cows grazing

We bring a food systems focus to Vermont agriculture by conducting research, supporting new projects and bringing a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to the opportunities and challenges facing Vermont growers and agriculture-related businesses.

We research leading-edge practices and new approaches that help farmers and other food system stakeholders who are seeking profitability, incorporating environmentally regenerative practices, and addressing social and community-based food-related needs.

Areas of Research

Grass Farming & Livestock Production

Soil Health

Improved soil health helps protect water quality, increases profitability, helps sequester carbon, and increases a farm's resiliency to withstand extreme weather events. Healthy soil is the foundation of sustainable farming, and is a primary consideration in our research projects.

Though nearly all of our work is centered around soil health, the projects listed here have a particular soil health component:

Recently completed projects:

Food Access & Food Security

Land Access

We are here to help new and existing farmers find the land they need to sustainably grow crops and raise livestock while achieving financial viability.

Recently completed projects in this area:

Collaborations with UVM Academic Colleagues

Social Components of Sustainability

We have a special interest in understanding how community structures and relationships are part of lasting, vibrant farm and food systems. Current and recent work in this area includes:

Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Center Personnel

Juan Alvez

Extension Research Associate

Environmental, social and productive aspects of grazing farms, with emphasis on pasture management, ecosystems conservation and sustainable livelihoods.


Linda Berlin

Director, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Extension Associate Professor; Nutrition Specialist

Working across disciplines to better understand food system concerns.


Joshua Faulkner

Research Assistant Professor and Farming and Climate Change Program Coordinator

Applied research and outreach on soil, water, and nutrient related issues.


Kimberly Hagen

Grazing Specialist

Technical assistance and support for grass-based farms.


Suzy Hodgson

Sustainable Agriculture Outreach Specialist

Coordinates local food projects.