On July 10, 2024
Local News

Rutland student Bobby Giordano receives Land Steward Awards

Courtesy Vermont Land Trust - VLT staffer Al Karnatz went to Rutland to give Giordano his award. Pictured: Robert ‘Bobby’ Giordano of Rutland with his parents Casey (far left) and Jessa (third from left), and instructor Mike Stannard (far right).

Robert ‘Bobby’ Giordano of Rutland and Caleb Foster of Middlebury each received a Land Steward Award presented by the Vermont Land Trust, along with a check for $500, according to a news release Monday, July 8. Eight other students across the state also received awards. 

“Vermont’s land and waters need our care, today and in the future. It’s heartening to see the next generation rising up to meet the challenges and opportunities of caring for our farms and forestland,” said Tracy Zschau, president and CEO of VLT. “We’re delighted to celebrate Land Steward Award winners Bobby and Caleb, and look forward to the impact they will make in our state.”

Since 2005, Vermont Land Trust (VLT) has recognized outstanding high-school students who are dedicated to agriculture and forestry. Instructors can nominate juniors and seniors enrolled in agricultural, food, and natural resource programs in Vermont schools. 

 Robert “Bobby” Giordano, Rutland  

Bobby Giordano was nominated by Michael Stannard, his Natural Resources and Forestry instructor at Stafford Technical Center in Rutland.

“Bobby is constantly helping his instructors and classmates plan and prepare for future projects,” said Stannard. “His sense of humor, strong academic prowess, and positive and professional attitude will serve him well after high school.”

Giordano says his courses at the Center have helped him apply what he’s learning in the classroom, and made his dream of working outdoors achievable. He is planning a college degree in conservation biology and will pursue a career in natural resources and forestry.

“Caring for and working on the land is crucially important if we actually want to build this sustainable future we all keep talking about,” said Giordano, adding that he wants to apply his knowledge to be able to manage ecosystems in a way that benefits both people and the environment.

Caleb Foster, Middlebury  

Caleb Foster grew up on a dairy farm that has been in his family for several generations. He was nominated during his senior year at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center by Aaron Townshend, his natural resources management instructor. In his nomination, Townshend remarked on Foster’s strong work ethic, open-mindedness, dedication, environmental responsibility and willingness to learn.  

“We all share the same natural resources and rely on past generations to practice stewardship so that future generations may continue to thrive,” said Townshend. “Caleb is exactly such a steward: he understands the value of the natural environment and is an advocate of its prosperity.”   

Foster plans to obtain his Class A Commercial Driving License this summer and attend the Maine Compost School this fall.   

“I was born and raised in Vermont,” he said. “I am the fifth generation on our family farm and the third generation on our family composting operation. I believe my purpose is to respect, appreciate, and care for agricultural land and forests so that the generations ahead of me enjoy the beauty as much as I have.” 

Rooted in Vermont since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust unites land and lives for the enduring benefit of people and the place we share. We have protected more than 630,000 acres of land and foster life-long connections to farms, forests, and community spaces that define Vermont. 

For more information visit: vlt.org.

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