NOW IS THE TIME TO SPEAK UP



YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED NOW



Meet Your Legislators





Policy Priorities Survey

I’m sure you’ve heard some variation on this phrase many times: “Your voice matters.” Well, it’s true. In Vermont’s small-scale democratic process and very accessible legislative process, it is possible for one voice to make a difference. And many voices are what almost always creates the change they seek. If any of the issues Rural Vermont has been working on this session are important to you – please speak up now. Here are three things you can do TODAY:

1.  Contact your Senators and urge them to pass H.205 as amended by the Senate Ag Committee.This bill makes a small but crucial step in reducing the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators, other insects and the water and soil on which they and we depends.
2. Contact your House Representative and urge them to support S.160 as amended by the House Ag Committee. This bill has many provisions that will benefit farmers and other stewards of our working lands including improvements to the on-farm slaughter law that will make this traditional practice much more economically valuable to farmers and consumers who value having access to locally produced meat.
3.  Join Rural Vermont for our final Small Farm Advocacy Day on Thursday 4/25, 8:30-1:30 at the State House. 
RSVP here. You’ll have the opportunity to talk directly with the members of both the House and Senate Ag Committees about what is important to you and what policy changes will most benefit your farm and your community

With the 2019 legislative session heading into its final weeks, Rural Vermont is asking everyone to lend your support for the proposed improvements to the on-farm slaughter law. You can do this by contacting your House legislators as well as members of the House Agriculture Committee to express your support for the changes that are proposed in Act 160. (See details in our 4/8/19 State House blog post.) Identify your legislators and find their contact info on the Vermont General Assembly website here.


WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW!

In the November election 45 brand new legislators were chosen. Chances are one of them may be representing you. Even if your legislators are returning incumbents, NOW is a great time to reach out to them, introduce yourself, and share with them your concerns and views on the issues you care about and that they will be working on soon.

Visit the VT Secretary of State’s 2018 Election Results to look up your new or returning legislator. If you need assistance please contact Rural Vermont’s Policy Consultant Andrea Stander.


2018 POLICY PRIORITIES SURVEY RESULTS:

In October of 2018 Rural Vermont conducted a policy priorities survey of our membership and Vermont’s greater agricultural community. Our goal was to share information about some issues that we expect to be considered during the upcoming legislative biennium. We had an additional goal of seeking guidance from our community on how Rural Vermont should prioritize these issues. Here are some highlights:

-        The almost 250 respondents represent all areas of the state

-        40% of the respondents self-identified as farmers

-        Overwhelmingly you want Rural Vermont to work on ALL the identified issues

-        There was strong agreement on priorities with work on reducing pesticides ranking first; water quality and health care reform tied for second; and reforming the on-farm slaughter law was third

What you told us is incredibly valuable as we work to develop our advocacy strategy and allocate staff time and financial resources. Early in the New Year we will be reporting on Rural Vermont’s specific plans and sharing a wide range of opportunities for you to participate in advancing the issues you care about the most. Please read our Summary Report on the results of the survey and contact us with any questions, ideas, or comments you want to share.