The Flying Farmer…An oxymoron, right? Well, not to Will Ameden.
Will grew up on a dairy farm in Londonderry, VT, helping his family milk 40 cows and manage a 1200 tap sugar bush, the fifth generation Ameden to carry on the tradition of farming in southern Vermont.
After high school, Will went on to Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, working daily on the school’s teaching farm, with the draft horses and in the woods. While in college, Will fought forest fires in Montana and Idaho with the US Forest Service.
After earning his degree in Rural Resource Management, Will went on to fulfill his life-long dream of flying by pursuing his commercial pilot’s license and starting Catamount Aviation. For the next ten years, Will worked as a pilot for Business Air, Inc. and was a flight instructor for Aviation Education Center. In 1993, the Ameden family purchased a former dairy farm in Cabot, with a long, flat field at the top of a rolling hill, perfect for a landing strip, and Under Orion Farm was born.
Starting off by raising a flock of sheep and growing oats for the now defunct (and ahead of its time) Vermont Cereal Company, Will has evolved the operation into a diversified farm; incubating the vegetable farm Dancin’ Carrot, harvesting certified organic hay, raising a herd of grass fed Black Angus cattle, tapping a 1000 tap sugar bush, running a portable sawmill and providing custom saw services.
Will also continues to fly. He runs Catamount Aviation from the top of that long, flat field where he offers contract flying services as well certified flight instruction and cremain scattering services.
So, although the two words “farming” and “flying” seem at odds, and to be honest they often are, Will Ameden has managed to combine his love of the land with his passion for the sky.