In this update:
Dear Members & Friends:
I hope the holiday season has brought you and yours a good mix of food, fun and some time for rest and reflection.
Before I say anything else, on behalf of everyone at Rural Vermont, THANK YOU!
We are deeply grateful to all our members and friends who have so generously supported our year-end fundraising effort with membership renewals and special gifts. In particular, we appreciate all the inspiring notes of encouragement that have come our way. Please see the wonderful testimonial below from our member Jaquelyn Rieke.
Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t remind you that IT’S NOT TOO LATE to renew your membership, make a special gift or give a gift membership. You can call us at 802-223-7222 (we’ll be taking calls until 5PM on Tues. 12/31) or you can make your contribution securely online through our website. And the truth is, unless a charitable tax deduction for 2013 is a requirement for you, we are so happy to accept your support at any time of the year!
So… Now’s the Time* to take a deep breath, set our course, and plunge into the opportunities and challenges of the New Year. Because of your support and dedication to our work, I believe we will succeed.
And if you’re still pondering your New Year’s Resolutions, I recommend taking inspiration from this list of “New Year’s Rulin’s” written by Woody Guthrie in 1943.
P.S. Stay tuned for our preview of the 2014 Legislative session next week!
*One of my jazz favs by Charlie Parker and performed here by Miles Davis
Jaquelyn Rieke of Nutty Steph’s
Rural Vermont first approached me and Nutty Steph’s for support in 2008, when they were working on their raw milk bill.
The plan was to create a civil disobedience action, distributing raw milk out of our shop, as a healthful and delicious companion to our Vermont Granola. Rural Vermont educated me about the fact that, for the survival of certain Vermont dairy farmers, it was important to carve out legal markets for the sale of raw milk.
The plan we developed involved parading a dairy cow from our (former) Montpelier shop location up Main and State streets to the state house lawn, carrying signs and alerting the citizens and legislators of Montpelier about our willingness to go out on a legal limb to ensure that raw milk producers and their customers had accessible markets. I found this all to be extremely radical and clearly important.
That is why I loved Rural Vermont then, and why I still support them today, as an individual donor. Rural Vermont identifies what is needed for our farmers’ survival and does whatever it takes. The goals they set and achieve are directly related to the clear and present needs of Vermont farms; especially the small and medium-sized farms. This is made evident by the volume of farmer members of Rural Vermont. If you know real, Vermont, long time farmers, you know that they are not generally “joiners.” They are busy farming, and do not have extra money for associations or affiliations. But many, many Vermont farmers pay dues to Rural Vermont. This is the most powerful testament to the effectiveness of Rural Vermont in facing the urgent, critical needs of our state’s working landscape.
I am not hardworking enough to be a farmer, but those who are seem to need Rural Vermont. So I figure that the least I can do, to support the miraculous food supply afforded to me by living in Vermont, is to pay annual dues to Rural Vermont. To this day, Nutty Steph’s works with Rural Vermont to create the occasional event to raise funds and awareness, and the affiliation is a great honor for all of us here at the chocolate shop.
Jaquelyn Rieke, Founder, Nutty Steph’s, Middlesex
P.S. You can catch an unusual and truly hilarious story that Jaquelyn contributed to our Black Market Banquet Storytelling event here – her story is right before the intermission.
(WARNING: Contains mature subject matter and may not be suitable for all members of your family)
CITIZEN LOBBY DAY FOR GMO LABELING
Thursday, January 16, 2014, Noon – 5:00PM
The Vermont Right to Know GMOs Coalition, which is made up of Rural Vermont, NOFA-VT, VPIRG and Cedar Circle Farm, has scheduled our first Citizen Lobby Day in support of the GMO Labeling Bill (H.112) for Thursday, January 16, 2014, at the State House in Montpelier.
>>>>NOTE: Due to strong early registration from grassroots activists, we have adjusted the schedule and venues to accommodate more people. The GMO Labeling Citizen Lobby day will now be held Noon – 5PM at various locations in Montpelier including the State House.
More details will be distributed right after the New Year.
If you are interested in participating you can sign up here or if you just want more information please contact Andrea or call the Rural Vermont office 802-223-7222.
NOTE: Can’t come to Montpelier? There will also be a variety of community-based events and activities in support of the GMO Labeling campaign scheduled around the state throughout the legislative session including film screenings and workshops at local food coops. If you haven’t already, please join the VT Right to Know GMOs email list to receive timely updates and information on how you can get involved.
Gift-giving doesn’t have to end with the holidays…
You Can Give the Gift of Rural Vermont Membership – ANYTIME!
Do you have a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor or local farmer who you think would like to be a Rural Vermont member? Invite them to join you by giving a Gift Membership.
A Rural Vermont Gift Membership is delivered immediately in a beautiful, agriculturally-themed gift card by Vermont artist Shawn Braley. You can choose your favorite image from among the following and include a personal message.
QUESTIONS? Contact Mollie or call 802-223-7222
At its heart, Rural Vermont is a grassroots advocacy organization.
That means our ability to create changes that you care about
is directly tied to the number of members
who support our work.
Our credibility and power comes directly from you -
the people who share our values and our vision
for a community-based food system
that enables family farms to thrive and
offers everyone access to locally-produced foods of their choice.
To make this vision a reality,
we need you.
P.S. If you THINK you’re already a member but aren’t 100% sure
(and just because you’re receiving this email does NOT necessarily mean you’re a member) please contact Mollie Wills to find out your membership status.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: