Why I Support

  • When we first happened upon Shelburne Farms back in 1988, we were immediately enchanted by its beauty—the lakeside setting, the charming woods and pastures, and the respectful preservation and repurposing of an historic remnant of the American Gilded Age. As with any good love affair, we soon came to appreciate deeper strengths behind the beauty—the wonderful people and impressive environmental and education mission. We got firsthand experience through a Pasture-to-Palate residential program in 2000, during which we met the cows (quite literally on their own turf), visited other nearby farms, and made cheese. Then in a Bedrock-to-Birds program in 2004 we enjoyed learning about the natural history of the Farm and the Lake Champlain region.

    Our visits to Vermont are infrequent, but from afar we enjoy seeing photos and videos of the endearing animals and the teachers and kids learning and benefiting as the Farm’s programs continue to develop in scope and sophistication. We find that our support for Shelburne Farms is the most rewarding charitable giving we do. And, by donating directly from IRA accounts, we avoid some income tax on required IRS retirement distributions.

    Bob Nyden & Cyndy Ainsworth Webb Palo Alto, CA United States
  • Shelburne Farms holds a special place in our lives. We were married in the coach barn and returned recently for our anniversary. We were struck then and now by the power of the place for impactful gatherings, not only for occasions like ours but for the Farms’ education and mission work with young learners and educators.

    The Farms’ mission and collaborative, systems-thinking approach to change-making align with our own commitments to drive social change. We know that the intractable problems of our time are interwoven and complex and require collective wisdom and collaboration across disciplines. Shelburne Farms’ expertise at leveraging partnerships and networks has distinguished the organization in the region and within the global community. We are very happy to support this incredibly important and impactful work. We are grateful that Shelburne exists in this world. It is truly an extraordinary place fueled by even more extraordinary people.

    Anna Muoio, Social Impact Strategist & Founder of The Theory of We and Zeke Brown, Architect Arlington, MA
  • “We support Shelburne Farms because we share the Farms’ vision for a just and sustainable world and we strongly believe in their approach through education and collaboration. Access to nutritious, affordable, and healthy food is a philanthropic priority for us and the Farms’ leadership in this area is remarkable. We appreciate the holistic and collaborative design of the programs, the high quality of the technical training, mentoring, and resources, and the efficacy of their work. We have found that Shelburne Farms is a pillar in the region among institutions doing this important work. We also appreciate that the Farm works hard to be inclusive and accessible to everyone, with a deep commitment to reaching diverse audiences.”

    Amy & Bouke Noordzij Concord, MA
  • We love and help support Shelburne Farms because of the sustainability education mission and because we can’t imagine it not existing—it’s an amazing place. As we’ve learned more about the Farm’s work with educators, we’ve been even more inspired to support the Farm’s mission. It’s so easy to enjoy the Farm’s beauty, but to know that the Farm is impacting educators around the world and helping them teach students about caring for the environment, now that’s powerful!

    We’ve always been avid outdoors people, and it’s wonderful to know that Shelburne Farms’ walking trails have remained open this year to provide a chance for people to connect with nature during the pandemic. We have been taking our granddaughter to the Farm since she was a year old. She is an inquisitive child and has “made friends” with all the farmyard animals. She has attended camp since she was old enough, and along with hundreds of other young people and the amazing camp staff, missed camp sorely and looks forward to the resumption of this wonderful activity. When we heard about the challenge, we knew we wanted to make an additional gift to help the Farm through this difficult year. To know that our gift, along with many others, could mean $250,000 for the Farm is incredible!

    Support the 2020 Robert W. Wilson Challenge today!

    Woody and Elise Widlund Shelburne, VT United States
  • Soon after arriving in Vermont from Colorado, we moved to Shelburne with our two young daughters and a third on the way (all pictured at left with Linda), and began to explore the wonders of Shelburne Farms. Over the years, there were summer camps, horse-drawn sleigh rides, bat classes, concerts, Harvest Fest, family and friend Coach Barn weddings and, always, the sunset over the Adirondacks.  Later, our five grandkids joined in all the Shelburne Farms activities.  

    One especially sweet memory is arriving with one of my grandsons at preschool Adventures camp. Once I’d settled him in and was ready to leave, he cried and cried, so the camp counselor happily let me stay with him for the morning. Next day was the same. I ended up being probably the only NaNa to attend a full week of camp for preschoolers–making butter from cream, singing songs, hiking, etc.  My grandson and I loved it (and a few other little ones who enjoyed having a NaNa near). I’ve never forgotten how kind and understanding the counselor was. I still see her around, and we laugh about it.

    Shelburne Farms is a true treasure for all of us to cherish. When I reached the age required to take distribution from my retirement account, I asked the manager of my IRA to make a distribution directly to Shelburne Farms. It was so easy and saved us from paying income tax on the funds. We hope others will consider this tax-wise strategy for charitable giving.

    This is a great way to support the Farm’s mission:  “We care about the sustainability and quality of life on earth. We care about young people having hope for the future. We believe that sustainability is grounded in individual awareness and action in our own communities. Our vision is for a just world rooted in stewardship and community.” 

    — Linda Gault Gilbert, Charlotte, VT 7/14/2020

    More about Giving Retirement Assets

  • For me, Shelburne Farms—the place and its many local and global programs—represents hope, resilience, and beauty. I can’t think of more important qualities for our world right now, so it seems fundamental to be a sustaining member of the Farm. Every month, I’m acting on my commitment to all that Shelburne Farms stands for—I love that, and I’m so grateful to have this regular connection to such an incredible, important organization.

    –Kate Williams, CEO, 1% for the Planet
    and Shelburne Farms board member

  • We have had the pleasure of seeing spring unfold on the trails! I photographed spring ephemerals before the canopy formed over the Butternut trail, identified the multitude of incoming birds wandering Whimsy Meadow and of course, staged a few beauty shots of the lake across the hay fields populated with dandelions!  

    We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to wander at Shelburne Farms and enjoy the outdoors during this difficult time.

    We have just renewed our membership!

    Annette Seidenglanz & Chuck Bowes Winooski, VT
  • A refuge and a lifesaver

    I went for a marvelous walk at Shelburne Farms with friends yesterday. Again! I must go two-to-three times a week, and I’m always struck by the majesty of the property - as well as the generosity of the staff and president, Alec Webb. They could certainly have closed the property and nobody would have blinked. Instead, they’ve trusted the community to use this resource responsibly. How lucky we are. For me, Shelburne Farms has been a refuge and a lifesaver in this lockdown. If you have also enjoyed this amazing place recently, I recommend you make a donation — even a small one — to this nonprofit, educational institution whose mission is to, “inspire and cultivate learning for a sustainable future.” Hard to argue with that. Many thanks to Alec Webb, the board and the staff of Shelburne Farms!

    — Claudia Marshall, Charlotte, VT

    A note from Shelburne Farms: It takes huge financial resources to maintain and improve this irreplaceable historic campus and its trails, share it with our community, and deliver life-changing education programs regardless of anyone’s ability to pay. This year will be even more challenging as we face the uncertainty and impacts of the coronavirus. Please support the Farm by becoming a member today.