Author Archives: Mollie

Huffington Post: The Fox (Monsanto) Buys the Chicken Coop (Beeologics)

05/3/2012
By Richard Schiffman
Full Article

Why would one of the largest purveyors of pesticides, genetically engineered seeds and agrochemicals want to buy a company which has been seeking solutions to the escalating threats to the world bee population?

Monsanto spokeswomen Kelly Powers says it is to give the fledgling company a helping hand. Beeologics has developed a product called Remembee, an anti-viral agent which its boosters claim will help stem the tide of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious plague which has led to the disappearance of the bees in up to a third of the commercial colonies located in the U.S. during the last decade.

The root of the problem, however, may not be the virus targeted by Remembee, a chemical agent which utilizes RNA interference, a mechanism that blocks gene expression, but the herbicides and insecticides that agro-chemical giants like Monsanto, Dow and Bayer have themselves been hawking to farmers around the world.

This is the conclusion of three recent studies which implicate a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics” for short, which coat a massive 142 million acres of corn, wheat, soy and cotton seeds in the U.S. alone. They are also a common ingredient in a wide variety of home gardening products. As I detail in an article which was published by Reuters last month, neonics are absorbed by the plants’ vascular system and contaminate the pollen and nectar that bees encounter on their rounds. Neonics are a nerve poison that disorient their insect victims and appear to damage the homing ability of bees, which may help to account for their mysterious failure to make it back to the hive.

This was the conclusion of research which came out in the prestigious Journal Science during March. In another study conducted by entomologists at Purdue University the scientists found that neonic-containing dust released into the air at planting time had “lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers.” A third study by the Harvard School of Public Health actually re-created colony collapse disorder in several honeybee hives simply by administering small doses of a popular neonic, imidacloprid.

While these studies strongly suggest that herbicides are a culprit, scientists caution that colony collapse disorder is a complex phenomenon with multiple causes, ranging from the loss of wild bee habitats to the weakening of bee immune systems as a result of poor diet (commercial bees are frequently fed pesticide-laced corn syrup instead of their own honey) and also the techniques of modern beekeeping, which include the artificial insemination of queens, and the resulting loss of genetic diversity in the bee population.

Some have also pointed the finger at the pollen from genetically modified Roundup Ready corn which bees ingest, and which contains a powerful insecticide within its genetic structure. Roundup seeds are manufactured by Monsanto, and are currently planted across wide swaths of the American Midwest and elsewhere.

So with Monsanto products themselves amongst the key suspects in Colony Collapse Disorder, one might ask: Why has the multinational bought a company which has been a key player in researching this disorder as well as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, another scourge of bees?

Let us hope that Monsanto is as good as its word and uses this newly acquired company to boldly get to the bottom of the mystery of the disappearing bees. But if history is any guide, there is little cause for optimism. The health watchdog group “Natural Society” rated Monsanto “the worst in 2011 for its ongoing work to threaten human health and the environment.”

With its acquisition of Beeologic, the multinational has a chance to start improving its record — right? My advice, however, is don’t hold your breath!


Burlington Free Press: Despite GMO-labeling failure this year, advocates ‘hopeful for the prospects’

Joel Banner Baird
May. 11, 2012
Full Article

Burlington Free Press:Any encouraging signs from this latest session?

Lindsay Harris: Our big effort for this last session was the GMO labeling law (H. 722, requiring labeling of food that contains genetically modified organisms). That bill didn’t quite make it through.

One huge victory is that it was voted out of the House Ag committee by a 9-to-1-to-1 vote. It was a tri-partisan vote. The testimony and the debate within the committee was very thoughtful, and it was mixed — it wasn’t just a rubber stamp.

Overall, they heard a lot of significant concerns of consumers and farmers about both the human and environmental health impacts from genetically engineered food and crops.

BFP: So — what happened?

LH: It got a special “pass” for crossover (to the Vermont Senate) but it didn’t get out of the House Judiciary Committee in time — not because they voted down. I had a conversation about the bill with the chair of that committee, Bill Lippert(D-Hinesburg), and he was generally very supportive of it and said they just ran out of time.

BFP: That must have been a disappointment.

LH: We’re hopeful for the prospects for it next year. Even though the bill didn’t make it to the governor’s desk, it was a very successful campaign in a lot of ways. There was a hearing in the Statehouse on a weeknight, and 300 people came out. People are really passionate about this issue. One hundred and twelve people testified, and every single one of them was in favor of the legislation passing.

There was huge public support. UVM Center for Rural Studies took a poll in January and found that 97 percent of the respondents said they wanted GMO food to be labeled.

BFP: Who opposed the bill?

LH: The main opposition to it in the Legislature is that, basically Monsanto (the multinational agricultural-products corporation) is guaranteed to sue the state if it becomes law.

The governor also voiced opposition, based on the threat of a lawsuit — which is unfortunate, because we provided quite a bit of testimony, especially in House Ag, with legal experts in different areas of the field, that there was a very strong case to be made to give Vermont the right to require labeling.

There have been these other high-profile lawsuits in Vermont — around campaign finance and Vermont Yankee — things where we haven’t done so well, so I think people are sort of gun-shy, especially the governor, to get involved in another lawsuit. That’s understandable.

But we think this is totally worth fighting for. People are ready to put money on the table to help fight that battle.

BFP: How are other states managing GMO labeling?

LH: There’s a national movement on this issue. It looks like there’s going to be a ballot initiative in California (in November) to require labeling. That could really change the national landscape, because they’re so big and influential.

Other states, particularly in the Northeast, have been inquiring about our campaign to work on legislative issues: New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine have all expressed interest in doing something similar.

BFP: GMO labeling is already in place in the European Union, right?

LH: And there are way, way more restrictions and many outright bans on GMOs over there that we don’t have in this country. Here, in my opinion, our farm policy is tailor-made to corporate interests, and that’s what rules.

BFP: Why is this an issue for Vermont farmers? Could you give us a little history behind it?

LH: In 2005, the Legislature passed the Farmers Protection Act, which would have kept organic farmers from being held liable for “genetic drift” from GMO DNA in nearby fields. It’s a not only a violation of organic standards, but also — the way the laws are written right now, it’s also patent infringement. It’s crazy, right?

It ended up passing both houses. Then it got to the Governor Douglas’ desk, and he ended up vetoing it. That was a tough battle and a tough defeat.

But public sentiment was very strong then in favor of limiting the influence of GMOs in this state. And it still is.

BFP: Is “genetic drift” a part of this year’s bill?

LH: H.722 isn’t really about farmers so much. This is about consumers. This is about a label on your box of cereal or pack of crackers that says, “This food may contain GMO ingredients.” And that’s all it says. It’s truly a bill about just knowing what you’re eating, what’s in your food.

Of course, it secondarily helps smart farmers, organic farms and local food producers, because we don’t have GMOs in our food — and so we wouldn’t have to label them as such. And if people start to wake up and realize what they’re eating, they might be willing to pay a little bit more to get some food that doesn’t contain that stuff, and is produced locally.

BFP: As a farmer and a consumer, what do you see as the risks presented by GMOs?

LH: The thing that I hear the most: that there isn’t enough science — so the burden of proof isn’t put on the companies. It’s not, “Let’s test if first and make sure it’s safe before we offer it widely for sale.” Instead, the burden of proof, right now, is put on the governments and consumers: “If it’s found to be dangerous, then we’ll deal with it.”

BFP: My understanding of GMOs isn’t profound, but from what I understand, “natural” cross-breeding results in a gradual shift of crop traits — but when you inject animal DNA into a plant, or mix DNA from different species that wouldn’t ordinarily reproduce, the transformation is quick and less manageable, kind of like rapid climate change.

LH: From a farmer’s point of view, one big issue is how large-farm GMO crops are engineered to be resistant to some powerful pesticides and herbicides.

For example, they’ve engineering a gene into their corn that makes the corn resistant to the herbicide Roundup: “Roundup-ready corn.” So you have corn drenched in Roundup, and it grows up without competition from any weeds — it’s a huge mono-crop.

Those practices are extremely destructive to the soil, to biodiversity — to our environment in general — because it encourages farmers to use more and more petroleum-based, highly toxic pesticides and herbicides on their crops.

Soil becomes depleted, and the corn keeps pumping up. It reaches an adult stage, but it doesn’t mean that it’s nutritionally healthy.

BFP: Why would Vermonters want to support farms that don’t use GMOs?

LH: In a more natural system, in a farm that mimics a more diverse system, there are all kinds of pressures in play, and one species isn’t going to take over. You’re able to control with more moderation, with long-term holistic strategies.

Organic farmers have to deal with pests and weeds creatively, by introducing a predator or eliminating weed seeds slowly, over time, from their soils. In ways that are a lot more sustainable, a lot less drastic and a lot healthier for people eating that food.

BFP: For folks who are interested, what’s the next step?

LH: People should contact their legislators. Find out what their positions are on this issue. If people are in favor of knowing what kinds of food they’re eating — to pressure their legislators to take up the issue and vote on the issue in the affirmative.

And call the governor. Pressure the governor directly. He was pretty clear in his opposition to this strategy. Frankly, we expect more from the governor. He talks pretty tough about standing up to the feds on medical marijuana and Vermont exceptionalism — well, this is an area we think where Vermont should be leading the way, without question.

We’re hoping it propels things next year, and this will really be an issue in the elections, that legislatures will feel pressure from the overwhelming majority of food eaters who just want to know what they’re buying.


05/10 Update: Countdown to Annual Celebration and LOTS More News

In this Alert:
Message

Dear Members and Friends:

Before I get into all our news, I just want to wish a very Happy 2nd Birthday today to my little buddy Forrest Kidd (son of Rural Vermont’s Organizer Robb Kidd and mom Sarah Adelman).

Like a lot of people (especially our hard-working citizen legislators), I am very glad the 2011-2012 Legislative Session is now over. I look forward to having control of my schedule again, the opportunity to get out of Montpelier, and visiting with members and supporters. See below for a link to a complete Legislative Wrap-Up and some thoughts about next year.

Below you will also find lots of information about great upcoming events featuring Hemp and Sally Fallon Morell and you can find all the details on our website.

I’m looking forward to meeting 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 fun and hopeful than gathering with old and new friends, enjoying  good food and music, winning prizes and talking about how we’re going to grow a culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters?

See you soon!

Andrea Stander
Rural Vermont Director

  Event

PLEASE JOIN US FOR:

Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration

>>> LAST MINUTE DETAILS!! <<<
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 everyone else
Special drawing for a gift certificate to the Hunger Mt Co-op in Montpelier! Be entered to win if you’re a member who brings a non-member friend OR if you become a member (or renew) at the event!
with featured speaker, farmer, author and Rural VT Board member
BEN HEWITT
“The Future is in the Dirt:
Growing the Culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters”
In less than a week, we will gather at the Wilder Center for a lively and lovely night to celebrate the work we’ve accomplished in the last year, look ahead to another year of progress, and enjoy the company of friends from near and far. We look forward to sharing good food and drink, great conversation, and a memorable evening with you all.

This year, we are thrilled to announce that Will Allen of Cedar Circle Farm will be the recipient of the Jack Starr award. Will is being honored for his dedication, vision, and energy in support of this year’s GMO labeling bill. Come and help us celebrate Will!

Want to earn yourself some free raffle tickets? Help us sell “FARM FRESH FIVE” raffle tickets before the event, and for every 5 you sell, we’ll give you one! For more info and to get started, email Shelby.
Directions: From I-91 North or South, take Exit 5 toward Route 5/Wilder. Follow signs to Route 5 North (Hartford Ave.). Turn onto Route 5 North, and travel a little under a mile to the Wilder Center on the right. It is located at the corner of Route 5 and Gillette Street in the Wilder Village Historic District in the town of Hartford, Vermont.
Parking: Park in the Dataman parking lot, located on the left-hand side (coming from the Interstate), just before the Wilder Center. This lot is a very short walk from the Wilder Center. For those who need onsite parking, there is a very limited number of spots available at the Wilder Center. NOTE: Please carpool if you can! And if you need help arranging carpools, email Robb.
To bring: a finger food potluck item, place setting, $$, and all your friends, family, and neighbors!

All the details about Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration can be found  here.  See you there!

dairy

Beyond Milk: Raw Dairy Processing
Cottage Cheese & Yogurt Panna Cotta  

with Margaret Osha at Turkey Hill Farm, Randolph Center
Wed, May 23rd, 1-4 pm

$20-$40 sliding scale
portion of proceeds to benefit Rural Vermont

Join Rural Vermont and Margaret Osha for an introductory dairy processing class that will demonstrate how easy and versatile cottage cheese can be, as well as how simple it is to make elegant, luscious yogurt panna cotta .

For more info or to register, click here, email Shelby or call 223-7222.
HempEvent

Celebrate Hemp History Week
Cultivating Economic Prosperity Through Hemp

June 6 at 7pm-9pm

Addison County Regional Planning Commission Office

14 Seminary St., Middlebury, VT

Rural Vermont is hosting a special presentation by Netaka White of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund for Hemp History Week 2012

For more details, click here, contact Robb or call 223-7222
SallyFallon

Sally Fallon Morell is coming to Vermont – June 7-9
Rural Vermont is proud to co-sponsor, with Shelburne Farms and many other great organizations, a 3-day visit by the author of “Nourishing Traditions” and one of the country’s foremost proponents of the benefits of raw milk.

All events are free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of the The Forrest C. and Frances H. Lattner Foundation.

You can see all the details on our website.
FarmerFilmUPDATE on “You Wanted to Be a Farmer” Film Screenings

“You Wanted to be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale” was viewed in 13 locations around Vermont to a collective audience of 200+.

The film invoked feelings of frustration, empathy, and inspiration, while serving as a springboard for many thoughtful conversations about food sovereignty, appropriately-scaled regulations, food safety, and strategies to support community-based food systems. Ben Hewitt will continue this conversation at Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration on May 16th at the Wilder Center in Wilder VT.

There are several additional community screenings of “You Wanted to be a Farmer” in the works – stay tuned for details. The film is also available to borrow from Rural Vermont’s library – if you’re interested in either organizing your own community screening or borrowing the film, contact Shelby or call 223-7222.
LegWrapEND OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAP UP: 
In the interest of conserving space here, please see the special Legislative Wrap Up Email or visit our website for all the details.
Volunteer

>>> Volunteers Needed

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 serving with Rural Vermont as a volunteer to help spread the word about our Vermonters Feeding Vermonters campaign!

Current Volunteer Opportunities:   
Annual Meeting Support – May 16th is our Annual Celebration and we need help with many tasks to make this event a success. Help in the office next Mon. & Tues. with event preparation or on the 16th at The Wilder Center. Please contact Robb or give us a call at 223-7222 to sign up.

Visit with Sally Fallon Morell – Rural Vermont is co-sponsoring Sally’s visit June 7-9 in Chittenden County. We need volunteers to help with all the events and particularly with a special REAL Milk workshop on Fri. June 8, 8am-Noon in Shelburne. Contact Shelby or call 223-7222 for more information if you are interested.

Graphic Designer – The 2012 Tour de Farms is in its fifth year, and we are seeking a volunteer with some graphic design and production skills to help us design a 5 year logo.  Contact  Shelby or call 223-7222 for more information if you are interested.

For more information about future Volunteer Opportunities, contact Robb, or call 802-223-7222 to get involved today!!! – THANKS!

JoinHELP US REACH 1000!

We’re soooooo close! Rural Vermont’s Facebook Page is just a few clicks away from reaching 1000 “likes.” Can you put us over the top by liking and sharing our page with your friends?

If you don’t use Facebook you can also help by joining our full mailing list here. AND best of all – You can sign up to be a  member and support Rural Vermont’s work by visiting this page.


Science Daily: Barley Takes a Leaf out of Reindeer’s Book in the Land of the Midnight Sun

May 11, 2012
Reprinted from materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes
Full Article

Barley grown in Scandinavian countries is adapted in a similar way to reindeer to cope with the extremes of day length at high latitudes. Researchers have found a genetic mutation in some Scandinavian barley varieties that disrupts the circadian clock that barley from southern regions use to time their growing season. Just as reindeer have dropped the clock in adapting to extremely long days, so has Scandinavian barley to grow successfully in that region’s short growing season. This new knowledge may be useful in efforts to adapt crops for regions where the growing season is short.

The timing of when a plant flowers during the year is crucial to its overall survival and fitness, and in crop plants it has major affects on the overall yield. Barley’s wild ancestors and modern winter barley varieties germinate in the autumn, but don’t flower until after winter has finished. One stimulus that triggers flowering is the longer days that come with spring.

To know how long the day is, the plant uses its built in circadian clock, with which they time a 24 hour period. Circadian clocks are found throughout the plant and animal kingdom, and affect all manner of processes such as when animals eat and sleep, or when plants photosynthesize. As anyone who has suffered jet lag knows, anything that disrupts the circadian clock of an organism causes big problems, which is why when researchers from the John Innes Centre and the Max Planck Institute sought to characterize Scandinavian barley varieties, they were surprised to find a mutant gene that knocked out the circadian clock and its functions.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that by disrupting the circadian clock Scandinavian barley varieties flower independently of the length of the day. This means that they flower much earlier than their southern counterparts and so can fit their growth cycle into the shorter growing season.

In the UK and much of Western Europe cold winters and warm wet summers favored the development of barleys which didn’t need the period of overwintering and could be planted in the spring. A late flowering mutation in another gene called Photoperiod-1 allowed barley to be planted in the spring and use the long days of summer to build up its yield, without its growing season being shortened by the high temperatures experienced by its ancestors from the south. This gene was also identified at the John Innes Centre, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

As barley cultivation moved north this late flowering background became unsuitable for the short growing season in Scandinavia as the plants couldn’t achieve good yields before temperatures plunged. This was overcome by introducing a second mutation that removes the influence of the circadian clock, making the barley plants insensitive to day length and allowing earlier flowering.

Alternatively, the mutation may combine early flowering with additional useful side effects such as turning off the circadian control of photosynthesis. This could help Scandinavian barley exploit the 20 hours of sunlight during the day. This physiological explanation has an intriguing parallel in animals. Reindeer have similarly evolved to switch off their circadian clock, abandoning the more regimented lifestyle of their antelope ancestors to be able to display more opportunistic behavior.


05/10 End of Legislature Wrap Up

Legislators go home – Our work continues! 

Dear Members & Friends,

The streets (and parking spaces) in Montpelier are emptier these days and that is a sure sign of the changing of the seasons. Vermont’s citizen Legislature has wrapped up another biennium and headed home.

I’m relieved to have survived my first season as Rural Vermont’s official “lobbyist” and I want to share with you a few details on the status of the issues we worked on and what comes next.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the session that just ended, I’d like to invite you to become an active partner in supporting Rural Vermont’s advocacy work. It requires a lot of resources to ensure that the interests of Vermont’s small diversified farmers are well represented in the halls of the State House. But it is actually during the “off season” when we must invest in research, public education and grassroots organizing to build the broad support needed to achieve meaningful changes in public policy.

Can you help us build a strong platform to support community-based food systems and economic and regulatory fairness for farmers?
You can make a secure donation here
to support our public education and advocacy work.
Our strength is in our numbers – THANK YOU!


LABELING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD – H.722

No one was more disappointed than us that the VT Right To Know GMO Food Labeling bill did not become the law this session. Even with over 300 people packing the House Chamber for a public hearing on April 12th and over 100 testifying in unanimous support of the bill, the threat of an immediate lawsuit by the powerful biotech industry was enough to prevent the bill from making it beyond the House Agriculture Committee.

The Committee took hours of testimony, did a great deal of work strengthening the bill and passed it by a strong 9-1-1 vote. Recent polls confirm that 97% of Vermonters and over 90% of Americans want genetically engineered food to be labeled. We will build on that unprecedented support and introduce an even stronger bill next January. This summer and fall we urge you to talk with your representatives and candidates and let them know this is a crucial issue for you.

Help us spread the word and stay in touch with the

VT Right To Know GMOs Campaign by “LIKING” VT Right To Know GMOs on Facebook

WORKING LANDS ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT BILL – H.496

Thanks to a broad and dedicated coalition led by Paul Costello and Amy Shollenberger, the Working Lands bill was one of the success stories of this session. After many twists and turns it is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The bill will create the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and the Working Lands Enterprise Board, which will oversee the Fund. The legislation includes a $1.175 million initial investment in the Fund. The purpose is to stimulate a concerted economic development effort on behalf of Vermont’s agriculture and forest products sectors by systematically supporting entrepreneurism, business development, and job creation. A detailed summary and the final version of the bill is available here. Rural Vermont will be meeting with theVermont Council on Rural Development to learn more about the proposed implementation of the bill – stay tuned for more details.

VERMONT GUEST FARM WORKER PROGRAM – S.238 With strong grassroots organizing by Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante, S.238 was passed and creates a study committee charged with introducing legislation in 2013 to create access to driver’s licenses and ID regardless of immigration status. You can see the legislative history of this bill here. Rural Vermont partnered with Migrant Justice and many other economic and social justice organizations for the May 1st “Put People First – One Movement for People and the Planet march and rally which drew over 500 to the State House.

If you have questions or want to get more involved in Rural Vermont’s advocacy campaigns please contact Robb Kidd, Rural Vermont’s Organizer, or call 223-7222

Thank you for your activism and support!

Andrea Stander

Rural Vermont Director

P.S. I hope you will be able to join us at the Rural Vermont Annual Celebration on May 16th. It’s going to be a fun evening with good food, good company and a lively conversation about “The Future is in the Dirt” with farmer and writer Ben Hewitt who is the author of ‘The Town that Food Saved” and “Making Supper Safe.” You can see all the details here.

I look forward to the chance to meet you there!


Boston Globe: New index ranks Vermont tops in locally grown food

By Lisa Rathke
May 8, 2012
Full Article

MONTPELIER, Vt.—A committed “locavore,” Robin McDermott once struggled to stock her kitchen with food grown within 100 miles of her Vermont home. She once drove 70 miles to buy beans and ordered a bulk shipment of oats from the neighboring Canadian province of Quebec.

Six years later, she doesn’t travel far: She can buy chickens at the farmers market, local farms grow a wider range of produce, and her grocery store stocks meat, cheese and even flour produced in the area. A bakery in a nearby town sells bread made from Vermont grains, and she’s found a place to buy locally made sunflower oil.

Nationwide, small farms, farmers markets and specialty food makers are popping up and thriving as more people seek locally produced foods. More than half of consumers now say it’s more important to buy local than organic, according to market research firm Mintel, and Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan called the local food movement “the biggest retail food trend in my adult lifetime.”

But with no official definition for what makes a food local, the government can’t track sales. And consumers don’t always know what they are buying. A supermarket tomato labeled “local” may have come from 10, 100 or more miles away.

Strict locavores stick to food raised within a certain radius of their home — 50, 100 or 250 miles. Others may allow themselves dried spices, coffee or chocolate.

McDermott has eased up after eating locally during a Vermont winter, which meant a lot of meat and root vegetables. She now allows herself olive oil and citrus and in winter, greens.

“In 2006, I felt like a Vermonter of years past,” she said. “You know, I was going down into my root cellar and saying, `I guess it will be potatoes again.'”

Two of the more common standards used by locavores are food produced within 100 miles or within the same state that it’s consumed. A new locavore index ranked Vermont as the top state in its commitment to raising and eating locally grown food based on the number of farmers markets and community supported agriculture farms, where customers pay a lump sum up front and receive weekly deliveries of produce and other foods.

Vermont has 99 farmers markets and 164 CSAs, with a population of fewer than 622,000, according to the 2012 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, which relies on U.S. Department of Agriculture and census figures. Iowa, Montana, Maine and Hawaii rounded out the top five.

USDA spokesman Aaron Lavallee said the definition of local varies from state to state and region to region depending on the season. In small New England states, food from 100 miles away could be from another state, while food could travel hundreds of miles in Texas or Montana and still be within the borders.

In cases where produce is labeled “local,” with no point of origin, he advised consumers to ask sellers where it was raised.

The locavore movement grew out of consumer concerns about how and where food is produced, following episodes of contamination in spinach, meat and other foods. People committed to it buy locally produced foods to support farmers, because the food is fresher and to reduce the environmental effect of trucking it across country.

But there’s more to it, said Jessica Prentice, a San Francisco Bay-area chef who coined the term locavore.

“Really what it’s about is moving into a kind of food system where you’re connected to the source of your food,” Prentice said. “You’re buying from people that you know or can meet and you’re buying food grown in a place that you can easily drive to and see.

“This is more about creating an oasis really in the context of a globalized food system that’s completely anonymous,” she said.

McDermott said being a locavore has changed how she and her husband eat. They used to have steak often; now it’s only once a year. She grows garlic, onions, potatoes and carrots and freezes large amounts of tomatoes each year.

While local foods tend to cost more than those mass produced, McDermott figures she still spends less. She and her husband buy half a pig with a friend each year and use most of the animal. They eat lesser cuts, making stews and braising meat to make it tender.

“We eat low on the hog,” she said.


Big News for our Raw Milk Dairy Processing Friends

Included in this email:
Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration Invite
Farm Fresh Raffle including private dairy lesson!
Sally Fallon Morell comes to Vermont
Open Spots in May Dairy Classes

Hey folks!

I’m writing to you because you’ve either attended or expressed interest in Rural Vermont’s “Beyond Milk: Raw Dairy Processing” classes. I’ve got some important and exciting updates for our growing following of raw milk enthusiasts.

RURAL VERMONT’S 2012 ANNUAL CELEBRATION:

YOU’RE INVITED!

First of all, I want to extend an invitation to all of you (your families and friends too!) to join Rural Vermont for our 2012 Annual Celebration on Wed May 16th from 6:30-9pm at the Wilder Center, which is just north of White River Junction and an easy drive from most places. We’ve got a great night in store, including live music by a local folk duo, finger food potluck, cash bar with VT beer, an interactive presentation and discussion led by our special guest Ben Hewitt (farmer and author of The Town that Food Saved and Making Supper Safe), plus plenty of time for mingling with old friends and getting to know new ones. We hope you can join us! You can see all the details here http://www.ruralvermont.org/.

FARM FRESH FIVE RAFFLE:

WIN A PRIVATE DAIRY CLASS IN YOUR KITCHEN!

At this annual gathering, we will also be drawing the winners of our FARM FRESH FIVE raffle. I wanted to personally tell all of you about this exciting opportunity because I think that one of the prizes in particular will be of serious interest to many of you. One lucky person will win a PRIVATE dairy processing class in YOUR kitchen making 3-5 products of YOUR choosing with cheesemaid Lea Calderon-Guthe. For those of you who have taken classes with Lea, you know that she not only has an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge about all things dairy processing, but she is an absolute pleasure to be around and one of our favorite teachers. Lea is currently down in North Carolina working with the cheesemaker who got her started, and looks forward to sharing her sharpened skills with the winner when she returns to Vermont this summer.

Among the other prizes up for grabs are two different food baskets, both featuring homemade dairy products (of course from raw milk), grass-fed/pastured meat, organic veggies, and a few surprises. We’ve also got a gardening goodies prize featuring supplies donated by Gardener’s Supply and seeds from High Mowing Seeds, and a basket o’ books with titles from food/ag leaders Joel Salatin, Michael Pollan, Ben Hewitt, and Daniel Imhoff. For all the details, visit http://www.ruralvermont.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/raffle-sign1.pdf

RAW MILK/REAL FOOD HERO SALLY FALLON MORELL
COMES TO VERMONT IN JUNE!

If you’re a big fan of raw milk, then you either know or should know of Sally Fallon Morell. She is the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the author of the real food advocates bible Nourishing Traditions. Sally does not make it to Vermont all that often, and in collaboration with Shelburne Farms, she is offering a jam-packed schedule of events that is not to be missed! Lectures and workshops will span Thurs, June 7th to Sat, June 9th. Rural Vermont has arranged for a special event devoted entirely to raw milk! Details for the raw milk event are below, and details for the full series of events can be found here: http://www.ruralvermont.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/NourishingTraditionsPoster3.pdf

>> Real Milk – Friday, JUNE 8 from 9-11 am

Location TBA, SHELBURNE

An interactive workshop on the safety, health benefits and economics of raw milk as the cornerstone of a traditional diet. An open discussion welcoming questions from milk producers, people making products from raw milk and those wanting to know more about this versatile food.

NOTE: Childcare available. Space limited. Reservations recommended.

OPEN SPOTS IN MAY DAIRY CLASSES:

WED 5/9 (TOMORROW!) AND WED 5/23

We’ve still got a few spots available in this Wednesday’s dairy class at Chandler Pond Farm in South Wheelock. We’ll be making butter, yogurt, and mozzarella from 1-4 pm. The weather forecast is kinda crummy, so why not come out and huddle ’round a warm stove? If you want to sign up for this class, email me by 10am Wed morning, or call my cell phone (856) 287-1531.

There’s also space in our Wed 5/23 dairy class 1-4 pm at Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center. We’ll be making cottage cheese, a product that we’ve gotten numerous requests for but haven’t been able to offer often, and yogurt panna cotta – a brand new product to the dairy class inventory! Be in touch if you’d like to register. And if you’ve enjoyed a Rural Vermont dairy class, please tell others and help us spread the word about these and other upcoming classes!

Stay tuned for the summer’s raw milk ice cream socials and dairy processing classes, including a special event to commemorate our 50th dairy class in July!

Thanks,

Shelby


04/29 Alert

Join Rural Vermont at the
Put People First! One Movement for People and the Planet
March from Montpelier City Hall to the Statehouse
Tuesday May 1st 12 noon

Hi Rural Vermonters and Friends,

I am writing to invite you to march with Rural Vermont at the “Put People First” rally this Tuesday. As a supporter of Rural Vermont’s recent campaigns of Labeling GMO’s or the Vermonters Feeding Vermonters campaigns you realize that in order to build a strong movement to overcome our obstacles we will need to join forces with others, so

Rural Vermont is proud to be teaming up with the Vermont Workers Center:

 

Put People First! One Movement for People and the Planet 

Tuesday, May 1st  12 Noon
Meet at City Hall, Main Street, MONTPELIER

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.

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 or call the office at (802) 223-7222.

In Freedom and Unity,

Robb Kidd

Rural Vermont Organizer

p.s. In the spirit of Rural Vermont’s history of activism, please join us May 16 at Rural Vermont’s annual meeting in which we will honor Will Allen of Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, VT. Will Allen will be awarded the Jack Starr Award for his vision, energy, and dedication he has displayed in support of Vermont’s 2012 GMO labeling bill. The annual meeting will be at the Wilder Center in Wilder, VT at 6:30 – 9 pm click here for more information


Rural Vermont Hosts a “Beyond Milk: Raw Dairy Processing” Workshop

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 7th, 2012

Contact Person: Shelby Girard, (802) 223-7222, shelby@ruralvermont.org

 Cottage Cheese and Yogurt Panna Cotta at Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center

On May 23rd, Rural Vermont will be partnering with traditional farm cook Margaret Osha of Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center to offer an afternoon of dairy processing, taste testing, and information sharing. Margaret will lead participants through the process of making cottage cheese from fresh, raw cows’ milk and yogurt panna cotta from Turkey Hill’s own commercially-produced yogurt. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23rd from 1 – 4 pm at Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center.

Join Rural Vermont and Margaret Osha for an introductory class that will inspire participants to get started on their own dairy processing adventures. To start, folks will learn that cottage cheese is easy to make and its versatility renders it a welcome addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

Most know panna cotta to be a traditional Italian dessert that is both delicious and elegant, but its best kept secret is that it’s easy to make too! Made with Turkey Hill’s whole milk creamline yogurt, this version is a bit lighter than its counterpart, yet maintains the velvety smooth texture and luscious creaminess that define this delightful dessert.

Amid the instruction and some dairy taste testing, Margaret will lead folks on a tour of Turkey Hill Farm, where signs of spring will be abound – young and tender crops, lambs in the fields, and brilliantly green and lush pastures. Among other things, participants will have the opportunity to meet the lovely ladies whose milk will be used for the class and available for purchase in their Moo-tique farm store.

The fee for the class is $20-$40 sliding scale, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Rural Vermont. Pre-registration is required and classes often sell out quickly, so be in touch today to reserve your spot! For more information, to sign up, or to be added to Rural Vermont’s mailing list, call (802) 223-7222 or email shelby@ruralvermont.org.

For many years, Turkey Hill Farm has been an incredible asset to customers near and far, providing some of the highest quality and wholesome food that can be found anywhere! Their 50 acre farm is currently home to five milk cows, chickens, pigs, lambs, flower and vegetable gardens, and a maple sugaring operation. They operate a raw-milk micro dairy and sell their fluid raw milk in their farm store, the Moo-tique. Turkey Hill Farm is in the beginning stages of a transition that will allow Margaret to focus more fully on her cooking and education classes, while she and her husband Stuart will have more time to serve as a resource for people interested in farming, sustainability and the benefits of real food. For more info, visit http://www.turkeyhillfarmvt.com/.

Rural Vermont’s summer series of dairy processing classes will be announced shortly, and will include the ever-popular ice cream socials and a special event to commemorate Rural Vermont’s 50th dairy processing class! The schedule will be announced at Rural Vermont’s 2012 Annual Celebration, scheduled for May 16th from 6:30 – 9 pm at the Wilder Center, just north of White River Junction in Wilder, Vermont.


04/27 Update & Alert

In this Alert:

 

Message

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,
and conserving economy…”

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?


Scroll down for more details about both events. See you soon!

Andrea Stander

 

  Action

Put People First! One Movement for People and the Planet 
Tuesday, May 1st
12 Noon
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.

 

  Event

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
BEN HEWITT
“The Future is in the Dirt:
Growing the Culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters”

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:

  • Gardening goodies – a garden’s worth of High Mowing Seeds, 11 gallon tub trug, nitrile gloves, and 20 qt container mix
  • Basket o’ Books – Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt, Everything I Want to do is Illegal by Joel Salatin, CAFO by Daniel Imhoff, and Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
  • Farm Fresh Fare (option1) – butter, cheese, pickles, bacon, Tbone steak, fermented veggies, chanterelle mushrooms, and more!
  • Farm Fresh Fare (option2) – butter, cheese, jam, ground beef, chicken, fermented veggies, locally-brewed beer, and more!
  • Private raw dairy processing class!  One-on-one lesson making 3-5 products of YOUR choosing in YOUR kitchen with cheesemaid Lea Calderon-Guthe

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!  

LegislativeUpdateLEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

 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.   

Volunteer

>>> 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.    
Annual Meeting Support- May 16 is our an annual meeting and we need help with many tasks. Event set up or breakdown, member and non-member check in, raffle ticket sales, food prep, sign making, etc.  

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.
Graphic Designer – The 2012 Tour de Farms is in its fifth year, and we are seeking a volunteer with some graphics skills to help us design a 5 year logo.  

Email Robb, or call 802-223-7222 to get involved today!!! 

 

JoinJoin Us!

 

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.

Rural Vermont

Update & Action Alert  

April 27, 2012 

   

Rural Vermont

15 Barre Street

Montpelier,
Vermont 05602
(802)223-7222

On the side:

Issues in the NewsMembership

issues

MembershipSupport Rural Vermont

Please consider joining us today.

In this Alert:
Message

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,
and conserving economy…”

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?


Scroll down for more details about both events. See you soon!

Andrea Stander

  Action

Put People First! One Movement for People and the Planet 
Tuesday, May 1st
12 Noon
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.

 

  Event

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
BEN HEWITT
“The Future is in the Dirt:
Growing the Culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters”

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:

  • Gardening goodies – a garden’s worth of High Mowing Seeds, 11 gallon tub trug, nitrile gloves, and 20 qt container mix
  • Basket o’ Books – Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt, Everything I Want to do is Illegal by Joel Salatin, CAFO by Daniel Imhoff, and Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
  • Farm Fresh Fare (option1) – butter, cheese, pickles, bacon, Tbone steak, fermented veggies, chanterelle mushrooms, and more!
  • Farm Fresh Fare (option2) – butter, cheese, jam, ground beef, chicken, fermented veggies, locally-brewed beer, and more!
  • Private raw dairy processing class!  One-on-one lesson making 3-5 products of YOUR choosing in YOUR kitchen with cheesemaid Lea Calderon-Guthe

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!  

LegislativeUpdateLEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

 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.   

Volunteer

>>> 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.    
Annual Meeting Support- May 16 is our an annual meeting and we need help with many tasks. Event set up or breakdown, member and non-member check in, raffle ticket sales, food prep, sign making, etc.  

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.
Graphic Designer – The 2012 Tour de Farms is in its fifth year, and we are seeking a volunteer with some graphics skills to help us design a 5 year logo.  

Email Robb, or call 802-223-7222 to get involved today!!! 

JoinJoin Us!

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.