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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Dartmouth celebrated its growing relationship with area farmers during the Farm to Dartmouth Food Expo, a dining event at Thayer Dining Hall held the evening of May 17. The special menu featured natural chicken breast from Misty Knoll Farm (New Haven, Vt.) stuffed with herbed goat cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company (Websterville, Vt.), marinated venison steaks from Yankee Farmer's Market (Warner, N.H.), spinach from Doug Miller & Son (East Dummerston, Vt.), and sweet cream ice cream from Walpole Creamery (Walpole, N.H.).
"We're proud to bring attention to area farmers and the high-quality products that their farms produce," says Tucker Rossiter, director of Dartmouth Dining Services (DDS). "This stuff is fresh—some of it is from only a few miles away—and that's good for the College's sustainability efforts and good for the taste of the food." On some days, produce picked from the fields in early morning is on the salad bars and in entrees by lunchtime.
The event highlights the success of Dartmouth's three-year partnership with Vital Communities' Valley Food and Farm (VF&F) program, which was launched by a grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture and Education. Vital Communities is a nonprofit organization that works with community members to foster the balance of cultural, economic, environmental life in the Upper Valley. "We have surpassed our goal of building 10 new direct accounts, and now even more regional food comes from new distributors," says Lisa Johnson, director of VF&F.
In 2006, the College purchased $260,301 of food from New Hampshire and Vermont farms, up from $230,739 in 2004. Ten years ago, the amount of food (other than milk) that Dartmouth purchased from area farms was close to zero, according to David Newlove, associate director of DDS. "We've come a long way," he says. The number of farms and area distributors that Dartmouth works with has also increased, from 8 in 2004 to 23 in 2006.
Jesse Laflamme, a farmer for Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs in Monroe, N.H., has supplied Dartmouth with all of its eggs with shells (to be fried or hard boiled) for the past year and a half. "Dartmouth is a great customer," he says. "We're very proud of our relationship." Laflamme was one of seven farmers at the event who shared information about their products as they entered Homeplate dining hall.
For his meal, Geoff Holman '10 selected sliced tomato (Thetford, Vt.) and fresh mozzarella (Bennington Vt.), fiddlehead ferns (Springfield, Vt.) with orange and champagne vinaigrette, roast sirloin Texas style (Freeport, Maine), and orzo with shiitake mushrooms and garlic-cheddar (Grafton, Vt.). "This is amazing," said Holman. "It's a great idea to support local farms. It looks delicious."
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