Strolling of the Heifers Inc. to Suspend All Programs
Statement on behalf of the Board of Directors
Roger Allbee, Interim Board Chair
After careful analysis and consideration, the Board of Directors of Strolling of the Heifers, Inc. has taken action to suspend all programs. With a heavy heart, this action is taken due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the financial operations of Strolling of the Heifers that is very dependent on the annual parade and associated events for its operation.
Over the last twenty years, since its inception, beginning with the annual parade, Strolling of the Heifers has brought so much to the town, area, region, and the state. In 2002, a diverse group of businesspeople, farmers, and community volunteers came together with its founder, Orly Munzing, to organize the Strolling of the Heifers parade and festival for the purpose of bringing attention to the plight of family farming and rural communities in Vermont. The annual event has attracted tens upon tens of thousands of people and has been rated as one of America’s top 10 Summer Events in 2014 and Top Ten Time-Honored event for the past 19 years by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. The Stroll bolstered the rural agricultural economy with such programs as “Windham Grows” that supported many emerging agribusinesses, improving their profitability, and creating many new jobs. SOTH’s Farm-to-Table Apprenticeship program trained unemployed and underemployed people in foodservice careers, placing them with local restaurants. The annual Slow Living Summit gathers leaders from around the USA to Brattleboro to discuss challenges and successes in sustainable local food, further enhancing Vermont’s leadership in creating sustainable and healthy food systems to address economic and social challenges faced by rural America.
The Board appreciates the support of the many contributors and supporters, volunteers, and others who have provided so much to its success over the years. It will continue to evaluate the future of Strolling and its programs as it suspends all programs.