About Strolling of the Heifers
[TO BE UPDATED]
Who we are
Inspired by Spain’s famous “Running of the Bulls,” Brattleboro’s annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade features scores of heifers ambling up the town’s historic Main Street, along with many, many farmers, future farmers, cows, bulls, horses, goats, poultry, floats, tractors, bands, clowns, and much more. When it’s over, the crowd follows the parade to the grounds of the Brattleboro Retreat and enjoys food, music, dancing and fun at the Dairy Festival. The event is held each year on the first weekend in June, which is National Dairy Month. On “Stroll Weekend,” there are also farm-related events on Friday evening, and a farm breakfast and farm tour on Sunday morning.
The Strolling of the Heifers Parade & Festival is consistently rated one of Vermont’s Top Ten Summer Events, and is attended tens of thousands of people each year.
What we do
In addition to capturing the national media’s imagination with our successful annual parades, Strolling of the Heifers has made many noteworthy strides. Among these, we have:
- Provided $140,000 for educational programs to over 80 schools and other organizations
- Launched and operated a Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program that placed at-risk youth in summer internships on local family farms; this program is now becoming part of the new agricultural curriculum at the Windham Regional Career Center
- Launched a Farm/Food Business Plan Competition that provided $30,000 in prizes for innovative, entrepreneurial business plans for farm and food businesses in the Windham County VT region.
- Created a season-long Farm/Food/Fiber Tour enabling people to visit farms open to the public
- Organized a Buy Local Challenge to encourage local residents to buy food grown or produced in the region
- Launched the Microloan Fund for New England Farmers, which will made its first loans in 2009, aided by two benefit concerts by the Seeger family and several grants; this program is now operated by The Carrot Project throughout New England.
- Spread the message of the importance of saving New England’s family farms via our web site,www.strollingoftheheifers.com
- Published a cookbook, “Celebrating Our Roots”, filled with recipes from Southeastern Vermont featuring local products and chefs
- Presented hands-on farmer-teacher workshops
- Provided guidance to teachers on how visits to area farms can be used to give students real-life learning experiences that not only teach them basic math and science skills, but also enrich their knowledge of subjects such as food, society, work and history
- Held workshops to help teachers learn how to teach students about agriculture in the classroom
- Provided grants to farmers to attend workshops so they can better their skills at adding value to what they produce on their farms