Merck Farmland

Sixty acres, managed using low-impact, ecologically-sensitive practices.

A century and a half ago, most of Vermont’s forests were open fields, including the farmsteads in Rupert which would become Merck Forest & Farmland. The remaining forests were managed as short-term woodlots, and decades-old agricultural practices were slowly degrading soil fertility, and harming natural resources and wildlife populations.

Today, the farm is both a working landscape and a field classroom for school groups. Our farm staff and apprentices use low-impact, ecologically-sensitive practices in order to integrate the 60-acre farm with the natural environment. The animals — pigs, sheep, chickens and horses — are raised according to the highest standards of humane animal management.

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Days a Year to Enjoy the Farm

Animal Ambassador Program

Are you interested in developing a closer relationship with the animals at Merck Forest and Farmland Center? Our Animal Ambassador Program is designed to help facilitate just that.

To join our Ambassador Program:

  • $20 per participant
  • First, attend a Meet and Feed Program on either Thursday or Sunday afternoon as a participant
  • Then attend a Meet and Feed program as an observer
  • Finally, attend a workshop that will cover interactions with farm animals, including safety, hygiene, risk management – including disease and injury prevention for both humans and animals, and gear requirements.

Learn about animal nutrition, the nutrient cycle on the farm, waste
management, animal etiquette and how to read animal behavior – who to
act around them and how to treat them.

Have an opportunity to shadow our Farmers and EducatorsReceive an official Animal Ambassador T-shirt.

Graduates of our workshops will have the opportunity to be involved with and receive notification of:

  • Animal care while working along-side MFFC staff
  • Horse grooming
  • Sheep shearing
  • Veterinary visits
  • Farrier visits
  • Specialized events involving the farm and farm animals
  • And more!

For more information, contact us at learn@merckforest.org.

Farm Products Available For Purchase

Merck Forest and Farmland Center offers a variety of farm products for sale at the Joy Green Visitor Center. Some products are also available at our online store.