Why I Support - Share your story!

Shelburne Farms thrives because of our amazing members. We all have a unique connection with this place and mission, and our community is a patchwork of these stories.

Do you hike up Lone Tree Hill to recharge and clear your head each week? Did your child learn to milk a cow in our farmyard? Are you working hard to cultivate change for a more sustainable future?

Whatever your connection, we are so grateful for your commitment to Shelburne Farms! Once we read your story, we’ll share it here and perhaps on Facebook and Twitter.

Share Your Story!         Not a member? Give today!


  • "The change we want to see happen in the world is already happening at Shelburne Farms."

    As someone originally from the Dominican Republic, I always felt that the best use of my money was to give to what Paul Farmer has termed, "the triage nations of the world." Richer nations had a lot of resources, mine were needed more back home.
    When I first joined the board at Shelburne Farm over a decade ago, I felt it was time for "place-based giving" to an organization closer to what had become my home in Vermont. But I had brought along all the wary baggage of crisis giving, from a distance.

    It's been a heartening experience to be involved firsthand with a place that embodies the very values which we need to adopt if we are to survive on this threatened planet--no matter what nation or situation we come from.

    I see it in the way it is a working farm using methods that take care of the land. I see it in its education programs: creating a conservation mentality from the ground up with the very young. I see it in its outreach programs, around the world (farmers from my own Dominican Republic and Haiti brought to the Farms; educators from the Farms going to China to collaborate with teachers there; children from urban neighborhoods making connections with where their food comes from.)

    I know it's an organization that walks the talk because I've been walking that talk with it. Doing so has renewed my faith that significant transformative change can happen.

    But the single best thing about engaging with this place is that it becomes internalized into a way of thinking, a way of life.

    It's time the word gets out. The change we want to see happen in the world is already happening at Shelburne Farms. You can be part of it!

    Julia Alvarez Champlain Valley, VT
  • "...the deep importance and the impact of the organization's mission of sustainability"

    It was about 8 years ago that our granddaughter, upon visiting the farm, told us it was a “Beautiful castle in the woods.” We had to agree. 

    Since then, we have both become increasingly involved, at first by helping to feed the orphan lambs in winter, then with Sue volunteering in the market garden and as a regular tour guide for 7 years (so far), and more recently with John volunteering too, at Winterfest, and with helping to wind the clocks. We have benefitted from various courses we’ve taken. And we have always loved the Inn, it’s fine food, spectacular views, sunsets, gardens, the historical, elegant rooms, and the roaring fireplaces on late September evenings.

    As our involvement has increased and evolved, so also has our appreciation for Shelburne Farms. At first captivated by the beauty of the place and by the “peaceful, easy feeling” that comes with each visit, we have become increasingly aware of the deep importance and the impact of the organization’s mission of sustainability. We are true believers.

    We are so very grateful that Derek Webb’s children so generously gave this huge gift of beauty and world-betterment to all of Vermont, and to the entire world, and we look forward enthusiastically to sustaining our support of Shelburne Farms!

    John and Susan Louchheim Colchester, VT
  • We have had the blessing of being Shelburne farms members for several years and we plan on it for the rest of our lives! It is so much more than a beautiful place we visit; Shelburne Farms is at the heart of many of our family's most treasured experiences. The opportunities our three young children have had while exploring the farm barn, trails, gardens and lake are priceless. Our 6, 4 and 2 year old children have grown up learning to walk at the farm! They have mastered the art of catching chickens and they have bottle fed goats. They have milked cows and churned butter. They have tapped maple trees and made bread over campfires. They have had countless tractor rides and have been pulled in wagons by Percheron horses! They run with butterflies and can catch salamanders.

    When we walk by the dairy barn, they always stop to tell the gorgeous brown Swiss “thank you for the cheese!” We will never forget watching the cows run out to pasture for the first time this spring.  It is a dream to have this be a part of their childhood!

    The farm educators in the farm barn and in all the camps and children's programs are extraordinary. They inspire curiosity and wonder in us all and they do so with passion and joy! From the moment we arrive at the farm, we feel at peace as we take in the landscape, admire the animals and visit with all the fabulous people in the shelburne farms community. From the welcome center to the inn, and everything in between; Shelburne Farms offers us so many special experiences.

    It is truly one of the greatest joys in our lives that Shelburne Farms is such a strong and wonderful part of our family story. We are incredibly appreciative to have the opportunity to be members and friends of the farm and we are eternally grateful that our children are growing up here. Shelburne Farms is our happy place!

    Michelle Lewis Shelburne, VT
  • Why we support Shelburne Farms

    Unparalleled walking, year round.
    The views of the landscape, lake and mountains.
    Inspiring architecture and history.
    Events and education – from birds and nature to farming and food, from art and music to seasonal celebrations.
    Meals at the inn.
    In short, it is a place to soothe and uplift the soul.

    Laura & Rob Carlsmith Hinesburg, VT
  • "The Farm kindles love and understanding of our earth in everyone it touches."

    40+ years ago some amazing people had the idea to protect this diverse and incredibly beautiful land on Lake Champlain that would make the previous three founding and farming generations very proud. Shelburne Farm is one of the most unique working farms in Vermont, the U.S and the world. By sharing and continuing to develop educational programs available to hundreds of people all year every year the Farm kindles love and understanding of our earth in everyone it touches. I grew up in Vermont and spent several weeks every summer on this farm and knowing that it will be protected and used by present and future generations is a dream come true.

    Gael Minton Ranchos de Taos, NM
  • "Running in the rain and discovering new trails"

    Things We (The Reis Family) Love About Shelburne Farms:

    1. Doing chores at the Farm Barn in the morning.
    2. Serendipitously finding randomly placed Adirondack chairs near the Inn.
    3. Eating grilled cheese sandwiches at the Farm Cart.
    4. Finding awesome black and white rocks with cool patterns and skipping the flat ones across the lake.
    5. Watching a storm come across Lake Champlain and knowing exactly when it will start raining.
    6. Getting lost.
    7. Rolling down hills.
    8. Huge open spaces beyond what you thought was nothing.
    9. Socializing with a herd of friendly cows.
    10. Running in the rain and discovering new trails.
    11. Amazing 2- and 3-year Shelburne Farms homemade cheddar made from the farm’s Swiss Brown Cows’ milk.
    12. Meeting interesting people at afternoon tea.
    13. Walking through the flower garden.
    14. Getting dirty.
    15. Curling up on an adirondack chair.
    16. Playing with the goat kids.
    17. Delicious dinners overlooking the gorgeous Lake Champlain
    18. Pain du chocolat at O’Bread Bakery
    Kyle Reis Ridgewood, NJ
  • "Shelburne Farms has been a good friend to my family."

    Forty years ago when Rick and I first came to Vermont with our infant son we spent a sunny and warm March day walking around Shelburne Farms and sitting by the side of Lake Champlain. It was in that moment that we decided to move to Vermont to begin a life of homesteading and raising our child. The year was 1973. We did move back to Vermont and bought a small piece of land in Huntington and built a little stone house on top of a hillside overlooking Camel's Hump. Over the years we have had the honor and delight to visit and enjoy Shelburne Farms for art shows, events, environmental conferences, petting farm animals with our grandchildren, or just hiking the grounds. As one of Vermont's most treasured places, Shelburne Farms, in all its natural beauty and accessibility, has been a good friend to my family. And I'm not even going to begin to rave about the remarkable cheese we eat every day that is made from the Brown Swiss Cows that graze on the open fields.

    Melinda Moulton Huntington, VT
  • "Shelburne Farms plays a very important role in our world today."

    Shelburne Farms plays a very important role in our world today. I see its mission of cultivating a conservation ethic for a sustainable future as critical to our future. We live in a world with a fast growing population, increased demand for our natural resources, and increased pollution. Having grown up in Vermont, I have seen many changes in our environment. As a kid I remember summers swimming in Lake Champlain with no thought of the algae blooms that plague it today. We need to teach people how to take care and treasure the world we live in. We also live in a world where so many young people have little exposure to the wonders of nature, how to explore them and treasure them. This is what the Farm does best, giving especially the young, a wonderful experience with nature. Through the Farm they demonstrate the stewardship of the land with their farming practices. I thoroughly enjoy my time at Shelburne Farms as a volunteer tour guide. It is a beautiful place, giving me a sense of an elegant bygone era, with an eye to a sustainable future. I am happy to have included Shelburne Farms in my estate planning.

    Bill Coon Starksboro, VT