A Valley News Publication

Video: Thetford robotics team qualifies to compete in a NH/VT championship

And from there, the team could earn a spot in the VEX World Championship!

The Thetford Academy team — one of two from the school who competed — earned a trip to the Twin States competition by making it to the final round of a competition in North Conway, N.H., last weekend.

From Thetford Academy:

The State Championship is where the five best teams from NH/VT can earn an invitation to the VEX World Championship. Our performance at this tournament represented a great improvement over our last meet at Trinity High School in Manchester, NH, two weeks ago. Both teams made significant improvements to their robots in the two weeks in-between, with the C team building an entirely new robot from scratch.

Read more.

The state championship will take place at Manchester Community College in February.

NPR: National Organic Standards Board votes 8-7 against a ban on hydroponic methods in organic farming

NPR’s food and agriculture correspondent, Dan Charles, reported on the board’s narrow vote — and the contentious debate that preceded it — in a piece that aired on VPR this morning.

Charles talked to East Thetford’s Dave Chapman, who attended the board meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.

For farmers like Chapman, nurturing the soil is the essence of organic farming, and a vegetable grown without its roots in the soil simply cannot be called organic. …


“What will happen, very quickly, is that virtually all of the certified organic tomatoes in supermarkets will be hydroponic,” Chapman says. “Virtually all of the peppers and cucumbers [will be hydroponically grown]. A great deal of the lettuce. And most of the berries.”


Chapman calls it a “tragic situation.”

At Long Wind Farm in East Thetford, Vt., owner Dave Chapman measures a tomato plant in the greenhouse on Jan. 14, 2014. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

The issue is at the heart of the “Rally in the Valley” that has been held locally for the past two years.

Here’s a link to our coverage of the 2016 rally and the debate around how to define organics.


Farmers and community members against labelling hydroponic crops as organic erect a sign at the Rally in the Valley at Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 30, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

ICYMI: Police find missing Thetford teen in Ohio

One of the three teenage boys missing from Thetford has been located.

Seventeen-year-old Killian O’Reilly was found in Bowling Green, Ohio, Vermont State Police said in a late Wednesday night news release. Police are still looking for the other two boys, 16-year-old Liam MacLeod and 17-year-old Kyle Casey.