As global energy resources are becoming ever more scarce and costs are exponentially increasing, many Vermonters have been taking the charge in converting the local economy to one that is sustainable and self-reliant. The first discussion toward developing a proper solution to this world energy crisis, for a lot of Vermonters, tends to be one that is seeking out alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. However, as much as these efforts are producing, Vermont has a long way to go in becoming sustainable. In particular, as global energy costs increase so does our food cost, and with diminishing resources Vermont needs to do everything it can to enhance our “food security,” therefore creating local food sovereignty.
To create this vision of “local food sovereignty”, Rural Vermont is seeking communities to place articles on their town meeting day ballot to bring about greater awareness and create widespread dedication toward preserving Vermont’s local food economies.
In the spirit of Vermont’s long tradition of freedom and unity, Rural Vermont is encouraging citizens to assert the rights of communities to purchase and sell local foods.
Historically, Vermont towns were built upon the belief that one ought to be able to procure food for themselves or from their neighbors. Yet, with the advent of the modern industrial and energy-intensive food system, our communities have been stripped of the ability to feed themselves. Rural Vermont is looking for town leaders to build upon the past foundation of local food systems and restore local food sovereignty throughout Vermont.
Over the past twenty-five years, Rural Vermont has been advocating locally, statewide, and nationally to ensure that agricultural policies strengthen family farms, sustain rural communities, and promote local food sovereignty. Rural Vermont’s commitment to grass roots advocacy has resulted in recent considerable gains at the state level, including more marketing opportunities for raw milk, statewide recognition of the value and importance of on-farm slaughter, and the legalization of hemp in Vermont. While these are significant steps getting us closer to Rural Vermont’s Vision for Food with Dignity, farmers are still hog-tied by many regulations and corporate practices that restrict our independent communities’ rights to sell and purchase food to and from our neighbors. What can You Do ? Organize Your Town to Pass a Town Meeting Day Resolution!
As these issues become more complex, Rural Vermont realizes that concrete systemic change will not happen unless individuals and their communities assert their rights and continue to support local food systems at the town level. Rural Vermont is recruiting leaders in towns across Vermont to pass resolutions and articles that recognize your right to sell and purchase food within your community, thereby enhancing local food systems.
Call Rural Vermont today at (802) 223-7222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and get what you need to begin organizing your town in support of local food governance or to connect with others in your community who are already involved. Rural Vermont is looking forward to working with you and your community as we move forward towards living green.
by Robb Kidd, Rural Vermont Organizer
GET Aug2011 page 38