In this Update
|Message from the Slightly Less New Director
Does anyone else feel like time is accelerating? I could swear that I blinked and a whole week went by. I hope you are all staying snug and safe on this weather roller coaster we’re riding.
I’m grateful to report that the Rural Vermont Staff and Board are continuing to show extraordinary patience, compassion and good humor in helping me learn the ropes.
As always, please make sure to read (or at least scan) this entire update so you don’t miss any of the opportunities and events that are coming up. Today, Sat. 1/21 many of us will be at the Vermont Grass Farmers Association conference in Fairlee and next week we’ll have a table at the Vermont Farm Show in its new home at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex. I hope I’ll get a chance to meet you at one of these events – please don’t be shy about introducing yourself.
The State House has settled into a fast-paced schedule with almost every committee meeting daily and with a full schedule of testimony. Here are some issues and bills we are tracking:
> H. 496 and S. 246 – After last week’s introduction, the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bills were the subject of a well-attended public hearing before both the Ag Committees as well as some members of the Commerce Committees. Carl Russell from Rural Vermont’s board and I both attended the public hearing and offered testimony. Although almost everyone who testified offered praise for the broad goals of the bills, House Ag Chair Rep. Carolyn Partridge (D-Windham-4) pointedly reminded everyone that one of the key provisions of the bill calls for a $3 million investment by the State in the first year. She encouraged anyone with information about where they might find $3M to contact the Committee. A variety of committees are now hearing testimony on the many details encompassed by this legislation. You can read H. 496 and S. 246 on the Vermont Legislative website
> In response to the introduction of S. 239, titled: AN ACT RELATING TO ENSURING THE HUMANE TREATMENT AND SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS, the Senate Agriculture Committee has been taking testimony from both public sector and private sector witnesses. Rural Vermont had the opportunity to offer comments on the general subject of livestock slaughter and processing and we were also invited to suggest additional people to the Committee who could offer testimony. If you are a Rural Vermont member with experience in livestock slaughter and processing and would be interested in testifying (we’ll help you prepare) please contact Andrea or call the office at 223-7222.
> Next week we have been invited to present the 2011-2012 Raw Milk Report to the House Agriculture Committee. We will make this report available on our website as well.
As always I look forward to hearing from you with your ideas, concerns and suggestions. You can reach me by email or by calling our office at 802-223-7222.
*** RURAL VERMONT PRESENTS: “Vermonters Feeding Vermonters: Growing Local Food Sovereignty”
February 4, 5:30pm
Capitol City Grange Hall, Montpelier
Northfield Street – Route 12 just south of
Montpelier (physical address: 6612 Vt. Rt 12, Berlin)
Free and open to the public, potluck to follow.
Robb Kidd, Organizer for Rural Vermont, will discuss Food Sovereignty and the Vermonters Feeding Vermonters Campaign with members of the Capital City Grange.
February 11, at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference
The Davis Center, UVM
Rural Vermont Organizer Robb Kidd and board member Carl Russell, co-owner of Earthwise Farm and Forest in Bethel, will host a special Food Sovereignty workshop. For more information or to register, visit this page.
If you are interested in having Rural Vermont facilitate a Food Sovereignty discussion in your community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** RURAL VERMONT’S “BEYOND MILK: RAW DAIRY PROCESSING” CLASSES
If your new year’s resolution is to feed your family better, cook from scratch more, eat closer to home, or invest more in your community, then Rural Vermont’s dairy classes are just what you need! And lucky for you, a new year brings a new schedule of classes. Read on for the details … (and more classes coming soon!)
Butter, Chevre, & Yogurt
with Tiny Sykkes & cows’ milk
Friday, January 27th from 1 – 4 pm
Windy Corners Farm, CHARLOTTE
Feta, Soft Cheese, Yogurt, & Kefir
with the Metta Earth team & cows’ milk
Sunday, January 29th from 1 – 4 pm
Metta Earth Institute Inc., LINCOLN
Cheddar, Gouda, & Manchego
with Lea Calderon-Guthe & cows’ milk
Wednesday, February 1st from 1 – 4 pm
Red Wing Farm, SHREWSBURY
Farmer’s Cheese, Brie-style Cheese, & Chevre
with Elizabeth Moulton & goats’ milk
Wednesday, April 25th from 10 am – 1 pm
Popplewood Farm, ANDOVER
All classes require advance registration and space is limited. $20-$40 sliding scale. All proceeds benefit Rural Vermont. To sign up, contact Shelby at (802) 223-7222 or email email@example.com.
STILL SEEKING HOSTS & TEACHERS! If you’re a raw milk dairy and would like to host a class OR a raw milk enthusiast eager to share your kitchen skills with others, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 223-7222. We’ve got a specific need for teachers in the counties of LAMOILLE and ADDISON/RUTLAND!
*** SAVE THE DATE *** RURAL VERMONT BENEFIT BAKE
Monday, February 20th from 5 – 10 pm
BURLINGTON HEARTH, 115 St. Paul Street, BURLINGTON
Each month, the Burlington Hearth hosts a benefit for an organization they heartily support – and for February 2012, they have chosen Rural Vermont! Join us and our friends at Burlington Hearth for a Benefit Bake. On this special evening, $4 of each large flatbread and $2 of every small purchased at the restaurant or through take-out will benefit Rural Vermont’s efforts to
build living soils, thriving farms, and healthy communities.
Spread the word! Thanks Burlington Hearth!!
Winter Events- We need volunteers to help at the Farm Show on January 24-26 at the Champlain Valley Expo, and the NOFA-VT Winter Conference Feb 10-12!
Poster Hangers -
We’re in need of folks to hang Benefit Bake posters all throughout Chittenden County, northern Addison County, and southern Franklin County. The more bodies we get in the door, the more dollars we raise! Get your stack by emailingRobb.
Phone Callers and Activist Leaders – The Vermont Legislature is back in session, which means we may need to rely on your help making phone calls to engage others into action. We will also be looking for activists to testify at hearings and other events. Please contact Robbto learn how you can play a role in ensuring the success of Rural Vermont’s campaigns and supporting family farmers.
Newspaper Clippings - We need your help gathering paper copies of newspaper and magazine articles from around the state featuring Rural Vermont’s issues. Contact Robb to help us with this important task.
Email Robb, or call (802) 223-7222 to get involved today!!!
**Want to help but not interested in the above activities? Contact us and we’ll see how we can plug you in!**