Register 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 at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont. Last year we hosted a popular town hall discussion. This year we are offering workshops on using Social Media as an advocate for ag and the importance of responding. The Taconic is a new boutique hotel that's offering reduced room rates at a rate of $129 per night. Call 877.699.3331 to make your reservation. Be sure to mention you are with Vermont Farm Bureau. www.taconichotel.com/


There is still time to Nominate  members for their exemplary service to agriculture. To be awarded at VTFB's Annual Meeting Nov. 3  

Do you know a farm family that's been actively engaged in farming, with the majority of income coming from production agriculture? How about someone who has spent a lifetime serving agriculture. Applications are due by Oct 2, 2017 to the VTFB office to give the recognition committee time to review. If you need help please call Ginny Wheeler at 802-434-5646 or email Gwheelervfb@gmavt.net.
 The awards packet. 


VT Senate Committee on Agriculture is Coming to a Town Near You!

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.  

Sept  28, 2017 - St. Albans Town Office Boardroom, 579 Lake Road St. Albans, VT

 October 3, 2017 - Barton Village Office, 17 Village Square Barton, VT

 October 4, 2017- Newbury Congregational Church Vestry, 4915 Main Street South, Newbury, VT

 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 




Social Media Workshops Scheduled for VTFB's Annual Meeting

Special Guest American Farm Bureau Federation’s Johnna Miller, Director of Advocacy and Media Training will Lead them

Workshop #1 Social Media for Ag Advocacy

Like it or not, social media platforms like FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snap Chat are ways we now communicate. Social media offers the power to reach many people even when you live in a rural region. Why attend? Johnna notes, “The Center for Food Integrity says that for every negative that’s said out there about agriculture, it takes 4-5 positive statements to even the scales. That means we have a LOT of work to do, and social media is about the only way we’re going to balance those scales.”

Workshop #2  Engage Instead of Ignore How and Why to Stay Positive Despite the Trolls on Social Media

Already using Social media and sometimes struggle with the best way to respond? Are you often tempted to “go off” on someone posting about agriculture on social media? Do you steer clear of Facebook or Twitter because of all the negativity? Find out why it’s vitally important that you engage instead of ignore and get tips on how to stay positive despite all the trolls out there.


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 -