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GMALL Presents – Vermont’s Merino Miracle: Lessons from a Landscape of Lambs

March 12 @ 5:30pm-7:00pm


Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning (GMALL) welcomes Dr. Jan Albers to talk about the history of Vermont’s Merino wool industry. At the dawn of the 19th Century, Vermont was a patchwork of subsistence farms, slowly creeping along the valleys and climbing to the tops of the highest hills. There was development, but no specialty was bringing in big capital. That would change after 1811, when diplomat William Jarvis brought a flock of Merino sheep in from Spain. The Merino sheep industry grew exponentially in the decades that followed. At its height in 1840, there were 1,681,000 sheep in Vermont—six sheep for every person in the state. Vermonters thought the Merino miracle would never end, yet ten years later it was finished. How could such a boom go bust so quickly, and what landscape lessons did it leave behind?

This program is offered in collaboration with Merck Forest & Farmland Center. The talk will also be offered online via live stream. Registration is $22 per person. For more information or to register, please call our office at 802-867-0111 or visit greenmtnacademy.org.

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