Rural Vermont’s first Advocacy Day of the 2019 legislative session is free and open to everyone who shares our vision of Vermonters living in deep connection to one another and to the land that nourishes us all. This will be a great opportunity to meet your legislator, learn about the legislative process, get a briefing on Rural Vermont's priority issues, ask questions, and get more involved in Rural Vermont’s advocacy efforts.Read More
They’re baaaack! With lots of pomp and circumstance, Vermont’s 180 legislators recently took up residence in Montpelier for their 4-5 month “season.” Many new faces, plus some significant changes in the leadership and make up of many committees, promise to make this session exciting and challenging.Read More
We are lucky to have some big-hearted donors who want to see this campaign hit the ground running, and so they have offered to add $50 to the first 50 donations we receive! Read our pitch for your support and make your donation here.Read More
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. Read more here.
In August, Rural Vermont sent a survey to all of Vermont’s registered hemp producers and all the folks in the Rural Vermont database who have identified themselves as interested in hemp. The purpose of the survey was to gather information to help inform Rural Vermont’s strategy for engaging in the upcoming public rule-making process. We expect to have a timeline for the rule-making process by the beginning of 2019. Read some highlights from the Hemp Survey.Read More
Our annual gathering is just around the corner, and this year, we look forward to heading to southern Vermont! Join us at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston for live music, a shared meal, board elections, raffle drawing, social time, and more!
Raffle tickets available online through 11/4 and in person at the Annual Meeting. Need not be present to win. Prizes valued at $100+ donated by Darn Tough, Nutty Steph's, and Fair Winds Farm. Tix $10 for 2 or $20 for 5. BUY RAFFLE TICKETS BEFORE THE MEETING HERE.Read More
For a very limited time, you can purchase raffle tickets that not only support Rural Vermont, but also put you in the running to win your choice of three super special prizes: a $100 gift card to Darn Tough, a goodie bag of chocolates and granola from Nutty Steph's, or a horse-drawn sleigh ride for ten at Fair Winds Farm. Tix $10 for 2 or $20 for 5. Available online HERE through 11/4 and in person at Rural Vermont's Annual Meeting on 11/5Read More
The survey is now closed! Please stay tuned for our findings and recommendations. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com OR (802) 223-7222.
Rural Vermont just submitted our official comments to the USDA in response to their draft GMO labeling rules. There is still time to submit yours! They're due July 3rd. Click Read More to view Rural Vermont's comments.
Public comments on the proposed rules should be submitted
by July 3, 2018 via the Federal eRulemaking portal at
Comments may also be filed with the
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543 South,
Washington, DC 20250
Reference: Docket No. AMS-TM-17-0050
Last month, the USDA released its long-awaited draft of the federal GMO labeling rules. Just as we had expected, if implemented as proposed, they will mislead and confuse consumers, while giving industrial ag & food companies plenty of opportunity to hide the truth about their ingredients. Public comment is critical and due July 3rd. More details hereRead More
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.
NOTE: The links we have provided to the bills listed below are the most current versions available through the Legislative website – they may change.
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.
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.Read More
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 BILLRead More
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.Read More