(pitch)Fork It Over! All Donations Doubled!

June 1, 2018

It’s barely summer, and already what a momentous year for Rural Vermont. New website and podcast! More Pitchfork Series events! Coalitions and working groups! Big wins in the legislature!
Our members have made it all possible, and we need your support today to keep at it. Donate to our summer appeal and your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

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Coco Moseley
2018 End of Legislative Session Recap

NOTE: The links we have provided to the bills listed below are the most current versions available through the Legislative website – they may change.  

H.663 – AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE BILL

What this bill will do: Provide statewide consistency in how accessory on-farm businesses are regulated by municipalities giving farmers more opportunities to develop additional income for their farms.

What is the status of this bill: This bill has been passed by both chambers and, on May 21st, the Governor signed the bill into law. This law will take effect on July 1, 2018.

NEXT STEPS: Please contact your Senators and Representatives to thank them for supporting this bill which will provide significant economic opportunities for farmers. ALSO – watch for notification from Rural Vermont seeking your input on implementation of this new law.

 H.663 – HEMP PILOT PROGRAM

What this bill will do: Provide the opportunity for any farmer who registers with the Agency of Agriculture by July 1, 2018 to grow Hemp and participate in a federally compliant research program in 2019. This bill also mandates a formal rule-making process for the implementation of the new law and provides regulations for the testing and quality control of hemp and hemp-derived products.

What is the status of this bill: See H.663 status, above

NEXT STEPS: Please contact your Senators and Representatives to thank them for supporting this bill which will help Vermont re-establish Hemp as a significant agricultural crop. ALSO – watch for notification from Rural Vermont about opportunities to participate in the upcoming rule-making process. It will be VERY IMPORTANT for small-scale farmers to actively contribute to shaping the implementation of this law.

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Coco Moseley
Legislative Update

Here’s the latest news from the Statehouse. Read more for details on each bill.

H.663 – AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE BILL

S.101 – RIGHT TO FORESTRY BILL

S.276 – RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILL – Including new Hemp Pilot Program

H.915 – POLLINATOR PROTECTION BILL

H.904 – MISC. AGRICULTURAL SUBJECTS BILL

H.903 – REGENERATIVE FARMING BILL

S.260 – CLEAN WATER FUNDING BILL

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Coco Moseley
3/27 Update from the Golden Dome

Now that all the "Crossover" deadlines have come and gone, it is clear which bills have the potential to continue through the balance of the legislative process this year. Fortunately several of the bills Rural Vermont has been working on are still "alive." 

As you are probably aware, much of the energy in the State House for the past few weeks has been focused on unprecedented gun control legislation. In addition, the political lines between the majority of the legislature and the Governor have become more clearly drawn as the struggle over the big annual "money" bills accelerates. The Governor is maintaining his "no new fees, no new taxes" position and the legislators are struggling to figure out how to pay for crucial services and programs. 
 

None of the bills that Rural Vermont is working on involve appropriations or fees. We are hopeful that this, combined with the potential, albeit modest, of positive progress for farmers and the agricultural economy will increase their chances of being passed. You can read more details here.

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Dan Kirk