Policy & Legislative Priorities

Policy

2018 Legislative Priorities

UNITY

Act as a Unifying Voice in Agriculture 

Vermont Farm Bureau will work to bring all farmers together during the 2017 Legislative session regardless of their political views and agricultural practices.  We believe as a united voice we will have a much greater impact on legislative issues.

Clean Water Fund -

Vermont Farm Bureau will work with the Legislature to develop an equitable way of raising money for the Clean Water Fund that will allow all persons receiving the benefits of clean water to contribute to the same. 

Exemption from Act 250 -

Vermont Farm Bureau will work with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and others to keep all oversight and enforcement for agriculture under the purview of the Agency of Agriculture and exempt from the Act 250 process.

Tile Drainage Studies -

Vermont Farm Bureau supports the need for tile drainage studies; we also support extending the deadline by which farmers need to report tile drain loca-tions to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture from 2018 to 2020.

Maintain RAP’s -

Vermont Farm Bureau will work to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made to the RAPs before it is determined that they are not correcting water quality issues.

Explore Carbon Tax Legislation -

Vermont Farm Bureau will continue to explore how carbon tax legislation will affect agriculture.

Deliberate Increased Minimum Wage -

Vermont Farm Bureau will continue to determine how the effect of a proposed increase of the minimum wage to $15.00 will affect small businesses.

Defend the Current Use Program - 

Vermont Farm Bureau will continue to defend  the Use Value Appraisal Program (Current Use)  and not allow the program to be used in a punitive way for water quality issues.

 

2017 Legislative Priorities

UNITY

Act as a Unifying Voice in Agriculture 

Vermont Farm Bureau will work to bring all farmers together during the 2017 Legislative session regardless of their political views and agricultural practices.  We believe as a united voice we will have a much greater impact on legislative issues. 

WATER QUALITY INITIATIVES

Defining the Required Agricultural Practices 

Vermont Farm Bureau will work with others on definitions in the RAPs to ensure that they  are clear, concise and easily understood by our members.  We will help our farmers to understand and put into place the required agricultural practices, and give them information that will allow them to access all available funds for doing so.

Funding

Vermont Farm Bureau will help legislators find suitable, adequate funding for Vermont’s Farmers to comply with the RAPs.

Grace Period

Vermont Farm Bureau supports a grace period for penalties on Water quality violations if the farmer  is on “the RAP compliance pathway, and there is no money available to fix the problem. . We believe penalties should not  be assessed until there is funding in place for the improvements. 

Equipment and Education through UVM Extension

Vermont Farm Bureau will encourage the State  of Vermont to use UVM extension to educate and provide farmers with  clean up tools, methodologies and adaptive technologies for Vermont ‘s water quality initiatives.

FARM LABOR ISSUES

Vermont Farm Bureau supports efforts to stabilize farm labor supply and  costs. We have been asked to provide concrete evidence of Department of Labor audits of independent contractors. In addition we must bring forward concrete evidence of Workers Comp premiums, which are excessive and economically harmful to the member.