Current Issues

These are the issues Rural Vermont is most active on at the moment. See our Recent and Past Issue page for additional campaigns.

Agricultural Hemp

Hemp farming is an agricultural issue also related to health, environment, and economic development. Hemp is a lucrative agricultural crop with many high quality food, fiber, and fuel products made from it. Rural Vermont is working with our national partner Vote Hemp to remove the federal prohibition against hemp cultivation. Rural Vermont is excited that Vermont farmers have registered to grow hemp under Vermont’s new hemp law. Find out what Rural Vermont is doing to advance the possibility of farmers to grow hemp in Vermont, and how you can help.

Agricultural Water Quality

Signed into law on June 16th, 2015 by Governor Shumlin, H.35, Vermont’s new Water Quality legislation, is focused on reducing the ever-increasing amount of pollution in Vermont’s lakes, streams, and rivers. While the legislation covers a variety of topics, the focus of this page is how the requirements in the new law are likely to affect the practices and economics of small-scale farmers in Vermont, including the new Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs).

Farm Fresh (on-farm slaughtered) Meat

Many farms eat meat from animals they have raised and slaughtered on their land. However, they are not allowed to sell this meat to their neighbors. In 2013, Rural Vermont was successful in passing legislation that allows for the sale of limited amounts of on-farm slaughtered meat, and this legislation was expanded in 2016.  Find out what Rural Vermont is doing to help farmers slaughter animals on their farm for direct sale to customers.

Farm Fresh (Raw) Milk

Since 2009, Rural Vermont has been successful in advocating for the expansion of farmers’ ability to sell raw milk. Most importantly, at a time when national interests were trying to ban sales of raw milk, the Vermont Legislature protected farmers’ rights to sell and consumer’s ability to buy raw milk. Upon surveying and meeting with farmers throughout Vermont, Rural Vermont has identified many issues and concerns that are impacting Vermont raw milk producers. Find out about what Rural Vermont is doing to promote the ability of farmers and consumers to sell and buy farm fresh (raw, unpasteurized) milk.

Farm Fresh Poultry

In the 2015 legislative session, work started on refining the details of a new poultry bill introduced by Rep. Patti Komline from Dorset, with help from Mara Hearst and Eben Proft of Someday Farm, to expand access to fresh, wholesome farm-raised and processed poultry that was achieved with the passage of the original “Chicken Bill” in 2007. Learn more about Rural Vermont’s work on Farm Fresh Poultry.

VT Right to Know GMO

Rural Vermont is a lead organizer in the Vermont Right to Know GMOs labeling Coalition, along with Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center, the Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA-VT), and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). In 2013, the Coalition successfully advocated for the passage of the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act in the Vermont House of Representatives, making Vermont the first legislative body in the country to pass GMO labeling legislation. Read more about the history of Rural Vermont’s GMO campaign, including our past work on the Farmer Protection Act, and how you can get involved in the current campaign.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out out our Recent and Past issues.