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Ski Vermont's Fifth Grade Passport Program Raises $16K for Local Dairy Farmers

Laura Hardie of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, Clara Ayer, a third generation dairy farmer at Fairmont Farm in East Montpelier and Sarah Wojcik of Ski Vermont.
Ski Vermont mascot

Ski Vermont presented a contribution check of a record breaking $16,365 to the Keep Local Farms Fund at Fairmont Farm in East Montpelier, VT on Monday, October 5, 2015. The donation comes from the proceeds of Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport program which enabled nearly 2,500 children to ski and snowboard for free in Vermont during the 2014-15 season.

The Keep Local Farms Fund supports the long-term viability of New England’s dairy farms through three strategies: educating New Englanders about dairy farming, promoting purchases of milk and other dairy foods, and raising funds to support the sustainability of New England’s dairy farms. Ski Vermont had donated to the Keep Local Farms Fund for the last three years with contributions totaling nearly $45,000.

“Another season, another record!” said Ski Vermont Public Relations Director Sarah Wojcik. “Coming off the best season recorded in Vermont, it’s no surprise we also saw growth in the participation of the fifth grade passport program and increased our donation once again. We’re very proud to be continued supporters of our local farmers with a contribution that will go toward preserving and sustaining Vermont’s iconic dairy farms and the livelihood of our neighbors.”

“We are honored to partner with Ski Vermont, a like-minded partner who appreciates and understands the connection between dairy agriculture and tourism and its benefits to Vermont’s economy and environment,” said New England Dairy Promotion Board Public Relations and Communication Specialist Laura Hardie.

This year, the donations to the Keep Local Farms Fund in Vermont are proposed to support farmer outreach and education through two agricultural organizations; the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC), and Dairy Vision Vermont. Approval for support of these programs is still underway as of Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

CVFC is a nonprofit organization that works directly with area farmers to provide education and assistance in meeting water quality standards for a clean Lake Champlain and a thriving agriculture industry in Vermont. Through CVFC, farmers are provided with the tools and resources to adopt new and innovative ways to protect and conserve our water supply.

Dairy Vision Vermont is a nonprofit organization that provides Vermont’s dairy farmers with the business skills and guidance needed to create successful dairy operations. From on the job training on finance to human resources, the goal of Dairy Vision is to provide education that leads to a vibrant and profitable dairy industry for Vermont.

Ski Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport program is entering its sixteenth year, enabling over 20,000 children to ski free at Vermont resorts and inspiring them to connect with the Vermont landscape. Passports are available for the 2015-16 season for a just $10 processing fee. The proceeds from this fee will be donated to Keep Local Farms in 2016. For more information and to apply for the Fifth Grade Passport, visit


Must Be The Milk is an initiative of the New England Dairy Promotion Board. The program aims to educate people about the value of local dairy farms to our economy, our environment and our health and wellness. The Keep Local Farms Fund is the home of Must Be The Milk’s funding support for New England dairy agriculture. The Keep Local Farms Fund will partner with New England non-profit organizations to support projects and programs related to three key dimensions of thriving dairy agriculture: Environment, Economy and Education. Learn more at

Ski Vermont (Vermont Ski Areas Association) is a proud ambassador of the thriving winter tourism industry in Vermont, where the legislature has designated skiing and snowboarding as the official state sports. Vermont is not only the #1 ski state in the east and third in the US, but also reigns supreme in snowmaking quality and coverage, variety of terrain and historical impact on the sports of skiing and snowboarding - making it one of the most significant ski and ride destinations in the world. Ski Vermont’s mission is to help create a legislative, economic and social environment in which the state's ski areas can grow and prosper. It serves its 20 Alpine and 29 Nordic member resorts in three major areas: Governmental Affairs, Marketing and Public Affairs.

Fairmont Farm is located in East Montpelier, Vermont, milks 1,400 Holstein dairy cows, and employs 30 full time and part time employees. Visit for more information.

Sarah Wojcik, Ski Vermont – 802-223-2430,
Laura Hardie, New England Dairy Promotion Board – 802-863-5416,

Pictured in the photo is Laura Hardie of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, Clara Ayer, a third generation dairy farmer at Fairmont Farm in East Montpelier and Sarah Wojcik of Ski Vermont.

More photos available upon request. Photos by Karen Pike.


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