Social Media For Agriculture November 3 Workshops Scheduled for Vermont Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting and Conference

Join Vermont Farm Bureau on Friday, November  3 at The Taconic Hotel in Manchester, VT for two Workshops with special guest American Farm Bureau Federation® Johnna Miller, Director of Advocacy & Media Training. These workshops will explore how important and effective it is to use social media for advocacy and why you shouldn't shy away. 

1:45 - 2:45 pm Advocate from the Farm Gate

This workshop will explore how important and effective it is to use social media for advocacy. It gives you the power to reach a lot of people even when you live in a rural region. The Center for Food Integrity says that for every negative that’s said out there about agriculture (or anything), it takes 4-5 positive statements to even the scales. That means we have a LOT of work to do!

3:00 - 4:30 pm  Tackling Tough Agricultural Topics

This workshop will explore why you shouldn’t shy away from Social media if you get a negative comment, and how important it is to keep engaged with your audience. It can be tough talking about controversial agricultural topics, but it’s necessary. This workshop will give you some tools to make it easier to tackle those tough topics without being “unfriended” or getting blocked on Twitter.

Young farmers are strongly encouraged to attend but all are welcome.  To sign up please contact Ginny Wheeler at 802-434-5646 or  Gwheelervfb@gmavt.net 

Click here for a pdf of our Social Media Flyer to share.


Final Week for VT Senate Committee on Agriculture PUblic Hearings

They want to hear from You!

 The Vermont Senate Committee on Agriculture wants to hear from you about  ways or actions to encourage the growth or increased productivity of Vermont’s farming industry, forest product industry and rural businesses. Public meetings have been set up around the state and will take place over the next three weeks.Listen or voice your opinion. All meetings are from 2:00 - 4:00 PM.  

 October 11, 2017 - Hartford Municipal Building, Room 2, 171 Bridge Street, White River Junction, VT

 October 12, 2017 - Salisbury Town Office, 25 Schoolhouse Rd, Salisbury, VT    

 For more information contact Agatha Kessler at 802-828-2231 akessler@leg.state.vt.us 


What are all these annual county Farm Bureau meetings about this fall? And why you should attend

What are all these annual county Farm Bureau meetings about this fall? They are perhaps the most important occasions in our organization, to develop, discuss, and set county policies for the coming year. The policy development process involves every member and any problem, opportunity, or solution the members wish to include. County policies get thoroughly discussed at the meetings, and if passed, move to the State Annual Meeting in November. Elected delegates from each of the 14 county Farm Bureaus spend a long day looking at the proposals, and if passed by the group, they become part of the state policy book. Suggestions are made by the delegates as to the legislative priorities for the coming session, and voted on by the board.

            Once in place, the Farm Bureau staff and volunteers use the book as direction for the legislative session. Important? Yes! The state’s largest agricultural organization helps to move good legislation, stifle unwanted laws, and suggest new ways for Vermont to solve its problems through the legislative committee volunteers and our paid lobbyists. Throughout the year, Farm Bureau examines the proposals, makes comments, does research, and supports or opposes legislation. The process, policy development and execution has been efficiently operating for 101 years, and it all started at your county Farm Bureau annual meeting.

To find your county meeting visit http://vtfb.org/vermont-farm-bureau-calendar.php



sign up NOW for Vermont Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting November 3  & 4 at the Taconic in Manchester

Vermont Farm Bureau will celebrate 102 years of grassroots discussion and policy making at our Annual Meeting on November 3 and 4 Meetings start at 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Bennington County Farm is excited to co-host this event at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont. This new boutique hotel is offering reduced room rates to VTFB members at $129 per night. Call 802-362-0147 to make your reservation. Be sure to mention you are with Vermont
Farm Bureau. www.taconichotel.com/


Meeting Registration:

Our Annual Meeting is swiftly approaching. Registration forms are now available. The cost for the the 2 day conference including, meals, workshops and breaks is $175.00. Please click here. Make your room reservation separately as it is not included with the meeting registration. Please return registration forms to Chris O'Keefe at okeefe@gmavt.net


Meeting AGENDA:

Things will start off at 10:00 a.m. with our annual Vermont Farm Bureau business meeting, elections, Vermont Farm Bureau Service Company meeting, Nationwide sponsored lunch with an introduction from Nationwide Board of Director member Terry McClure, Nationwide Agent Awards and Vermont Farm Bureau Awards. In the afternoon we have two social media workshops scheduled with special guest Johnna Miller, Director of Advocacy & Media Training American Farm Bureau Federation®. This is a tentative agenda.   


Social Media Workshops:

You must sign up to attend the workshops as space is limited. Click here for a pdf of our Social Media Flyer to share. Contact Ginny Wheeler at gwheelervfb@gmavt.net or call 802-434-5646.


Silent Auction:

Our County Farm Bureau's contribute items to our Silent Auction. Come and browse our tables. The auction closes on Friday evening at the start of dinner.  It's great to see a variety of choices and representation from each area. Contact Ginny Wheeler at gwheelervfb@gmavt.net with your item description and price.   


Help Sponsor Our Annual Meeting:

Your sponsorship helps to bring our volunteer board members from Vermont’s fourteen County Farm Bureaus to vote and set policy for the coming year that directly affects the farming community as well as Vermont agriculture.

There are a variety of Sponsorship levels to choose from. We'll be sure to recognize you in Vermont Fences, Our Annual Meeting Program and on our website. Click here to sign up.

Please contact Chris O’Keefe, Director of Finance & Administration, Vermont Farm Bureau 802-434-5646 ext. 22 or email okeefe@gmavt.net.


Do I have to Certify My Small Farm? Starting July 1, 2017 Annual Self-Certification Required

Farming operations that meet the threshold of a Certified Small Farm will be required to self-certify their operation with the Agency of Agriculture annually. The first certification form is due between July 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018. Small farms that meet the criteria to be considered a Certified Small Farm Operation (CSFO) will need to annually certify compliance with the RAPs as well as develop and implement nutrient management plans. Visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/sfo  and click on the green button that says, "Do I have to Certify?" for a detailed diagram to help determine your farm classification size.


Required Agricultural Practices pass in Montpelier

On Thursday November 17, 2016 the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, “LCAR”, met for the third time to discuss the Required Agricultural Practices Rules (“RAPs”) submitted by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.  LCAR had also previously discussed and taken testimony on the proposed rules on October 20th, and November 3rd .  On this final day of discussion they also agreed unanimously to send a letter with attachments to the committees of jurisdiction outlining residual concerns they have about enforcement, funding and definitions.

Vermont Farm Bureau President, Joseph Tisbert, was present at all three meetings and testified on behalf of Vermont Farm Bureau members.  He testified that a state funding mechanism should be in place before the rules were finalized, because compliance may cause economic hardship for some farmers.     

Members of LCAR spoke highly of Vermont farmers willingness to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain.  Everyone was thanked for their hard work in getting the rules done as it has been an ongoing process over the last several years. Participants were also thanked for their testimony to ensure that the rules were fair to all and comprehensible. 

After the rules being finalized, Tisbert said "It is now time for farmers to work together toward understanding the rules fully and learning how to apply them to their farming practices. Vermont Farm Bureau will work hard to ensure its members apply for and obtain funding. We intend to work with the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets,  Phil Scott and the legislature, to ensure that the rules are clear, and easy to follow.  Farmers should bring any implementation issues of the RAP's to the Vermont Farm Bureau Office, so our Lobbyist, Lyn Desmarais, and I can bring them immediately to our legislatures attention." Final copy of the RAP's 


Help American Farm Bureau Shape the 2018 Farm Bill 

Fill out their survey. Leadership on both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have indicated that they plan to begin working on the 2018 Farm Bill early next year.  Farm Bureau members need to be ready to answer a few very basic questions if we are going to continue to try and shape farm policy to meet our risk management needs for the future. To fill out the survey at http://www.fb.org/farmbillworkinggroup/docs/

American Farm Bureau has posted an 8 minute video detailing budget issues for the upcoming  Farm Bill Debate by Mary Kay Thatcher -