In this Alert:
Message From The Director
Dear Members and Friends:
Last night I came across a quote from Wendell Berry, (if we had a US “farmer laureate” I would nominate him) that gave me so much hope.
“In affection we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind,
On Monday night, Berry delivered the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. As reported by Scott Carlson on Grist, “the lecture was a discussion of affection and its power to bind people to community. It was also a meditation on place and those who “stick” to it – as caretakers and curators.” You can read or watch the entire lecture here.
Back to present reality – it’s been a tough couple weeks as we have fought hard to pass the VT Right To Know GMO Food Labeling bill and lost out to the tick down of the legislative clock and fear of the bio-tech industry’s threatened lawsuit. But the campaign to give Vermonters the right to know what is in their food will continue – see below for details.
We’ll do a complete Legislative Wrap-up after the session ends next week.
It is said that “hope springs eternal.” I kind of like another version: “spring hopes eternal.” And there are reasons for great hope in this spring season.
I hope you will come to Montpelier City Hall next Tues. May 1st at Noon and join the Rural Vermont contingent at the Put People First March and Rally: One Movement for People and the Planet.
We’re joining forces with The Vermont Workers Center and many other social and economic justice organizations to carry a unified message to our elected leaders that it’s essential to make public policy decisions and allocate public resources for the benefit of the people and the planet.
I also hope to see you all at Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration on Wed. May 16th, 6:30-9:00PM at The Wilder Center in Wilder (just north of WRJ). What could be more hopeful than gathering with new and old friends, enjoying good food and music, winning prizes and talking about how we’re going grow a culture of Vermonters feeding Vermonters?
Put People First! One Movement for People and the Planet
Tuesday, May 1st
Meet at City Hall, Main Street, MONTPELIER
Join Rural Vermont, along with many other social and economic justice groups and activists, on May 1st as we converge on the Statehouse lawn to demand that our elected officials put people before profits! Music, skits, speeches by Senator Bernie Sanders and others, chants, kid-friendly activities, and more!
March alongside Rural Vermont and show your support for Vermonters Feeding Vermonters by wearing your farming/gardening garb, and bringing a farm implement and sign (“Power to the Farmers!” ~ “Eating is an Agricultural Act!” ~ “Let Vermonters Feed Vermonters!” You get the idea … get creative!).
Arrive at City Hall at 12 noon and look for the Rural Vermont signs and huddle. For more info or to RSVP for the Rural Vermont contingent, contact Robb , call the office at (802) 223-7222 or click here.
Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration
>>> MARK YOUR CALENDAR <<<
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
6:30 – 9 pm
The Wilder Center, 2087 Hartford Ave. (Route 5)
WILDER (just north of WRJ, off I91)
FREE for RV members
$5-$10 sliding scale for all else
(Members! Bring a non-member friend and be entered into a special raffle drawing!)
with featured speaker, farmer, author and RV Board member
There is lots to look forward to at this year’s Annual Celebration – we’ve got Ben Hewitt talking about dirt, live music by local folk duo Nancy & Mike Wood, our first cash bar featuring Vermont beers, a finger food potluck, awards for our most committed supporters – and the return of the popular “FARM FRESH FIVE” RAFFLE, where five winners will take home one of five incredible food/farm prizes.
Buy a $5 ticket, either at the event or in advance, and be entered to win one of the following five prizes:
Rural Vermont extends our sincere appreciation to our raffle donors – High Mowing Seeds, Gardener’s Supply, Shiretown Books, Watershed Media, Rural Vermont board members, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Lea Calderon-Guthe.
Winners will be drawn at the Annual Celebration on May 16th. WINNERS NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN. If you can’t make it to the event, but don’t want to miss the chance to win, then purchase your tickets in advance here. Tickets must be received by May 15th to be entered into the Raffle.
More details about Rural Vermont’s annual celebration can be found here. See you there!
VT Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act – H.722
On Friday April 20, the House Agriculture Committee voted to pass H.722 by a vote of 9-1 with one member absent. The Committee did a great deal of good work to strengthen the bill but at the last minute they added a “trigger clause” that said the bill would not become effective until California and two northeastern states passed similar GMO food labeling bills.
Although members of the committee said this provision was added to protect Vermont food producers and ensure the stability of the food supply chain, it would effectively ensure that Vermonters would not get the right to know if their food is genetically engineered for a very long time.
Given this development, it is actually a good thing that the legislative session is almost over so there is no chance the bill will become law this year.
We are now trying to get a commitment from legislative leaders to make a new GMO Food Labeling bill a priority next year.
You can help right now by finding out if your elected representatives would support a GMO Food Labeling bill next year.
THIS CAMPAIGN WILL CONTINUE so if you haven’t yet, please join over 4000 Vermonters by signing the petition in support of the VT Right To Know GMOs campaign so we can stay in touch with you. You can also get up to the minute news by “liking” the campaign’s Facebook page.
>>> Activist and Volunteer Needs
As a grassroots organization, Rural Vermont relies on the generosity and commitment of volunteers to help us accomplish our goals. Throughout the year we need your help advancing our issues in many ways. Consider working with Rural Vermont to help spread the word about our Vermonters Feeding Vermonters campaign!
Current Volunteer Opportunities:
Office Volunteer – Can you travel to Montpelier one day a week or a month and help us with our important campaign work? A few hours a week helps us a lot.
Poster Hangers – We need folks to hang posters in towns surrounding Wilder, Wheelock, and Randolph for our upcoming Annual Celebration and dairy classes. (Also in your community) We can send you the posters via mail or email you one to print.
Email Robb, or call 802-223-7222 to get involved today!!!
Rural Vermont communicates with its supporters in a number of ways – email, mail, and phone. To ensure that you’re not missing any important updates, please join the full mailing list here. You can sign up to be a dues-paying member of Rural Vermont by visiting this page.