Join us for Small Farm Action Days! Details, RSVP, and farmer stipend information here.


Join Us for Small Farm Action Days!

RVT_VTLB_fp_3dates_cmyk_01rh-page-001Wednesday, February 24th, Wednesday, March 30th, and Tuesday, April 26th at the Vermont Statehouse. More details here. Please RSVP and get a free t-shirt with Rural Vermont’s new logo!

Special focus for the February Small Farm Action Day
Water Quality: Let’s Get it Right

Hard to get away for a day? We are excited to announce that stipends will be available to farmers who want to participate and could use help covering the costs associated with being away from the farm and from home (transportation, relief farm help, childcare). More info and how to apply here. Thank you to the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small & Inspiring grant for making these stipends possible!


Legislative Updates

The pace at the State House has noticeably quickened as the first month of the legislative session has zipped by. As you will see in the updates below some issues are being actively considered and some are still waiting in the wings for attention. If the issues outlined below affect your farm or your table, contact Andrew and tell us how!

You can read our first legislative update here.

Please click the issue heading to read the latest update, or read the full preview here.






WE NEED YOU!

As always, we won’t be able to do any of it without your help –  speaking up, and speaking out. If you are a farmer whose livelihood is affected by these issues, or an eater whose dinner table is, now is the time to get involvedPlease contact Andrew to find out how you can support the issues you care most about.


What a Year! Thank YOU.

On behalf of EVERYONE at Rural Vermont we express our deep gratitude for all that our members and supporters made possible during our 30th Anniversary year. THANK YOU!

Here are some of the accomplishments to reflect on as we turn the corner to 2016:

– We reached two historic and crucial goals: growing our membership to OVER 1000 strong and raising over $60,000 in new resources to support our work. It’s not too late to be a part of this crucial achievement – make your membership donation or special, year-end gift today!

– Through the power of our “farmers tell their stories” events we built greater understanding and appreciation for the extraordinary contributions made and challenges faced by Vermont’s small-scale family farms. AND we inaugurated Rural Vermont’s YouTube Channel to share these stories.

Lisa McCrory testifies on raw milk before the House Ag Cmte

– With expert testimony and community organizing from our Raw Milk Leadership team, we significantly expanded access to this valuable farm fresh product.

Open Barn Victory Celebration at Rogers Farmstead in Berlin

– We strengthened our grassroots community through three Open Barn Parties over the summer to celebrate our raw milk victory and six Stand Up, Speak Out! Activist Training workshops during the fall.

– With our partners in the VT Right to Know Coalition and our allies around the country we helped beat back multiple attacks by industrial food corporations on Vermont’s historic law requiring the labeling of genetically engineered food.

– We grew our power to help family farmers and the communities they feed through new partnerships with like-minded organizations and businesses. You can learn more about them on our website (scroll down on the right).

Senator Anthony Pollina tells a story about Rural Vermont’s beginnings

– We held two wonderful celebrations of our 30-year history that brought together and shared the stories of our founders and long-time leaders as well as the new generation of farmers who are continuing our tradition of education, organizing and advocacy.

As we look toward the challenges of the coming year we’re energized about:

– Continuing our work to influence the new Required Agricultural Practices so they will accomplish their goal to protect water quality AND support the work of our family farmers so they can continue to be key stewards of our working landscape.

– Bringing the voices and stories of small-scale farmers to our elected representatives and public policy makers through three Small Farm Advocacy Days at the State House this winter and spring.

– Continuing our work to defend and implement Vermont’s GE Food Labeling law and resist corporate control of our food system.

THANK YOU for being part of this feisty, skillful and courageous organization!

 


RURAL VERMONT RECEIVES FUNDING TO SUPPORT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT BY SMALL-SCALE FARMERS

December 17, 2015

“Small & Inspiring Grant” through the Vermont Community Foundation will directly help small-scale farmers participate in critical public policy discussions affecting them

Montpelier – Rural Vermont has received a $2500 “Small & Inspiring Grant” through the Vermont Community Foundation to support part of a project titled “Empowering Civic Engagement with Vermont’s Small-Scale Family Farmers.” The grant, which was made possible through the generosity of the Neibling Family Fund, will provide stipends to family famers for childcare, temporary farm help, and transportation. These stipends will help make it possible for farmers to take time away from their farms and travel to Montpelier to participate in Vermont’s legislative process. Giving farmers more opportunity to inform and educate legislators and other policy makers about the unique challenges small farms face meeting their communities’ growing demand for high-quality, local food, while serving as good stewards of our land is vital to supporting Vermont’s working landscape.

Many farm families would like to participate more in the public policy decisions that affect their daily lives, but because they are often the only workers on the farm and given the 24/7 nature of small-scale farming, it is often extremely difficult and costly for them to spend even a single day at the State House..

Rural Vermont will be organizing a series of three “Small Farm Advocacy Days” at the State House during February, March, and April of the 2016 legislative session. These events will provide for farmers an introduction to Vermont’s legislative process, a briefing on current legislative issues that have impacts on small-scale farms, and the opportunity to meet in person with the farmers’ own representatives, as well as with legislators who serve on key committees and other policy makers and regulators working on agricultural issues.

Vermont’s estimated 6500 small-scale farms have been in the spotlight both for their growing role in our celebrated local food economy but also for their role in helping to protect and improve water quality and other resources such as healthy soil that are crucial to maintaining our working landscapes.

In early January, Rural Vermont will provide details on how interested farmers may apply for stipends to facilitate their civic participation. For more information contact Rural Vermont at 802-223-7222 or andrew@ruralvermont.org.