campus Residence and Dining Hall, under construction for two years, will open on August 26 when students return to campus.

The dining hall portion of the new building is one of the most innovative in American higher education, designed to promote student engagement with open kitchen formats, live demonstrations and digital screens that provide nutrition advice and tell the story of UVM’s commitment to local food.

To read full article, click here.

 

…and a sneak peak of the next UVM Dining story headed your way:

uvm dairy bar