Richard Cook

It has been sixty years since Richard graduated from Vermont Tech (or then known as Vermont Agriculture and Technical Institute – VATI) in 1962 with an associate degree in Agriculture (Now, Vermont Tech is revamping the Agriculture program and you can find more about the changes under the Center for Food and Agriculture Entrepreneurship on our website). Richard loved his time at Vermont Tech and enjoyed playing on the JV Basketball team (find more about Vermont Tech Athletics).

When Richard was at Vermont Tech, him and his classmates were visited by a USDA state personnel as they were very interested in hiring them, because as Richard shared, “He noted that two of the previous graduates from Vermont Tech was now working for the agency and that they were ‘cracker jacks’ and he wanted more of them.” That is how Richard started his career at the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He explained, “I started in Montpelier, and then to St. Johnsbury, and then landed in Rutland as a Civil Engineer Technician.” Later, Richard moved to the Newport Orleans County location where he retired December 31st 1999, at the age of 59 ½. He remarked, “I am thankful for Vermont Tech giving me a 37-year career with the USDA. Visiting many farms, planning and designing erosion, drainage, and waste management – I was blessed to enjoy it all. What a ride it has been!”

Richard did not stop working after retirement, and took a new job as a Clerk for the town on Coventry and 4-H Intension Services and then for Bond Auto Parts. In 2006, Richard moved back to Rutland where he now resides. “I now work part time at a horse farm as a handy man.” Richard just celebrated his 82nd birthday (2022)!

Richard has been giving to Vermont Tech since 1997 to support the Annual Fund, which helps support the College’s ongoing needs for all programs and campuses. Also, most recently, he has supported the new Center for Agriculture and Food Entrepreneurship program, that will fund renovation of certain existing farm facilities to enable new “enterprises” that incorporate hands on teaching and learning for students of all ages. Richard explained, “I give to Vermont Tech because Vermont Tech gave so much to me. Without my degree, I wouldn’t have had my excellent career.”

His advice to current/potential students of Vermont Tech is “definitely go to Vermont Tech. They have an excellent job placement rate for when you graduate.” Read more about Vermont Tech ranking first, in Vermont, in a national return on investment study!

  • School

    Agriculture, Plant, and Animal Sciences

  • Class of...


  • Hometown

    Irasburg, VT