In this Alert:
Message from the Director
Legislative Update & Action Alert
“You Wanted to be a Farmer” Film Screenings
SAVE THIS DATE: 2012 Annual Celebration-May 16 in Wilder VT
Activist and Volunteer Needs
Message From The Director
Dear Members and Friends:
So did you enjoy that bizarre visit from July that we had last week??? I think I am suffering from a new affliction called CAD (climate anxiety disorder). I had a hard time appreciating the lovely warm days because a little voice in my head kept whispering “We’re gonna pay for this!”
Weather weirdness aside, we are heading into a seasonal transition that is bringing all kinds of events and opportunities for you.
First, I just realized that we neglected to report back to you on the results of our Local Food Sovereignty Resolution campaign on Town Meeting Day. We are grateful to all our terrific local leaders and thrilled that, in all eight communities where the Resolution was taken up, it passed by a wide margin. Here in the Capital City it was 1948 to 461.
On the heels of these good victories, Rural Vermont is partnering with Food for Maine’s Future to invite you and your neighbors to continue the conversation about building sustainable community-based food systems with special film screenings on April 17 of “You Wanted to Be A Farmer: A Discussion of Scale.” This new 30 min. documentary tells the story of Farmer Dan Brown who started the Food Sovereignty movement in New England from his home farm in Blue Hill, Maine. You can get all the details and find out how you can join in below.
Please also continue reading for an IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT on the Right to Know GMO Food Bill.
Here’s to spring (or summer) whenever it decides to return!
VT Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act – H.722
With the legislative clock ticking down fast, the House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a PUBLIC HEARING for Thurs. April 12, 6:30-8:30 in Room 11 at the State House. PLEASE HELP US FILL THE STATE HOUSE WITH PEOPLE WHO WANT THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN THEIR FOOD – NOW!
For more information contact Andrea or Robb, or call Rural Vermont at 223-7222.
To stay up to date on this campaign please join over 3300 Vermonters by signing the petition in support of the VT Right To Know GMOs campaign. You can also get up to the minute news by “liking” the campaign’s Facebook page.
The Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bills – H.496 & S.246
GOOD NEWS! After intense negotiations within and between several committees, the House version of this bill, H. 496, was PASSED by the House with a roll call vote of 131-5. The bill as passed includes $2.1 million in funding. Now the debate moves to the Senate.
You can read the latest versions of both bills and also learn more about them on the Vermont Council on Rural Development website.
Rural Vermont supports the ambitious goal of these bills to create greater investment in and focus on the critical role that our working farm and forest lands play in sustaining Vermont and Vermonters. Please contact Andrea or call Rural Vermont at 223-7222 if you would like more information.
Vermont Farm Guest Worker Program – S.238
This bill, which seeks to address issues of justice and fairness for Vermont’s many migrant farm workers, was PASSED by the Senate this past Tuesday and has now moved over to the House Committee on Transportation. There is considerable concern that it may be consigned to a summer study committee. Rural Vermont supports this bill as a matter of human rights and in recognition of its goal to improve living and working conditions for the farm workers who play such a crucial role in VT’s agricultural economy.
>>> “You Wanted to be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale” –
Film Screenings at various locations around VT (and the country)
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
For two public screenings and a handful of neighborhood screenings, Rural Vermont partners with our friends at Food for Maine’s Future and local allies to share this brand new documentary that exposes the regulatory challenges and barriers that small farms face. Farm and food policy that is blind to size or scale is an issue that many Vermonters can identify with, and this film raises the questions that need to be addressed in pursuit of growing a culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters. Come out and watch the film, and join the discussion about where we go from here!
> Co-Sponsored by the Upper Valley Co-op
Upstairs at the Upper Valley Co-op, WHITE RIVER JUNCTION
Free & open to the public
> Co-Sponsored by Food Works, & Central VT Food Systems Council
Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, MONTPELIER
Free & open to the public
Or take the lead on hosting a screening in your neighborhood! Rural Vermont will provide all the materials you need to pull it off, and hosts get to keep their copy of the dvd! Because April 17th is just around the corner, we have to work quickly, and need all commitments by next Wed, April 4th. If you’re interested or want more info, please email Rural Vermont’s outreach intern CeCe. Please include your phone number in the email!
About the film:
“You Wanted to Be a Farmer: A Discussion of Scale”, a new documentary by No Umbrella Media and the Sap Pail in association with Food for Maine’s Future, profiles Dan and Judy Brown of Gravelwood Farm in Blue Hill, Maine, and the issues surrounding the lawsuit filed against them by the State of Maine and Maine Department of Agriculture, soon after their town was one of six that passed the Local Foods Community Self-Governance Ordinance. The film features “inside-the-barn” interviews with Dan and Judy as well as conversations with their farm patrons. Topics range from the importance of producing food locally to the control over food policy by corporate-influenced government regulatory agencies. “You Wanted to Be a Farmer” is a revealing bottom-up look at food policy that raises important questions about the need for scale-appropriate regulation for neighbors feeding neighbors.
>>> SAVE THE DATE: Rural Vermont’s Annual Celebration
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
6:30 – 9 pm
the Wilder Center, 2087 Hartford Ave. (Route 5)
WILDER (just north of White River Junction)
free for members; $5-$10 sliding scale for all else
with keynote address by BEN HEWITT: “The Future is in the Dirt: Growing the Culture of Vermonters Feeding Vermonters”
You’re invited to join us for this festive occasion and annual gathering of Rural Vermont supporters! Celebrate Rural Vermont’s recent progress towards Vermonters Feeding Vermonters over potluck food and drink with live and local music. In addition to Ben’s keynote, also expect Rural Vermont’s annual meeting, farm fresh five raffle, awards ceremony, and board elections.
“The Future’s in the Dirt” will be a lively presentation and conversation that digs into the challenges and potential of Vermont’s rapidly growing local foods movement. How can we build healthy, regionalized economies that honor the producers, consumers, and environment? What will it take to ensure a vibrant culture of Vermonters feeding Vermonters? The answers are not always obvious, but the need to find them has never been more urgent.
Stay tuned for more details!
>>> 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:
Right To Know Campaign – As campaign needs are always changing, please stay in touch on ways you can assist us. If you can help make some phone calls or lend a hand at an event or the office, call 223-7222!
Newspaper Clipper Do you read the Newspaper? If so, adopt a newspaper for Rural Vermont! Although we are now in the electronic world, Rural Vermont is still looking for some old-fashioned newspaper clipping. We save articles, letters and stories about our issues for our archives.
Hosts- We are always looking for people to host Rural Vermont events, whether it be a discussion, film, workshop or class. Open up your farm or home and invite your neighbors to learn more about Rural Vermont and Vermonters Feeding Vermonters.
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.