Who is behind this?

My name is Ignacio Villa, and people call me Nacho. Let me tell you who I am.

I came back to Vermont in July of 2010 after being away for about 30 years. I came back to the Von Trapp Farm in Waitsfield Vermont. I had been watching their evolution, and became very excited about the new generation’s effort to revitalize the farm with a cheese making operation.

I have always wanted to combine cheese making with the raising of pigs, as we did in Colombia in the early 80s, on a small demonstration farm that I helped my family operate. There, pigs drank whey from a very small cheese operation. Their manure went into a digester that generated biogas to fuel the burner that warmed the curds. Then it fertilized the grass that fed the cows and goats. This became a model for on-farm integration in the small holdings of local campesinos. I also raised pigs in various situations throughout my career, and most recently in Ohio.

So I came to Vermont thinking that I would help the von Trapp farm make use of their whey.  I have also realized that such an enterprise has many challenges, and that these are best met if people work together. This is why I have decided to dedicate myself to promoting collaboration among cheese makers who see the potential of this approach.

I am often asked: What is in it for you? The truth is that I do not see that very clearly yet. However, if I do things right, there will be a time when I can see a return for my efforts. As far as I can tell, someone has to do this job.

Right now I am spending a considerable amount of time building support for this idea. I am hoping to receive help in developing a business plan through the Farm Viability Enhancement Program of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. A solid business plan will help potential collaborators understand what is being proposed, and how they might benefit from participating in the proposed collaboration.  I am also talking to as many stakeholders as I can. I built this site to help me get the work out.

In the meantime, I am milking cows and working at a restaurant to help pay the bills.  I see great potential in this enterprise, and hence my commitment. I hope you share my enthusiasm.

6 Responses to Who is behind this?

  1. Ignacio – give George Schenk a call if you would like to pasture some of your pigs at Lareau Farm.

    Clay

  2. Tony Losasso says:

    Hey Nacho,

    It looks like a great endeavour, please keep me posted with your events and happenings. I hope that the folks in Vermont are quick to realize how fortunate they are to have such a visionary for sustainable agri-human existence in their midst. We dearly miss you at The Farm.

    Peace,
    Tony

  3. Thea says:

    Nacho,

    Keep the faith–as you do so well. Your vision is whole and inspiring. Your experience and tenacity will sustain this endeavor. The time is right.

    –Thea

  4. Wayne Ohlsson says:

    Nacho,
    Good to see you realizing your dream! Keep it up! Let me know if I can help in some way.
    Wayne

  5. Dana says:

    Nacho- google Dr. Mercola’s article about Pork out today…scary. I love pork and now will only eat yours! Can you make it available at the new Bridge Street butcher?

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