Honoring Jack Lazor

Enid (left) with Anne and Jack Lazor Enid (left) with Anne and Jack Lazor

Last Sunday, at the Gateway Center in Newport, farmers, neighbors, organic farm advocates, and many, many friends gathered to celebrate the launch of Jack Lazor's new book, The Organic Grain Grower: Small-Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producer.  Published by Chelsea Green, the book was released August 19th, and as Ben Gleason, organic wheat grower from Bridport, described it, "It is Jack in a book.  All of the things anyone needs to know, and not know,  about growing grain, is in these pages." Jack, a pioneer in organic grain growing and founder of Butterworks Farm, said that he has learned so much from the people who took time to educate him along the way, and that one lesson he learned was that "Generosity doesn't cost, it pays." Many of Jack's mentors and those he has mentored were in the room. One farmer who transitioned to organic production because of Jack's influence said, "I used to farm in partnership with Monsanto and Cargill, and I converted to organic production after driving around with Jack."  Many people talked about how generous Jack is with his time, and the critical role he plays in keeping information alive. It felt so good to be in a room full of people who honor Jack, and all he has accomplished for organic dairy production and processing, organic grain and dry bean production, soil management and animal health. Jack and Anne have now passed the farm to their daughter Christina and her growing family, and Jack said that he looks forward to spending more time mentoring young farmers in the future. The circle of education is in great hands with Jack sharing his knowledge, and the new book will allow farmers all around the world to learn from his experience. [by Enid Wonnacott, NOFA-VT Executive Director]