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ticipating farms will begin implementing such changes as creating a succession plan for passing the farm down to the next generation soil health water and air qual- ity pest management waste management and ethical animal careto name just a few. On Great Brook Farm State Park GBF in Carlisle Massachusetts Mark Duy a rst generation farmer has been farming with his family for 27 years. This farm is unique in many ways one of which is that its a Department of Conservation and Recreation property that the Duys lease. Leasing farmland is becoming more mainstream especially with the cost of farmland in a state like Massachusetts. Duy and his farm also represent what is possible with VCI. With 170 dairy animals Duy runs a very ecient farm with many cutting edge components. As Duy puts it Dairy farms are grounded in science and that is some- thing we want to educate people on. GBF milks its cows one at a time with a robot made by a Swedish Company DeLaval. Labor and time saved from hands-on milking goes right back to the cows. The Deval system tracks the cows through collars which also acts as a pedometer keeping track of the cows walking. The cows also sleep on special beds made in Germany which not only keeps them comfortable but cuts down on the need for straw and sawdust. His cows eat a special diet too. In fact a nutrition- ist creates a very exact combination of grasses corn and other grains. Cows are athletes Duy says and they need a balanced diet to achieve top performance. GBF addresses the outcome of a good diet as wellseparating solid and liquid manure with a second automated system. The alley scraper similar to a track with little shovels moves the waste out of the barn and into a system that works with gravity and empties into a unique tank. The tank is glass fused to steel. The manure self-seals over a bit of time mitigating odor. The farm sells the solids for use as natural fertilizer and uses the liquid manure for fertilizer for its feed crops. Duy is also a member of Agri-Marks Board of Directors representing farmers in Massachusetts New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The VCI Awareness Level is crucial because we need to be able to speak to the big picture and share how farm families are part of their communities Duy shared. Big picture issues include cli- mate change. Duy knows that dairy cows like it on the cool side and describes the challenge as follows Cows are athletes wearing fur coats that dont sweat. His state- of-the-art barn has collaps- ible air-lled plastic walls that are adjustable by three layers and go up and down. Solar is what hes interested in next. While Duy is out in front with his eciency measures he touts the Awareness Level of the VCI with informing the next generation of farm- ers and views Manomet as an objective third-party verier in Agri-Marks sustainabil- ity work. Both Duys daughter and two sons are intent on farming and Duy and his wife couldnt be happier about that. HOW IS THIS PROJECT RELEVANT TO FEEDING THE WORLDS 9 BILLION IN 2050 As the world scales up food production which it must agriculture will have to proactively seek ways to become more sustainable. More sustainable farm businesses run more eciently by using fewer resources and bringing a high nancial return to its operators. Existing farms that are run more eciently will serve to conscientiously develop and maintain our working landscapes. We can increase the nutrient density of existing crops and take advantage of season extending methods. The world is pushing forward into a new era of agri- cultural production especially in developing countries and it is more important than ever that farmers grow food sustainably and implement sustainability measures as early as possible. Agriculture is not something that is forced or is imposed. People need to eat and aptly put by Wendell Berry Eating is an agricultural act. Agriculture is a partnership between the land and people. Agri-Mark dairy farmers are taking the lead in trying to create a measurably more sustainable world. These farmers and their landswith help from Manometare providing leadership for a future of healthy diets and stewardship of natural resources for generations to come. What we do now writes the story of our futureand then we let karma do its job At Cabot sometimes it has a lot to do with karma. 6 MANOMET PARTNERSHIPS WINTER 2014