Now on Facebook!
Avatar of Jen

by Jen

Monarchs and other Winged Creatures in Vermont

September 10, 2013 in Farm & Agriculture, Youth & Education by Jen

With reports of the monarch population being down as much as 90% this year, what is going on?

This report from WCAX gives a brief overview of what is being seen in the state. For more detailed information about butterflies and other winged creatures in Vermont come to the “Wings of Wonder“, presented at the Springfield Town Library, Thursday 9/12.

Monarch tagging and report WCAX

Avatar of Jen

by Jen

Vermont Most Inventive State- and 2nd Most Entrepreneurial

July 9, 2013 in Community Development, Inspiration, Makers by Jen

Vermont Number One in Inventiveness

In what should be no surprise to the residents of Springfield, Vermont has been identified as the most inventive state in the U.S.  The Springfield area has had a strong history of inventions and innovators, often being referred to as ‘Precision Valley’ or the ‘Cradle of Inventions’.

Springfield inventions have included the Breech Loading Gun, the Steam Shovel, the Sheep Shearing Machine, and the Corn Planter. Other notable examples include:

  • Inventor Joel A.H. Ellis, who in the 1800′s made doll carriages and jointed dolls from maple wood. The dolls are now valued collectibles.
  • James Hartness and Russell Porter. The Hartness Astronomical Observatory features an equatorial tracking system that was patented in 1912.
  • David M. Smith, who invented the spring clothespin in 1853.  Proving the lasting impact of Springfield’s rich contributions to the world of innovation,  it was named a “Top 10 American Invention” in 2012.

This rich history may be one of the reasons the Inventors Network of Vermont is based in Springfield.

Today, there are 3.5 patents for every 1000 residents in Vermont. While research at UVM and IBM has certainly been a driving force for this volume, the “burgeoning food manufacturing and microbrewing industry”  is also contributing significantly.

Tops in Entrepreneurship

What might be slightly more surprising is that Vermont was also identified as the 2nd most Entrepreneurial. With 520 residents per 100,000 starting a business, Vermont is a rich breeding ground for entrepreneurs.  Venture capital networks and low-cost small business loans provide needed access to funding, and the wealth of work-life balance opportunities have been attracting technology, biotech and life science startups, according to Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce (money.cnn 6/20/13).

The Springfield area is no stranger to the entrepreneurial spirit. After all, it was the ability to take innovations and use them strategically to build strong industries in manufacturing and precision machining that landed Springfield a solid reputation and provided a strong economy for many years.

Moving Forward

These reports and the naming of Vermont as high-ranking for entrepreneurs and inventions is good news. It provides a glimpse into the possibilities that lie ahead.

Building on a proud history of innovation and industriousness few communities can claim, Springfield has a huge window of opportunity. With innovators like VTEL (gigabit internet), Black River Produce (with their new local meat processing facility), ImageTek, and even the Vermont Brewer’s Association, all calling Springfield home, we are well positioned to move full-throttle to the next generation of innovation and entrepreneurship. Keeping the principles of sustainability at the forefront of progress will play a key role in ensuring long-term success for individual businesses, the town, and the region.

Further Reading: See also Spring-Field of Dreams?

Vermont most inventive and among top entrepreneurial states