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. 


Agricultural Leaders, Politicians, and Community Members Gather at Vermont Farm Bureau’s Annual Summer Picnic to Meet American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall

The Des Marais Farm in Brandon, Vermont was host to an impressive variety of Vermont officials, Agricultural leaders and Vermont Farmers at Vermont Farm Bureau’s Annual summer picnic and board meeting on August 31.

 Honored guest, American Farm Bureau Federation President, Zippy Duvall warmly addressed the crowd that spilled out of the white tent. He encouraged members and farmers to be engaged in agriculture by contacting their own representatives, and stressed that as constituents they had the most influence of all. “This is your time as farmers,” he stressed and noted that AFBF representatives were engaged with members of Congress, the White House, and the President.

 As an active beef and poultry farmer from Georgia he playfully joked that he needed to get home and pay his own invoices after being away. Prior to the meeting he spent three days visiting farms throughout Vermont with Joe Tisbert, President of Vermont Farm Bureau.

 Following Duvall, Tisbert welcomed attendees and invited Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts to speak to the crowd. Rutland county president Ray Duquette and his wife Beth organized the event and pulled it off with the help of many others who served, donated and sponsored it. Guests were treated to a pig roast, beef brisket and grilled chicken.

 “We couldn’t be more pleased,” stated Joe Tisbert. “Unifying all types of agriculture has been a major goal of Vermont Farm Bureau for the past year. Bringing together our members, State officials and Ag leaders can only increase awareness of the importance of agriculture in our state and beyond. We’re looking forward to our Annual meeting on November 3 & 4 at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont and hope to bring even more people together.”


Using Social Media Platforms to Advocate for Agriculture

Workshop with AFBF’s Johnna Miller at VTFB’s Annual Meeting Friday, November 3

All Members are encouraged to attend Vermont Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting workshop “Advocate from the Gate” at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, on Friday, November 3. 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. American Farm Bureau Federation’s Johnna Miller, Director of Advocacy and Media Training, will lead a workshop about the importance and effectiveness of the use of social media for advocacy. 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.”


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 -