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Agriculture Takes Center Stage in Montpelier

Agriculture took center stage in Montpelier Wednesday.

The Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council told lawmakers about its top issues for the session. They include promoting local food and generating energy on farms.

The council is a partnership between the state, UVM and private groups.

Reporter Kristin Carlson: Are you worried with all the talk of tough economic times that agriculture will get lost this session?

State grant to fund Killington arts center study

Courtesy of a $25,000 Vermont Community Development Planning Grant awarded to the town, a bid will go out to contractors in February to do a preliminary feasibility study of a center, to determine if there's a demand for one in the town and if the town can financially sustain it, according to Killington Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay.

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will mail the town a check in January, Ramsay said.

The study will be the precursor to a formal feasibility study, according to Ramsay, and will include "all on the economics."

St. Michael's Research Report: "Vermont in Transition" - 2008

VIT CoverThe Council on the Future of Vermont and St. Michael's Center for Social Science Research are proud to release Vermont in Transition: A Summary of Social, Economic and Environmental Trends. This book covers the major changes in fourteen public policy issues areas in Vermont over the past two decades. St. Michael's College researchers worked in a team with state, federal, non-profit and business data analysts to compile all the data and trendlines available in this book. The book is based on the major topics raised in the CFV public forums, as well as the expertise of St Michael's research team. To write this report, authors spoke with hundreds of data analysts and experts across the state; together they have identified 160 key trends and have included over 300 supporting graphs and charts. This research component is one of the inputs that the Council on the Future of Vermont will take into deliberation as it writes its final products.

This work is available in an easy to use format. You can download the entire book (8.17MB) as well as all of the appendices (2.46MB) or you can choose one chapter at a time to download and view from the table of contents below:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section I: The Vermont Context

Section II: The Vermont Economy

Section III: Infrastructure

Section IV: The Institutions

Business, Corporate Support Help Keep Arts Groups Afloat

...“In Vermont, the creative economy isn’t just about five percent of the economy engaged in culture or crafts such as bookbinding,” said Costello. “In Vermont, the story of the creative economy is really the story of Bellows Falls, Brandon and Vergennes where local community residents have come together and built a project that puts up the flag that this is a town on the move that is doing something creative and innovative.”

Bellows Falls boosters honored

One is an artist and the other a planner and historian. Together they played pivotal roles in the current renaissance of Bellows Falls and both were honored recently for their work by the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

Artist Robert McBride and Rockingham's former development director Richard Ewald were honored with the 2008 Community Leadership Award in front of 400 of their peers at the Vermont State Housing Finance conference in Burlington, according to Paul Costello, executive director of the council.

Rural Development in Vermont: Community and Policy Findings - 2009

VCRD CompendiumThis compendium of findings highlights priority topic areas that have emerged through VCRD's body of work, and considers challenges identified by communities, some of the accomplishments of VCRD at the community and policy level, and unmet community development needs in Vermont. Click here to read the report (pdf).

“Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” ~ a national conference hosted by VCRD - 2008

In September 2008, VCRD hosted the annual conference of the National Rural Development Partnership / Partners in Rural America (PRA). Participants from 13 states joined Vermont rural leaders in Montpelier for 4 days of dynamic sessions around “Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” which kicked‐off at the State House and included a bus tour of innovative businesses and practices in Vermont. Throughout the conference, panels of professionals led discussions pertinent to rural America on: 

  • Innovative Agricultural Development;
  • The Expansion of Renewable Energy and Efficiency;
  • Advancing the Creative Economy;
  • The Generational Transfer of Rural Wealth; and
  • Telecommunications. 

At the conference conclusion VCRD Executive Director and President of the PRA, Paul Costello, was honored with the 2008 Ron Shaffer Award which is given annually by the PRA to an individual who embodies the values necessary to build a national and state rural development partnership that meets the diverse needs of rural America.

Creative Communities Reports - 2008

Meeting focusses on Vermont's future

What will Vermont look like in the next 20, 30 or 40 years?

The Council on the Future of Vermont will be in Brattleboro Thursday night to ask that very question. The Council wants to know how Windham County feel about where the state is now and where it is heading. The Council also wants to know how area residents feel about the trends that will influence what happens in Vermont over the coming decades.

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