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Vermont Land Trust honors Vergennes high school student

VERGENNES-Peter McDurfee, a Vergennes student, was honored by the Vermont Land Trust for his exceptional commitment to land stewardship in agriculture. The award was presented to Peter by Alex Wylie of the Vermont Land Trust, on June 10 at his home. His parents, Richard and Donna McDurfee, and his teacher, Bill Van De Weert, were also in attendance.

McDurfee is one of ten outstanding students from around the state to be recognized by the land trust. He received a $250 cash award that is not restricted and may be used towards education, equipment or materials.

McDurfee graduated from Vergennes Union High School. He has been active in agriculture, working on several local farms, helping with haying, logging, milking, and putting up fencing for beef cattle. He has also been very active in the local FFA chapter, where he serves as chapter treasurer and regularly volunteers for committees. Last year, McDurfee took a lead role in a project to build raised beds for the elementary school.

"Peter is passionate about agriculture," said his teacher, Bill Van De Weert, who nominated Peter for the award. "He's also very good at solving problems. When equipment would break at one of his employers' farms, he liked the responsibility he had of fixing it so he could get back to farming."

McDurfee is currently working for a custom farming business and intends to keep up that work after graduating.

This is the sixth year that the Vermont Land Trust has been giving this award to students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the fields of forestry or agriculture.

The intention of the award is to acknowledge outstanding student achievement, encourage future land stewards, and increase the visibility of Vermont's vocational agriculture and forestry programs which are vital to Vermont's future.

The Award Fund was created in memory of Kathleen O'Dell's service as Vice President of Community Relations at the Vermont Land Trust. Kathy devoted much of her life's work and energy to education, community revitalization and land conservation.

"We here at the Vermont Land Trust are proud to honor these students for their commitment to excellence in land stewardship," said Gil Livingston, president of the Vermont Land Trust. "The future of Vermont's farms and working forests depend on the talents of young people like these honorees."

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