NEWPORT — Each year, the Vermont Land Trust gives out the Land Stewards Award to qualified juniors and seniors who attend vocational and technical high schools across the state.
The students are nominated by their teachers because of their commitment to agriculture and/or forestry.
This year, local students Carter Aldrich and Parker Castle received the award and a $250 cash prize from Vermont Land Trust representatives.
Aldrich, from Brownington, and a student at Lake Region Union High School, led his class maple sugaring field trip and planned activities for a crew of eight students who boiled sap in a small arch evaporator the class made.
He is involved with his family’s business, Northeast Agricultural Sales, Inc. He has also been the president of the Lake Region FFA chapter for two years.
Aldrich has excelled in his agriculture classes, including shop, art of welding, diversified agriculture, and sustainable living.
Thinking toward the future, he would like to attend Paul Smith’s College to become a game warden or continue his family’s agricultural sales business.
Parker Castle, from Holland, is a student at North Country Career Center. He is involved with his family’s sugaring operation, and took a lead role this year in all aspects of production, from tapping to boiling.
He is a Nordic skier and maintains and grooms trails on his family’s land. He wants to obtain his pilot’s license and hopes to use this skill in a forestry career. He will be attending Paul Smith’s College this fall to study forestry.
Castle is also a part of the local FFA club, participating in fundraisers, community suppers, and the State FFA Convention.
He recently joined his Natural Resources teacher, Mr. Sam Nijensohn, and fellow students for a Vermont Forest Products Association regional meeting.
“Parker is a great role model,” wrote Mr. Nijensohn. “He spends a lot of extra time at school whenever the need or opportunity arises to help make his class successful. For example, he has come in on his own time to plow snow and to boil sap.”