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.

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

  5. 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?

  6. Hi Nacho,

    Please give me a call when you have a chance. 843.352.9238

    Thanks,

    Matt Kemper