Rural Vermont Applauds Congressman Welch’s co-sponsorship of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011

For immediate release: 10/11/11
Contact Person: Jared Carter (802) 223-7222, jared@ruralvermont.org

Rural Vermont is pleased to applaud Congressman Peter Welch’s recent announcement that he has decided to co-sponsor H.R. 1831, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011.  “This bill has the potential to open up significant economic opportunities for Vermont farmers to grow industrial grade hemp,” says Jared Carter, Executive Director of Rural Vermont.

In 2008, Rural Vermont helped to pass legislation that would allow Vermont farmers to grow industrial hemp within the state of Vermont, while also allowing the processing of hemp into value-added products such as food grade oils, cloth, rope, paper and animal feed.  In 2009, Rural Vermont was instrumental in passing a resolution that urged Congress to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural product and direct the DEA to allow states to regulate industrial hemp farming without federal applications, licenses or fees.

As the campaign moved to a national level, Rural Vermont partnered with Vote Hemp, a single-issue advocacy organization, and the coordinated campaigns recognized that Congressman Welch should be a co-sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act due to Vermonters overwhelming support of the issue. Over the last few months, Rural Vermont has worked with activists to bring attention to the issue and to encourage Congressman Welch to support the legislation. Robb Kidd, Rural Vermont Organizer states that “without the strength of grassroots activists from Rutland to Warren, Congressman Welch may not have realized the true value of hemp, and we are extremely happy that he has decided to co-sponsor the bill.”

Rural Vermont’s vision is for a Vermont local food system which is self-reliant and based on reverence for the earth. It builds living soils which nurture animals and people with wholesome, natural products, supporting healthy, thriving farms and communities. These communities in turn work to encourage and support current and future farmers, continuing our Vermont heritage.

Rural Vermont is a nonprofit advocacy group founded by farmers in 1985 that advocates, activates, and educates for living soils, thriving farms, and healthy communities. For more info, call (802) 223-7222 or visit www.ruralvermont.org.
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