Business of Agriculture: On the farm, the end of life is commonplace and easy
Apr19

Business of Agriculture: On the farm, the end of life is commonplace and easy

I had a volunteer on the farm once who had trouble thinning carrots. She couldn’t bear to see the little baby thinnings shriveling in the sun as we moved down the rows. She shoved a bunch into her pockets with the idea of replanting them when she got home. I don’t know how that worked out. She never came back.   Hers was an unusual case, though I think she had a fundamental insight into farming that is easy to miss: Death is...

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SCORE Stories: Brownsville Butcher & Pantry
Apr19

SCORE Stories: Brownsville Butcher & Pantry

Lauren Stevens and Peter Varkonyi had a dream and a plan. Their vision was to create Butcher & Pantry, a business that would leverage Varkonyi’s training and experience as a chef and butcher with Stevens’ business skills in farm management. They shared a passion for locally sourced food and identified a need for a combination café and retail food store, including a butcher shop, that would deliver great tasting fare with unique...

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Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world
Apr19

Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world

When Lee Webster’s mother died, her body was laid out at home. Family members came and went for the weekend, before loading her body into Webster’s van. They played her mother’s favorite music while driving the corpse to a crematorium in St. Johnsbury. The next day family members picked up the remains, and Webster’s mother was buried in the family plot in East Montpelier Center. “It was simple,” said Webster, president of New...

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Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life
Apr19

Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life

Whether it’s a carcass found in the woods, a coyote struck by a car, or the annual hunters’ take of deer, moose, bear and turkeys, death isn’t necessarily the last stop for animals in the Upper Valley. Many are restored to a semblance of their previous lives by professional taxidermists in New Hampshire and Vermont. “We memorialize these beautiful animals,” said John Matyka, owner of Jacobs Brook Taxidermy in Orford, “and in the...

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The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills
Apr19

The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills

Dr. Judith Hills recalls that when she graduated from high school, not many women went on to become doctors. Still, she’d always been interested in medicine, and after her husband became a veterinarian, she decided she had what it took to become a physician. When her youngest child started first grade, Hills started medical school at Dartmouth College. She worked briefly at the Ottauquechee Health Center, when hospice was getting...

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The Exit Interview: Terry Appleby
Jan22

The Exit Interview: Terry Appleby

Most people in The Upper Valley have visited the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society at one point or another. With locations in Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction, as well as auto service centers in Hanover and Norwich, the Hanover Co-op Food Stores does about 5,000 customer transactions each day, totaling around $72 million annually. For decades, the man behind that force was Terry Appleby, the co-op’s general manager from...

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The HR Pro: Making an Exit
Jan22

The HR Pro: Making an Exit

People are quitting their jobs at the highest rates in nearly 20 years, a sign that they are finding and landing other opportunities. The national quits rate — the percentage of employed workers who quit their jobs in a given month — reached 2.4 percent for three months last summer, the highest level since the start of 2001, before dipping to 2.3 percent in October. The U.S. has 7.1 million job openings, compared with 6 million...

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SCORE Stories: Pampered Poultry Takes Flight
Jan22

SCORE Stories: Pampered Poultry Takes Flight

Claremont resident Julie Baker has turned a do-it-yourself home craft project into quite the nest egg: a business that designs and sells chicken diapers and tutus. (No joke.) While it sounds beyond quirky, it’s more popular than one might think, and Baker has been laughing all the way to the bank since she started Pampered Poultry more than 10 years ago. The 47-year-old Baker, who considers herself a bit of a hippie artist, has always...

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The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair
Jan22

The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair

Agricultural enterprises constantly confront swarms of problems and issues as they try to be profitable and sustainable, but often there’s one in particular that hovers over everything, that vexes the owners for years and, occasionally, spells doom for the business. It’s the matter of succession — what will become of the farm when the present generation ages out and whether or not there’ll be the talent, interest and wherewithal to...

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