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Margaret McCoy

Margaret McCoy's picture
Bio: 
Margaret worked in non-profit office management and communications for 20 years before joining VCRD in the summer of 2008. She grew up and still lives in Central Vermont, and is a UVM graduate.

History

Member for
4 years 1 month
Wheating: Why Vermont can and should lead climate change innovation
By Justin Wheating, President of NRG Systems, as seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2017/november/09/wheating-why-vermont-can... I recently had the pleasure of attending the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s... read more
Economy in rural parts of Vermont still hurting
By Ivan Shadis, as seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/11/08/economy-rural-parts-vermont-still-hurtin... A program to boost Vermont’s farm and forest industries is having some success, but the state’s economy is still hurting, with... read more
Town without a village gets Village Center designation: Nonprofit, other groups seek to create community 'from the ground up'
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27158&page=1 VERNON—Vernon has no village. In spite of that, the town received Village Center Designation from the Agency of Commerce... read more
Pownal Business Network plans launch meeting, website
By Jim Therrian, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownal-business-network-plans-la... POWNAL — A new business support group called the Pownal Business Network will hold its first meeting on Nov. 8 and... read more
The Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative Takes Shape - Next Step: Task Force Meetings on Nov 16
Citizens of Middlebury and surrounding towns gathered on October 26 as part of the Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative to prioritize action ideas that will guide the work of the program moving forward.  Lively discussion and 2 rounds of... read more
Broad Brook Grange enters a new era: New nonprofit plans to purchase historic building and transform it into a new town community center
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27104&page=1 GUILFORD—On a recent Sunday afternoon, about 60 people gathered to snack on homemade apple pie and ice cream at the Broad... read more
Lawmakers group to hold hearing at Statehouse for public feedback, new ideas on local economy
As seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27087&page=1 The Vermont House Rural Development Caucus will hold a public hearing at the Statehouse, from 5-7 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to hear from... read more
Lyndon Task Force Hoping for Town Rec Department
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/lyndon-task-force-hoping-for-town-r... LYNDON — A task force formed in May, after the Community Visit process conducted by the Vermont Council on Rural... read more
Group readies Middlebury for climate change economy
By John Flowers, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://addisonindependent.com/201710group-readies-middlebury-climate-cha... MIDDLEBURY — Advancing public transportation, hiring more local staff to coordinate energy-related activities and... read more
2017 Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - Summary and Next Steps
Over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders attended the cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - a 3-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to gear up for the next stage of economic development and prosperity in a... read more
Burke Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Burke. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Revitalize Village Infrastructure; Expand Educational Facilities; and Improve Village... read more
Empower Pownal Report - 2017
Pownal was the first community to participate in VCRD's Climate Economy Model Community Program (CEMCP), named Empower Pownal. CEMCP is community-driven process with local leaders, VCRD, Green Mountain Power, and Efficiency Vermont to cultivate... read more
VT Rural Caucus invites testimony on the future of the rural economy
We are helping to organize a hearing for the Vermont Rural Caucus - a nonpartisan group of Vermont State Representatives. As the legislative session nears, the Caucus is seeking input about what Vermonters feel are the most pressing issues for... read more
Guilford groups leverage $400K to transform historic Grange Hall into community center
Press Release as seen in vtdigger.com: https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/03/guilford-groups-leverage-400k-transform-... GUILFORD, VT–Exciting things are happening in Guilford Center, and on Sunday, October 22, from 3-5 p.m., the townspeople of Guilford... read more
Community ‘Visits’ To Focus On City’s Future: Vermont Council On Rural Development To Host First Meeting In December
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/community-visits-to-focus-on-... NEWPORT CITY — Recommendations about downtown’s potential for economic development will form the baseline for community... read more
Community Visits Produce Tangible Results: Child Care Center, Warming Shelter, Among Achievements
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/community-visits-produce-tang... The 2015 Community Visit process in the town of Craftsbury has led to a new child care center, opened earlier this month... read more
NEK - Helping Towns Help Themselves: Community Visits to Brighton, Burke, Craftsbury, Lyndon, St. J
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/rural-development-council-foc... Teams from the Vermont Council on Rural Development have visited several Northeast Kingdom communities in recent years.... read more
Vernon receives Village Center designation
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/09/29/vernon-receives-village-center-designati... An area in the Town of Vernon has been designated as a Vermont Village Center by the Vermont Downtown Development Board. The designated area... read more
Our opinion: Time for other voices to be heard in Pownal
Editorial as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/our-opinion-time-for-other-voice... Well, we've heard from those Pownal residents pushing a libertarianistic viewpoint at meetings for the Empower Pownal program... read more
Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative – Community Meeting Set for Oct 26
On Thursday, October 26, all members of the Middlebury community are invited to participate in the 2nd step of the Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative. The session will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the American Legion on Wilson Road in... read more
One Burke Process Passed to Citizen Task Forces: Infrastructure in W. Burke to be Major Focus
By Amy Ash Nison, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/one-burke-process-passed-to-c... BURKE — The One Burke community visioning process brought to town by the Vermont Council on Rural Development on Tuesday... read more
Courtney Commentary: Put it in Reverse
By Elizabeth Courtney as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/put-it-in-reverse/ I recently heard Paul Hawken — the ecology of commerce and drawdown guru — speak about “reversing” climate change. Hawken spoke at the... read more
Climate opportunity: Initiative seeks creative innovations in new economy
By Yvette Shi, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201709climate-opportunity-initiative-s... MIDDLEBURY — How does a community position itself to reap the benefits of the new climate economy? That was the core... read more
State aid 'helps pay the bills' for construction -- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development sends more than $300,000 in tax credits to four projects in county
By Wendy Levy, as seen on The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=26856&page=1 By Wendy M. Levy/The Commons BRATTLEBORO—The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has awarded more than $300,... read more
Vermont seizes climate change economic growth and resource renewal opportunities -- Accel-VT invites entrepreneurs from across North America to solve electric grid challenges and accelerate business growth in Vermont
BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As national environmental protections are deregulated and challenges presented by climate change become more widely recognized, Vermont positions itself as the state where climate change and resource... read more
Middlebury residents concerned about climate change, but differ on what to do about it
By Lou Varricchio, as seen on True North Reports: http://truenorthreports.com/middlebury-residents-differ-on-response-to-c... MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — A meeting held Monday on “creating a climate economy” revealed that Middlebury residents are concerned... read more
Conquering Climate Change One Business at a Time
By Terri Hallenbeck, as seen in Seven Days: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/conquering-climate-change-one-busine... When Paul Costello and his team of organizers started putting together a conference on climate change a few months ago, they... read more
‘Climate economy’ initiative divides Pownal, Middlebury next
By Michael Bielawski, as seen in True North Reports: http://truenorthreports.com/climate-economy-initiative-coming-to-middlebury One community has become divided after the Vermont Council on Rural Development visited with its Climate Economy Model... read more
Editorial: How Middlebury's Climate Initiative will make you richer
By Angelo Lynn, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201709editorial-how-middleburys-cimate... A week from Monday, on Sept. 18, residents of the greater-Middlebury area will kick-off a discussion on how to transform... read more
Burke Community Action Plan to Be Developed on September 19th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Burke Community Visit process on September 19th; all community members of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On... read more
Fear of empowerment: In a Vermont town, goal of ‘climate economy’ draws support, resistance
By Evan Lawrence, as seen in the Hill Country Observer: http://www.hillcountryobserver.com/2017news/sept2017pownal.htm POWNAL, Vt. - This spring, the rural town of Pownal became the first in Vermont to embark on a new planning initiative aimed at... read more
'Now or never': Family to open general store in Vernon
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/now-or-never-family-to-open-general-stor... VERNON — Residents missing the community store need worry no longer. Construction is visible at 67 Governor Hunt Rd.,... read more
VCRD Announces Middlebury as the next Climate Economy Model Community: Kick-off event and free community dinner September 18
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2017/september/03/vcrd-names-middlebury-n... MIDDLEBURY - Vermont Council on Rural Development, joined by partners Efficiency Vermont and Green Mountain Power, announces that... read more
Former Greensboro Garage to Become Food-Ag Center
By Sally Pollack as seen in Seven Days: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/former-greensboro-garage-to-become-f... The big yellow building on Route 15 in Hardwick, the former Greensboro Garage, will become a food and agriculture center, thanks to... read more
Green business summit aims to spur national investment
By Kevin O'Connor as seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/20/green-business-summit-aims-spur-national... Paul Costello doesn’t want to talk about the polarizing problem of climate change. He wants to talk about solutions. “We have... read more
Village Infrastructure, Traffic Safety, School Needs Top Priorities in Burke
By Amy Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/village-infrastructure-traffi... BURKE HOLLOW — More than 80 community members turned out Tuesday night for the second in a three-part community visit... read more
Robert Miller Commentary: Climate economy is an important opportunity
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/16/robert-miller-climate-economy-important-... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Robert Miller, of Shelburne, who is CEO of VSECU and a former commissioner of the Vermont Department of... read more
New 'Climate Action Commission' Seeks Jobs-Growing Solutions To Greenhouse Gas Problems
As seen and heard on Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-climate-action-commission-seeks-jobs-gro... Gov. Phil Scott’s newly minted Climate Action Commission held its first meeting Tuesday, and while past Vermont governors have... read more
Costello Commentary: Coming Together to Answer Climate Change
As seen in the Times-Argus: https://www.timesargus.com/articles/answering-the-climate-challenge/ This week saw yet another disturbing climate change report in the news—this one authored by U.S. Government officials—highlighting the grave danger... read more
Catalysts of the Climate Economy summit set for Vermont
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine Vermont will host the Catalysts of the Climate Economy (cc:econ), a three-day national innovation summit on September 6-8. Taking place at the University of Vermont in Burlington, the summit brings together... read more
Hawken to keynote national climate innovation summit
Montpelier, VT – Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and author Paul Hawken will be the keynote speaker at the Catalysts of the Climate Economy: National Innovation Summit, (cc:econ). The National Innovation Summit is a three-day event being... read more
Nick Richardson Commentary: The climate and economy are intertwined
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/nick-richardson-the-climate-and-... The economy and our landscape in Vermont are intertwined. Recreation, tourism, agriculture, and forestry, all key economic drivers, depend... read more
Amid controversy, residents decide on five town projects
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/amid-controversy-residents-decid...POWNAL — About 120 town residents whittled down a list of proposed community-oriented projects from 16 to five, but not... read more
Pownal's opportunity to lead
By Ted Brady, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownals-opportunity-to-lead,514507 Rural economies across America are struggling to recover from the Great Recession, with economic progress stalling,... read more
Pownal program not something to fear
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownal-program-not-something-to-... Some Pownal residents are highly suspicious of the intent of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Climate Economy Model Communities... read more
Some object to Pownal initiative, call for town vote
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/21/object-pownal-initiative-call-town-vote/ POWNAL — Vermont’s southwestern-most town in April became the first selected by a statewide program aimed at helping communities address the... read more
Burke Community to Set Priorities for Action on August 15
All members of the Burke Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the One Burke Community Visit. The meeting, to be held on Tuesday, August 15 6:30-9pm at the Burke Town School, will follow up on the initial session held in July,... read more
Country Stores, a New England Institution, Are Going Dark: Across New England, classic rural general stores are on the decline amid new competition, but some are finding ways to fight back
By Jennifer Levitz, as seen in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/article_email/country-stores-a-new-england-instituti... For 203 years, the Francestown Village Store served its tiny New Hampshire town, selling everything from fresh-baked... read more
Community looks to unite around ‘One Burke’
By Alan Keays, as seen vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/12/community-looks-unite-around-one-burke/ BURKE — Uniting east and west, as well as the mountain resort and the village below, was a common theme as residents, business owners and... read more
Lyndonville Working On Downtown Rejuvenation
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/lyndonville-working-on-downto... LYNDONVILLE — A new committee is at work on trying to rejuvenate the downtown. The group was borne from the recent Community Visit... read more
Empower Pownal Community Meeting – July 25
On Tuesday, July 25, all members of the Pownal community are invited to participate in the 2nd step of the Empower Pownal process. The session will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the American Legion on Route 7. At this meeting, participants will... read more
Empowering Pownal: Meeting draws over 100
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/empowering-pownal-meeting-draws-... POWNAL — More than 100 residents turned out for the launch of Empower Pownal, the state's first initiative under the... read more
One Burke Community Visit Program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, all members of the Burke community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 20 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic... read more
Video ~ Vermont PBS "Profile of Vermont's Future" with Paul Costello
Vermont PBS aired their "Profile of Vermont's Future" special around the economic challenges facing Vermont and how communities are stepping up to advance their revitalization -- with moderator Fran Stoddard and panelists VCRD Executive Director... read more
Empower Pownal invites the full community to a free lunch and kick-off to set direction for the future
On Saturday June 24th all members of the Pownal community are invited to the Empower Pownal kick-off event at the American Legion. This event is kicks off a process for residents to identify and advance priorities that improve economic opportunity... read more
McGinnis Opinion: Seeing opportunity in climate fight
By Linda McGinnis as seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2017/06/08/opin... Vermont is made up of communities that care about each other and our beautiful surroundings. It comes from our... read more
Paul Bruhn Awarded Vermont Council on Rural Development Lifetime Leadership Award
On Thursday, June 8th the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) presented its annual Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award to Paul Bruhn, the Executive Director of Preservation Trust of Vermont for his transformational leadership in historic... read more
ccecon: Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
A 3-day innovation summit for creative entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders who are champions of progress toward future prosperity in the Climate Economy. Find out more and register at ccecon17.com.
2017 cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
Over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders attended the cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - a 3-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to gear up for the next stage of economic development and prosperity in a... read more
Larry Williams Commentary: Vermont can lead the way in climate economy
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/06/02/larry-williams-vermont-can-lead-way-clim... As the numbers of people who participated in the climate march recently showed, Vermonters and Americans across this country are concerned about... read more
Solar = Business and Job Opportunities for Vermont
Danielle Laberge has always dreamed of staying and working in Vermont, but after completing her studies in botany and ecology at Vassar College, many told her that she would need to leave her home state in order to advance her career. After several... read more
Lyndon Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Lyndon. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Support business growth and economic development; Establish a unified recreation program... read more
A New Framework for Design and Construction
New Frameworks is a natural design and construction firm with a central mission to help lead the transformation of our state and region into a climate-adaptive, sustainable place. New Frameworks designs, builds, and renovates homes and small... read more
First ‘climate economy’ town begins charting its course
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/05/14/first-climate-economy-town-begins-charti... POWNAL — About 30 residents turned out last week to begin planning how to foster a healthy local economy in an era of climate change. Pownal is... read more
First Climate Community initiative launched in Pownal
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/first-climate-community-initiati... POWNAL — The Vermont Council on Rural Development launched its first Climate Economy Model Communities initiative Tuesday... read more
Pownal chosen as first climate economy model community
As seen in Business Vermont of the Rutland Herald/Times Argus: http://www.businessvermont.com/pownal-chosen-as-first-climate-economy-mo... POWNAL — Shannon Barsotti, Pownal Planning Commission member, loves to sit on her porch and watch the Hoosic... read more
Video ~ Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce: Rural Economic Development
Hear VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello's perspective about changes and progress in the state technologically, economically, and culturally as he  speaks with Tom Torti, President, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber (0:28 minutes).
Local Economy, Downtown, Recreation Are Among Lyndon Priorities, School-Community Partnerships Focus, Too
By Amy Ash Nixon as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/local-economy-downtown-recrea... LYNDON — The three-part Lyndon Community Visit Process brought to town through the Vermont Council on Rural Development (... read more
Dan Hoxworth: Fighting poverty and climate change through transportation efficiency
As seen in the vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/04/18/dan-hoxworth-fighting-poverty-climate-ch... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dan Hoxworth, the executive director of Capstone Community Action and a member of the Vermont Climate... read more
Vernon halts fiber optic work
By Mike Faher, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/vernon-halts-fiber-optic-work,504885 VERNON — Despite years of planning and research, it appears that a high-speed fiber optic network isn't coming to Vernon... read more
Retreat Farm presents multi-year plan
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/retreat-farm-presents-multi-year-plan,50... BRATTLEBORO — The Retreat Farm recently unveiled a multi-year plan that calls for collaboration between organizations... read more
Lyndon’s Community Planning Meeting April 25
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/lyndon-s-community-planning-m... The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Lyndon Community Visit process on April 25. All residents... read more
First model climate economy town
By Jim Therrian, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/first-model-climate-economy-town... POWNAL — Pownal has been selected as the first Vermont town to receive planning assistance through the Climate Economy... read more
Press Release: Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with partners Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont to announce that the town of Pownal was selected as the first to participate in the Climate Economy Model Communities Program. VCRD and... read more
Video ~ Paul Costello Keynote at the 72nd Annual Vermont Town Officers Education Conference
VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello gave the keynote address at the annual Town Officers Education Conference. Tune in to hear him talk about VCRD's Community Visit process in service to Vermont towns.
Clean Energy Jobs Attract Young Professionals to Vermont
Same Sun employee Jonathon Klos came to Vermont from Michigan to attend Green Mountain College. Instead of returning to Michigan, he stayed to take a job with Same Sun, a Rutland-based solar company. Today, he leads one of their two installation... read more
Wheeled Hand Tools: Carbon Free Tools to Lever, Lift, and Move
Wheeled Hand Tool Systems, Inc. was founded in 1978 to create solutions that reduce human impact on the environment. Recognizing the significant emissions that small engines generate, developer Gerry Hawkes,  a 7th  generation Vermonter, patented a... read more
Priorities Chosen for VT Rural Development Process in Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/priorities-chosen-for-vt-rura... LYNDONVILLE — The community planning process initiated by Vermont Council on Rural Development continued this week with more than 70... read more
Action Alert: ANR is seeking input on best use of the $18M VW settlement comes coming to Vermont
You may have heard in the news last year that Volkwagen (VW) violated the Clean Air Act with sales of vehicles that were equipped with devices designed to defeat emission controls. In order to remedy this violation, VW has come to a settlement... read more
It's More Than a Job
Danielle Bombardier, has found an opportunity for employment and growth in the expansion of renewable energy projects in Vermont. Originally drawn to the work by the potential for advancement, training, and access to benefits for her family, she is... read more
VCRD 2017 Work Plan
VCRD serves as a convener, catalyst, and leader for Vermont to build and advance policies to support the working landscape, economic innovation, and strong communities! Here's our work plan for 2017. Your support makes our work possible. Click here... read more
VTrans and ACCD award economic development grants to Brighton, St Albans and Windsor
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/march/vtrans-and-accd-award-economic-deve... Note that VCRD wrapped up our Brighton Community Visit process in January 2017 where the community chose to prioritize work to "... read more
YMCA partnership is a win for Bennington
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/ymca-partnership-is-a-win-for-be... The town has known about its need for improved recreational programs since at least 2012 when the Vermont Council on Rural Development... read more
Bennington to contract with Berkshire YMCA
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Berkshire Eagle: http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/vermont-town-to-contract-with-berk... Jacobs and Hurd said the impetus for the effort dates to the 2012 Vermont Council on Rural Development Community... read more
Vermont Electrician is Part of the Climate Economy Solution
Nearly 18,000 Vermonters work in fields related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which is over 4% of Vermont’s workforce. These jobs include electricians installing solar panels, carpenters and technicians insulating homes, and plumbers... read more
Commentary ~ Jon Copans: Modelling a local and vibrant climate economy
As seen in the vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/03/06/jon-copans-modelling-local-vibrant-clima... With a national political conversation that seems to become more divisive and fragmented with each passing day, engaging locally to create... read more
Climate Economy Action Team
The Vermont Climate Economy Action Team, the leadership team of the VT Climate Economy Partnership, is dedicated to advancing initiatives to expand distributed energy generation and efficiency in Vermont, cultivate climate economy entrepreneurs and... read more
Lyndon Community to Set Priorities for Action on April 4
Rescheduled again!! New date: April 4th, 6:30-9pm @ Lyndon Town School All members of the Lyndon Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Lyndon.... read more
Climate Economy Model Communities Program Launched: Vermont Communities are Invited to Apply
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/february/scott-vcrd-utilities-look-develo... The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with Governor Phil Scott and partners including Green Mountain Power,... read more
Officials, Residents Begin Community Visioning Process
As seen in the Caledonian Record, by BY AMY ASH NIXON Staff Writer: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/vt-council-on-rural-developme... LYNDONVILLE — The first leg of a process aimed at helping the community identify priorities to improve... read more
Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Climate Economy Model Communities Program is designed to help communities build and implement priority actions that increase economic vitality and affordability in a time of climate change. The ultimate goal is to help communities model... read more
Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces Program Impacts on Vermont’s Economy and Communities
As seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/02/09/working-lands-enterprise-board-announces... Press Release: Working Lands Enterprise Board Contact: Noelle SevoianNoelle.Sevoian@vermont.gov 802.585.9072 428 New Full-Time Jobs Created and... read more
Creating bright futures for Maine’s rural economies relies on collaboration of ideas
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/10/homestead/creating-bright-futures... BANGOR, Maine ― Communities throughout rural Maine are up against no shortage of challenges. Facing geographic isolation, aging and... read more
Rural Development Council Coming To Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/rural-development-council-com... LYNDON CENTER — The entire community is invited to take part in a forum focused on making positive changes for the future of Lyndon and... read more
Town offers land to ease purchase of Grange: Creation of community center was 'top priority' in community visioning process
By Wendy Levy, The Commons. As seen on: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=16488&page=1#... GUILFORD—Members of the nonprofit Broad Brook Community Center recently got one step closer to possibly purchasing the Broad... read more
Opinion: Maine needs a leader to step up for rural communities
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/04/opinion/editorials/maine-needs-a-... Maine’s rural communities are struggling. They face a declining population, especially among young people. The state’s aging population... read more
What Maine can learn from Vermont about revitalizing rural communities
As seen in Revitalizing News: https://revitalizationnews.com/article/maine-can-learn-vermont-revitaliz... Maine is the most rural state in the United States, but it doesn’t have an organization devoted solely to helping rural communities. There are... read more
Maine’s efforts to help rural towns didn’t work. Here’s what it can learn from Vermont
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/02/mainefocus/maines-efforts-to-help-... Maine is the most rural state in the country, but it doesn’t have an organization devoted solely to helping rural communities. There are... read more
Lyndon Community Visit Day ~ February 16, 2017
On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, all members of the Lyndon community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 25 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and... read more
Brighton Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Brighton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Advance a Brighton Recreation Program; Revitalize and Beautify the Downtown; Make... read more
Jon Copans named director of VCRD's Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jon Copans has joined the organization as Director of its Climate Economy Model Communities Program. The Program, starting in 2017, will work with Green Mountain Power and other... read more
Community Profiles
UVM's Center for Rural Studies prepares Community Profiles for us to share with our Visiting Resourse Team members in advance of our Community Visit processes. These profiles, compiled from US Census Data and other data sources, include demographic... read more
Brighton Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 8th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Brighton Community Visit process on December 8th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On November 4th... read more
Vermont Climate Economy Action Team Convened
As seen in vermontbiz.com: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/november/vermont-climate-economy-action-t... A new working group has formed to advance Vermont’s Climate Economy. Founded by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), the Vermont... read more
Center For The Agricultural Economy Leads Effort To Acquire Big Yellow Barn
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/features/business/center-for-the-agricul... HARDWICK — The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), working with a consortium of Hardwick area businesses, the town and economic... read more
VCRD Job Opening: Climate Economy Model Communities Program Director
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is seeking a “Climate Economy Model Communities Program Director” to help Vermont communities advance economic opportunities while reducing their local carbon footprint. The Director will develop and... read more
Brighton Community to Set Priorities for Action on November 3rd
All members of the Brighton Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Brighton. The meeting, to be held on Thursday, November 3rd 5:30-9pm at the... read more
Vernon eyes Vermont Yankee property
By Mike Faher, as seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2016/10/14/vernon-eyes-vy-property/ VERNON — Town officials see an “amazing opportunity” in potential reuse of Vermont Yankee property, though it’s not the property some might initially... read more
A cup of cheer: Vernon's Community Café debuts in Town Hall lobby
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=15690&page=1#... VERNON—A group of locals trying to open a community café are so intent on meeting their goal, they won’t even let a lack of a... read more
The Right House
Harry Hunt Architects is a Stowe Vermont-based architectural firm that designs modern low carbon homes that stay true to the spirit of Vermont. Projects may include renovations or new construction, commercial or residential, but they all have one... read more
Vernon committee finds 'interim' space for community store
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_30410266/vernon-committee-finds-in... VERNON — A committee exploring the prospects for opening a community store has found an "interim" space in the lobby... read more
Brighton brainstorming session Oct. 4: Event about the future of Brighton Town, Economy, and School also includes free community dinner
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/brighton-brainstorming-session-encouraged-on-oct/article_9dca428b-fe04-5ace-972b-cebf74124bcf.html BRIGHTON — The entire community around Island Pond is... read more
Brighton / Island Pond Community Visit Program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
On October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton/Island Pond community are invited to kick off the Brighton Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining issues, deciding their top priorities and... read more
Paul Costello Commentary: Vernon is building its future
All Vermonters know that the town has taken a hard blow with the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. The closure has had direct economic impacts on jobs, employee relocations, declining home values, and lost taxes and fees to the town that support... read more
Vernon Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vernon. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas and built task forces to take action to: Develop the Riverfront and Improve Trails and Outdoor Recreation;... read more
Vernon's power production future debated
By Mike Faher, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/09/14/vernons-power-production-future-debated/ VERNON - As residents try to imagine Vernon's energy future, some say the former nuclear town should think small. Officials and experts gathered... read more
Manchester River Walk: Showcasing the natural beauty
In 2013, VCRD ran a Community Visit process in Manchester. One of the priorities chosen by the town was to "Redevelop the Riverside and Open a Riverwalk." We're so happy to see this story sharing the progress so far. Or visit WCAX website: http... read more
To Fill Void Left By Vermont Yankee, Vernon Looks For New Energy Projects
As heard on Vermont Public Radio. Listen to the story here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/fill-void-left-vermont-yankee-vernon-looks-n... Energy leaders from across the state met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee... read more
Brighton Community Visit Day Schedule ~ October 4th, 2016
On Tuesday, October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 20 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and... read more
Residents say they want a community store
As seen on The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=15418&page=1#... VERNON—Is a general store in the town’s future? At least 175 residents think so, according to information provided by Annette Roydon, chair of... read more
Business incubator, fiber optics eyed for Vernon’s future
By Mike Faher, as seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2016/08/29/business-incubator-fiber-optics-eyed-ver... VERNON — In a basement meeting room just a short walk from the front gate of Vermont Yankee, federal, state and local officials... read more
Vermont gets $1.2 million in federal aid for northern border communities
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/august/vermont-gets-12-million-federal-ai... As part of a continuing effort to bolster economic development in Northern Vermont, Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders... read more
Carbon tax one issue dividing gubernatorial hopefuls in debate
By Adam Federman, as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/07/20/carbon-tax-one-issue-dividing-gubernatori... RUTLAND — Can Vermont meet its own economic needs and still effectively address the issue of global climate change? That... read more
Candidates for governor square off in Rutland
By Gordon Dritschilo, as seen in the Times Argus: http://timesargus.com/article/20160720/THISJUSTIN/160729969 RUTLAND — It was sometimes hard to draw distinctions between Vermont’s gubernatorial candidates Tuesday night. Democrats Matt Dunne,... read more
Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
Join us for a forum with ALL 5 candidates discussing "Vermont's Economic Future in a Time of Climate Change." Come to the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, or watch it live on Vermont PBS either on TV or online.
Online Learning, Global Programs, Farm Enhancements, and Nationwide Leadership: Innovation Thrives in Food Systems Education at Vermont’s Higher Ed Schools
This summer Vermont’s colleges and universities are buzzing with inventive and hands-on learning that drives global food system solutions. The seven members of the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium are continuing to expand their... read more
Community Visit draws to a close; final meeting will set task forces
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/ci_30087408/moving-forward-momentum-vernon-commu... VERNON >> The Community Visit process is coming to a close in one sense. But community action is just beginning in another. Task... read more
Audio ~ WKVT radio podcast: Vitalizing Vernon
Jenna Whitson and Art Miller update the Vernon Community Visit process in advance of the July 7th meeting.
Vernon Community Action Plan to Be Developed on July 7
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its third, and last, major session in the Vernon Community Visit process on July 7th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. At the... read more
Vernon's Community Visit tackles what's next: Residents to vote on action items
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29988302/vernons-community-visit-t... VERNON — Sound the bells for round two. Vernon's Community Visit — funded through the Windham County Economic... read more
Video ~ Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: July 19, 2016
The Vermont Council on Rural Development, with sponsoring partners Vermont PBS and Northfield Savings Bank, presented the Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: Vermont's Economic Future in a Time of Climate Change" Tuesday July 19th at the... read more
Collaborators For Community Improvement Gather To Celebrate Progress: Committees Developed Through Community Visit Process Give Update
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/ ST. JOHNSBURY – A flame of volunteerism sparked in St. Johnsbury last spring continues to burn in the name of community betterment. More than 60 people Thursday attended an update... read more
A Different Kind of Fuel Dealer
The Energy Co-op is a 15-year-old full service fuel dealer serving 2,500 members and customers in northwestern and central Vermont. The Co-op delivers heating oil, kerosene, and wood pellets and maintains, replaces and repairs a wide range of... read more
Vernon Community to Set Priorities for Action on June 8th
All members of the Vernon Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Vernon. The meeting, to be held on Wednesday, June 8th 6:30-9:00pm at the Vernon... read more
Community: Swanton on the Move
From the May 2016 newsletter of the Vermont Arts Council The arts are alive and growing in this small Franklin County town. In the first two months of 2015, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) had the privilege of working with the... read more
Food waste used for energy at Blue Spruce Farm
Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, Vermont is known for the many gallons of milk that its cows produce each year to produce Cabot Cheddar Cheese at a plant located just 9 miles from the farm. However, Blue Spruce also has another claim to fame; in 2006,... read more
St. Johnsbury Celebrates Process: May 26, 2016
All members of the St. Johnsbury community are invited to the One-Year Follow up to the 2015 St. J Community Visit Process on Thursday, May 26th, 5-6:30 at the St. Johnsbury School Auditorium. Join with Community Visit Task Force Chairs, key... read more
Morrisville Food Co-op Breaks Ground
Congratulations MOCO (Morrisville Co-op) on kicking off their building renovation project. In 2011, VCRD facilitated a Community Visit process in Morrisville that built a local task force to "Develop a Morrisville Coop." We are SO excited to see... read more
Planning for tomorrow: Vernon Community Visit process begins
Kick-off event expected to get the ball rolling By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer. As seen here: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29885903/planning-tomorrow-vernon-... VERNON >> Life without the nuclear plant Vermont Yankee is going... read more
Vernon Community Visit program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
All members of the Vernon community are invited to come together on May 18th to kick off the Vernon Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining issues, decide their top priorities and develop concrete... read more
Generating Clean Energy on Underutilized Land
Burlington-based Encore Renewable Energy is a leading integrated clean energy company specializing in commercial, industrial, and community-scale solar PV systems and 21st century solutions for underutilized property. Encore’s projects showcase an... read more
Video ~ BCTV Open Studio: Vernon Community Visit Day
As seen on BCTV: http://www.brattleborotv.org/bctv-open-studio/open-studio-vernon-communi... Host Chris Lenois sits down with VT Council on Rural Development Community and Policy Manager Jenna Whitson, Vernon Community Visit Process Chair Art... read more
Costello: The Vermont Climate Economy Partnership
by Paul Costello, Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development At the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) we get to work with rural towns throughout Vermont where we rally everyone to pull together, review all the issues before... read more
Vernon Community Visit Day Schedule ~ May 18th, 2016
On Wednesday, May 18th 2016, all members of the Vernon community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of over 20 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic... read more
Vernon gas plant project on hold after losing fuel supply
By Mike Faher, as seen in vtdigger: https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/21/vernon-gas-plant-project-on-hold/ VERNON — After more than a year of intense planning and debate, the Vernon natural gas plant project has come to an abrupt halt. Energy giant... read more
2016 Community Quotes and Policy Work
VCRD serves as a convener, catalyst, and leader for Vermont to build and advance policies to support the working landscape, economic innovation, and strong communities! This snapshot shares quotes about our work with communities and our recent... read more
Post-Vermont Yankee grant program questioned in Vernon
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29787299/post-vermont-yankee-grant... VERNON >> Frustrated Planning Commission members wondered about the success of a grant program that resulted from a settlement... read more
Hardwick Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Hardwick. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Open a Recreational Center and Expand Recreation Opportunities; Expand Jeudevine Library... read more
Two Weeks, Seven Schools: Students Invited to Vermont to Discover the Future of Food
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://vermontbiz.com/news/april/two-weeks-eight-schools-students-invite... For Immediate Release: April 4, 2016 Contact: Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development; pcostello@vtrural.org, 802.223.... read more
House approves $900,000 for ‘Working Lands’ grant program
As seen in vtdigger, by Mike Faher: https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/01/house-approves-900000-for-working-lands-... BRATTLEBORO — The state House wants to pump more cash into Vermont’s working lands. The fiscal year 2017 budget bill the House approved... read more
Notes from Montpelier: Legislature working to reduce spending growth
As seen in the Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/localeditorials/ci_29692425/notes-from-montpelie... As expected, long hours were spent on the Floor of the House this week as we worked our way through several of the year's most important bills –... read more
Write a letter to your local paper in support of WLEF funding for FY 2017
Write a letter to your local newspaper. (A list of papers with their email addresses is below.) Send your letter by email, and only send it to one paper at a time. Do not cc (or bcc) multiple newspapers.   In your 3‐paragraph letter:   Say you... read more
2016 Summit Highlights Video
Talented students from the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College interviewed Summit speakers and participants to capture the spirit of the Summit in video. Their showing of a first draft at the close of the Summit was a huge hit and a great way... read more
Grant to aid Vernon’s post-Vermont Yankee plan
As seen in the vtdigger.org: BRATTLEBORO — Since late 2014, state officials have awarded more than $3.6 million from an economic development fund set up to ease the pain of Vermont Yankee’s closure. Now, for the first time, some of that money will... read more
Work the land
As seen in the Times Argus: http://tablet.olivesoftware.com/olive/Tablet/BarreTimesArgus/SharedArtic... There’s money in Vermont’s woods. More than that, there’s a way of life. The Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative released a Forest... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Report
Over 420 participants came together on February 22, 2016 for VCRD’s 2nd Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS to ACTION. Participants reviewed PROGRESS FOR VERMONT, the report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council and worked to... read more
Join the Climate Economy Partnership
It is time for action to advance Vermont's climate economy. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites both individuals and organizations/businesses to join the Vermont Climate Economy Partnership in a united effort to advance Vermont... read more
Video ~ 2016 Climate Economy Summit
VCRD Summit Highlights Talented students from the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College interviewed Summit speakers and participants to capture the spirit of the Summit in video. Their showing of a first draft at the close of the Summit was a... read more
Working Lands Committee Releases Year-Long Report and New Mapping Tool
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/03/01/working-lands-committee-releases-year-lon... On Thursday, February 25th, the Forestry Committee of the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) released the final report of the Forest Systems... read more
Tech help for job hunters renewed
As seen in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160229/NEWS01/160229640/0/NEWS05 MONTPELIER — Job seekers who are computer-challenged have a new technology tool at their fingertips. Beginning in March, six libraries across Vermont... read more
Editorial: Rising tides
As seen in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160225/OPINION01/160229804 A report out this week found that sea levels are rising more rapidly than at any time since the era of ancient Rome. As a result, coastal flooding is... read more
Summit Explores Vermont's Climate Economy
By Steve Zind, VPR. Listen here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/summit-explores-vermonts-climate-economy More than 400 participants attended the second annual Vermont Climate Economy Summit held Monday in Randolph Center. The day-long event followed... read more
Gathering asks: Could Vermont benefit from climate change?
By Mark Johnson, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/22/gathering-asks-could-vermont-benefit-from... RANDOLPH — Vermont is poised to benefit economically while also helping the world cope with climate change, political and policy leaders... read more
Optimism on Vermont’s ‘climate economy’
By Gregory Dennis, Addison County Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/ When confronted with the latest piece of bad news about climate change – record-high temperatures, devastating floods, the North Pole turned into a giant swimming... read more
Audio ~ Can Vermont adapt to climate change?
In the midst of one of the warmest winters in memory, how can Vermont adapt to the new realities of climate change? Paul Costello of the Vermont Council on Rural Development has been exploring this issue with community leaders all around Vermont. He... read more
VCRD Summit focuses on growing Vt’s green jobs
As seen at Mountain Times: http://mountaintimes.info/vcrd-summit-focuses-on-growing-vts-green-jobs/ RANDOLPH – Strategies for keeping Vermont in the forefront of stimulating the growth of green jobs while reducing carbon emissions were abundant at... read more
Conference Held On Implementing A Climate Economy In Vermont
Listen to the audio of the Pat Bradley story on WAMC: http://wamc.org/post/conference-held-implementing-climate-economy-vermon... Hundreds of people gathered in Randolph, Vermont Monday to discuss the state’s “climate economy.” Attendees considered... read more
Hundreds gather in Randolph for economic climate summit
See the story on WCAX: http://www.wcax.com/story/31285216/hundreds-gather-in-randolph-for-econo... RANDOLPH, Vt. - Lawmakers and business leaders are fighting climate change and looking to help Vermont cash in at the same time. A summit focused on... read more
Communities lead in climate economy effort
By Andy Clark, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160224/NEWS01/160229839 RANDOLPH — Vermont’s climate economy is a pace-setter for the nation, in large part because of work being done in many communities across the state. Vermont... read more
Leahy to Open Vermont Climate Economy Summit Monday, February 22
As seen at: http://www.vermontbiz.com/event/february/leahy-open-vermont-climate-econ... Senator Patrick Leahy to be opening speaker at the Vermont Climate Economy Summit, sponsored by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD). VCRD founded... read more
Video ~ Hardwick Community Visit Vote: Feb 15, 2016
As seen on: http://hctv.us/2016/02/hardwick-community-visit-vote-feb-15-2016/ The VT Council on Rural Development returns to Hardwick to follow up on ideas generated in a series of forums on January 20. From vtrural.org: “The February 15th... read more
Today’s Summit: Growing Vermont’s Green Jobs
Contact: Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director, 802-223-5763, pcostello@vtrural.org EDITORS: Note, a complete Summit packet, including participants and bios, is available at http://vtrural.org/sites/default/files/content/ClimateEconomy/... read more
Living Economically
By Laurie Caswell Burke, Wind Ridge columnist | As seen at Shelburne News: http://www.shelburnenews.com/2016/02/18/living-economically/ Miss the Paris Climate Summit? Here’s an opportunity much closer to home. A second climate summit in Randolph... read more
VPR's Vermont Edition: A Warm Winter's Impact On the State Economy
Listen to the conversation here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/warm-winters-impact-state-economy#stream/0 In this segment of VPR's Vermont Edition, Jane Lindholm talks with Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, a non-profit... read more
Video ~ Working Lands Enterprise Initiative helps VT working lands businesses thrive
A 6 min. overview of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative - A State of Vermont sponsored grant program for working lands businesses looking to advance to their next stage. Featuring four grantees: Big Picture Farm, Winterwood Timberframes, Maple... read more
Working Lands end-of-year report points to success stories
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/05/working-lands-end-of-year-report-points-t... A state investment fund credited with helping a growing group of businesses and farms was put on full display Thursday at the Statehouse.... read more
Video ~ On the Waterfront: VT Climate Change Initiative and Upcoming Climate Summit
As seen on: https://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/vt-climate-change-initiative-and-... Host Melinda Moulton speaks with Jenna Whitson, Community and Policy Senior Associate with Vermont Council on Rural Development, and Linda McGinnis, Network... read more
Video ~ City Room with Steven Pappas
As seen on: http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T05132&video=264383 Steven Pappas interviews Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director and Rob Miller, VT State Employees Credit Union President about the Climate Change Economy Initiative and the... read more
VT Tech offers “living labs” for climate change solutions
With 100% of their degrees earned through applied, hand-on education, Vermont Tech students learn by doing. This experiential learning is central to the school’s renewable energy and climate change initiatives, allowing students to work hands-on... read more
Times Argus Editorial: Building Blocks
As seen at: http://timesargus.com/article/20160205/OPINION01/160209789/0/SEARCH About a year ago, the Vermont Council on Rural Development held a daylong summit in Randolph to discuss the economic implications and potential opportunities of climate... read more
Video ~ Vermont’s Working Forests: Challenges and Opportunities
As seen on: http://middleburycommunitytv.org/2016/02/04/forestry-forum-at-the-vermon... From the Forestry Forum at the Vermont Folklife Center, panelists discuss challenges and opportunities of Vermont's working forests. Panelists include: Michael... read more
New report helps Vt. businesses take on climate change
MONTPELIER, Vt. (watch the clip at: http://www.wcax.com/story/31119960/new-report-helps-vt-businesses-take-o...) A new report aims to help businesses and nonprofits take on climate change. The 24-member Vermont Climate Change Economy Council says... read more
New Report Says Vermont Businesses Are Key 'In Age Of Climate Change'
By Steve Zind. Listen to the story at VPR: http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-report-says-vermont-businesses-are-key-age-climate-change#stream/0 Vermont’s economy has always been influenced by larger forces, whether global recession or changes in the... read more
Bold New Strategy Proposed for Vermont’s Economy
Contact: Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director, 223-5763, pcostello@vtrural.org MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) is proposing a bold new vision and strategy for economic development statewide. With its State... read more
Opinion: Sooner or later, a new economy
Over the past year, as the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (of which I was a member), listened to the collective wisdom of the state’s communities, entrepreneurs and policy leaders, one thing became very clear: Sooner or later, it’s going to... read more
Progress for Vermont: Report and Action Plan of the VT Climate Change Economy Council
Progress for Vermont is the final report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) which was founded in February 2015 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. This broad-based nonpartisan group spent a year... read more
Calley Hastings Opinion: Support Working Lands Enterprise Fund
As seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2016/01/26/opinion-support-working-lands-enterprise-fund/79366596/ Eight years ago when I started Fat Toad Farm with my family, I wasn’t sure how long I... read more
Lessons from Students: Making the Most of Vermont’s Food Web
Written by Vicky Tebbets Students from around the country plunged into a whirlwind tour of Vermont last June with one goal: immersion in Vermont’s food systems. For 21 intensive days they traveled 404 miles, learned from leaders at five colleges,... read more
National Clean Energy Innovator to Keynote Vermont’s Climate Economy Summit
MONTPELIER, VT – Danny Kennedy, an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues, will keynote Ideas to Action: the Summit on Vermont’s Climate Economy on February 22 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Kennedy is the... read more
Chris Brooks: Support Working Lands Enterprise Fund
As seen in the vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/21/chris-brooks-support-working-lands-enterprise-fund/ Editor’s note: This commentary is by Chris Brooks, who is the CEO and president of Vermont Wood Pellet Co. He is the product of five... read more
To the editor: Montpelier should support Working Lands Enterprise program
As seen in the Chester Telegraph: http://chestertelegraph.org/2016/01/19/to-the-editor-montpelier-should-support-working-lands-enterprise-program/ We are writing in support of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. The Brattleboro Area Farmer’s Market... read more
Remote Sensors Keep Turbines Running
Wind power nationally is growing at a rate of roughly 30% a year, but it remains a major capital expense. Perhaps more importantly, wind turbine repair and upkeep costs are high and downtime means significant loss on investment. LORD MicroStrain... read more
Getting There and Parking
The Summit is taking place in Judd Hall at Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT 05061. Take I-89 to Exit 4. On the exit ramps, watch for signs to VTC, which will send you up the hill, away from the McDonald’s/Mobil Gas... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Danny Kennedy Danny Kennedy, an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. Click here to find out more.   Other Speakers, Facilitators, Moderators, and Panelists: William Belongia, Executive Director... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Outreach Sponsors
Thanks to the following organizations and businesses who signed on as "Outreach Sponsors" and actively shared the Summit information through their networks: Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation BuildingGreen Inc.  Burlington Young... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Financial Sponsors
The Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS TO ACTION is made possible by the generous support of: The Alchemist American Flatbread Burlington Hearth Burlington Electric Department Butternut Mountain Farm Catamount Solar Concept2, Inc. Donella Meadows... read more
Register for the 2016 Climate Economy Summit
Help define and advance strategies to make VT a national leader in climate economy business development, innovation, and job creation for the future.
Barre Company Develops Power Breakthrough
A key factor in harnessing renewable energy is how efficiently the DC power can be converted to AC power for homes and businesses. A Vermont company, SBE Inc. in Barre, focused on a single component of this process and developed a product that is... read more
Hardwick Community Visit Day ~ January 20th, 2016
On Wednesday, January 20th 2016, all members of the Hardwick community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of over 20 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and... read more
Craftsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Craftsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Advance Craftsbury Land Protection; Improve Cell Phone and Broadband Access; and Build... read more
Storage Adds Reliability to Renewable Energy
Vermont's Northern Reliability Inc. (NRI) builds custom energy storage solutions to fit any application. As a result, the Waitsfield based company is making it possible to have reliable electricity available anywhere in the world. NRI’s... read more
New Series Features Vermont’s Climate Economy Innovators
MONTPELIER VT – Today’s innovative Vermont businesses are growing the state’s climate change economy. Examples range from manufacturers of super insulated panels for new buildings to engineers that are designing ways to warm greenhouses using heat... read more
VCRD In Action - Programs and Initiatives Through 2015
In addition to work in communities through Community Visits, Creative Communities, the Digital Economy Project, e-Vermont, and Broadband Facilitation (shown on map) VCRD also brings people together to address issues of fundamental importance to... read more
Little spray nozzle produces big benefits
Few of us think about how a better nozzle could reduce the entire spray can industry’s environmental impact. Yet at Bethel’s family-owned Ultramotive Corporation, that’s just what happened. Its patented EarthSafe Air Power System has the potential... read more
Insulated panels help reduce energy use
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) make up one of the most sustainable, energy-efficient construction methods in the residential and light commercial building industry today. Essentially, these are panels that sandwich a hard skin on either side of... read more
From Forum Participants: Ideas to Advance Vermont’s Climate Economy
In 2015, we held 3 Climate Economy Forums with Vermonters across the state to gather their best ideas for ways to advance Vermont’s climate economy. Over 150 participants joined us in Rutland (August 26), Brattleboro (October 6), and Burlington (... read more
Video ~ What’s Next for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy?
Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. VCRD hosted 3 public forums to hear from people... read more
VT Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS TO ACTION ~ Feb 22, 2016
The Vermont Climate Economy Summit IDEAS TO ACTION, held February 22, 2016 at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph, brought together over 400 participants - innovative business, non‐profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public... read more
Lowering the price on large scale solar
Nathaniel Vandal is the co-founder of Green Peak Solar, a Waitsfield, Vermont-based company focusing on developing large-scale solar energy systems for utilities, towns, school districts, and businesses in the Green Mountain State. Founded in 2012,... read more
Donohue Commentary: Climate change is a business opportunity
Commentary by Mike Donohue, as seen on: http://burlingtonfreepress.vt.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=18fb873f2 Today at 7 p.m., Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger and the Vermont Council on Rural Development will be holding a public forum on... read more
Audio: Climate Economy Forum planned in Burlington
By Pat Bradley, WAMC Radio, as seen on: http://wamc.org/post/climate-economy-forum-planned-burlington#stream/0 Listen to the story here: http://cpa.ds.npr.org/wamc/audio/2015/10/patb10-27climate-economy-forum.MP3 A forum is planned this week in... read more
Craftsbury Community Action Plan to Be Developed on Nov 17
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Craftsbury Community Visit process on November 17th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On October... read more
Northern Vermont Climate Economy Forum October 29
MONTPELIER, VT – A regional forum focusing on the opportunity to create jobs while developing innovative solutions to stem the impact of climate change will take place at Contois Auditorium in Burlington’s City Hall on Thursday, October 29, from 7-... read more
Share a Climate Innovator Story
Vermont’s climate change innovators are finding practical ways to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate risk, and stimulate green economic development within the Green Mountain state and beyond. They encompass fields such as transportation,... read more
Committee looks at changing government structures
By Erin Mansfield as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/14/committee-looks-at-changing-government-st... The Legislature’s committee on government restructuring met for the first time Tuesday and plans to have a report done in... read more
Opinion: Beyond panels and turbines
By Gov. Peter Shumlin, as seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2015/10/15/opin... When we talk about renewable energy, the focus is often on the project – the solar panel or the wind turbine... read more
Video ~ On the Waterfront: "What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy" Upcoming Regional Forum
Host Melinda Moulton speaks with Jenna Whitson, VCRD's Community and Policy Senior Associate, about the upcoming October 29th public forum "What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy?" It will be a statewide conversation with the public and the... read more
Cutting fossil fuel use with compost heat
Enosburg Falls, VT - Most people know about composting—the natural recycling process that converts food scraps, leaves, and manures into soil building compost and mulch. What is less known is that this decomposition process also generates a... read more
‘Working Lands’ supporters lobby for funding
By Mike Faher, as seen in the vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/11/working-lands-supporters-lobby-for-fundin... BRATTLEBORO – Creamy goat-milk caramels have become a big business for Townshend’s Big Picture Farm. And as the farm underwent... read more
Cell service, food insecurity, affordable housing raised as issues of import in Craftsbury
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland, Caledonian Record. As seen on: http://caledonianrecord.com/ CRAFTSBURY COMMON -- Residents here lauded community assets while figuring out how to tackle challenges during the first stop in a process called the... read more
Efficiency help needed, energy advocates say
By Mike Faher as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/08/efficiency-help-needed-energy-advocates-say/ BRATTLEBORO – From urine recycling to shiitake mushrooms to electrically-assisted bikes, those attending a “Climate Change Economy”... read more
Brattleboro Forum Weighs Economic Impact, Opportunity Of Climate Change
As seen on http://digital.vpr.net/post/brattleboro-forum-weighs-economic-impact-opp... The Vermont Council on Rural Development wants the state to become a leader in growing the green economy as scientists, governments and entrepreneurs confront... read more
Energy innovation + preservation = downtown revitalization
Stevens & Associates, P.C., an architectural and engineering firm, has a passion for walkable environments and mixed use buildings. Their work focuses on urban revitalization and the repurposing of existing historic buildings. By creating... read more
What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy? Burlington Forum to Identify Next Steps - October 29 2015
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. What are your experiences? Do you... read more
Climate Change Innovator Stories
Vermont’s climate change innovators are finding practical ways to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate risk, and stimulate green economic development within the Green Mountain state and beyond. They encompass fields such as transportation,... read more
Manchester gets $580K to improve busy road
As seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150930/THISJUSTIN/709309907 MANCHESTER — Manchester will receive a grant of $580,000 from the Vermont Agency of Transportation to enhance Depot Street and make it more friendly... read more
Biking innovations drive this nonprofit
VBike is a nonprofit organization dedicated to shifting the bike culture in Vermont towards a more inclusive, fun, and transportation-oriented future. By promoting exciting innovations like electric-assist technology and cargo bikes, VBike is... read more
Craftsbury Outdoor Center finds innovative heating solution for net-zero lodge
Tucked behind a secluded lake in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center is an outdoor-lovers’ dream that offers year round recreation opportunities including Nordic skiing, running, mountain biking, and sculling. Family events... read more
‘Climate Change Economy’ talks coming to Brattleboro
By Mike Faher, http://vtdigger.org/2015/09/30/climate-change-economy-talks-coming-to-br... BRATTLEBORO – For years, local officials and energy-efficiency advocates have been working to nurture and promote a “green building” industry in Windham... read more
Public support for conserving land in Vermont
Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust, shares his perspective about the increase in public support for land conservation in their Fall 2015 newsletter.
Craftsbury Community to Set Priorities for Action on October 20th
All members of the Craftsbury Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Craftsbury. The meeting, to be held on Tuesday, October 20th 6:30 – 9:00pm at... read more
Grinold: Climate change and our local economy
by Adam Grinold, Executive Director, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation On October 6, Southern Vermont will host the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Regional Public Forum on Advancing Vermont’s Climate Change Economy. It takes place... read more
Cutting carbon one board at a time
ShackletonThomas is a Bridgewater, Vermont based company that specializes in making fine handmade furniture, pottery and accessories. For the past 25 years, ShackletonThomas has made a commitment to help curb the effects of climate change. The... read more
SunCommon saves Vermonters $$ by repowering
As a former medic, police officer, non-profit manager, legislative director and values-led business executive - Duane Peterson has always been dedicated to organizing people to take meaningful action towards positive change. Duane demonstrates this... read more
Improving Vermont's digital economy
Aired on WCAX: http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy Watch the video here: http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy?au... WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports- In the wake of... read more
Brattleboro Forum to Explore Next Steps for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. What are your experiences? Do you have... read more
Craftsbury Community Visit Day - September 22 2015
On Tuesday, September 22nd 2015, all members of the Craftsbury community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic... read more
Christopher Louras: Rutland taking leadership in Vermont’s climate economy
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/09/02/christopher-louras-rutland-taking-leaders... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras. On Aug. 26 I co-hosted (with the Vermont Council on Rural Development) a... read more
Paul Gallo: Business owner is driving force in Rutland renaissance
By Helen Whyte, September 2015 issue of the Battenkill Business Journal People who have not visited Rutland in the past few years may be surprised by recent changes - near zero downtown vacancy rate, a diverse and popular selection of programs at... read more
Group solicits local input on global issue of climate change
By Kevin O'Connor, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/08/30/group-solicits-local-input-on-global-issu... A new Vermont Climate Change Economy Council is asking the public how the state can simultaneously grow the local “green” job market and... read more
Stewardship pays off for Butternut Mountain Farm
In the over 40 years they’ve been in business, Butternut Mountain has built a reputation as a leader in Vermont’s maple industry. The company is also taking the lead in other ways – demonstrating that including environmental stewardship in their... read more
Forum airs out solar issues
By Gordon Dritschilo as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/ The tension surrounding renewable energy development was captured in an exchange Wednesday night at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. The theater was hosting a forum... read more
Panels Around Vermont Will Brainstorm Climate Change's Economic Opportunities
As seen on VPR. Listen at: http://digital.vpr.net/post/panels-around-vermont-will-brainstorm-climat... The public is invited to a panel discussion on Wednesday evening at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre to brainstorm ways to turn the challenges of... read more
Opinion: Climate change economy
Editorial as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150825/OPINION01/708259959/1038 Vermonters will gather Wednesday evening at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland to chart new steps in creating what is being called a “... read more
Climate Change Economy Council seeks public input
By Kevin O'Conner as seen on vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/08/16/climate-change-economy-council-seeks-publ... A new Vermont Climate Change Economy Council — composed of two-dozen business, public policy and environmental leaders — is... read more
Final Report of the NEK Collaborative "Ideas for the Future of the NEK" Forum Series
The “Ideas for the Future of the NEK” forum series was produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development for the NEK Collaborative to gather ideas and set directions for work to advance the prosperity and vitality of NEK communities. This Final... read more
Video ~ PEG-TV show about the Climate Economy Forum in Rutland, August 26th
A public forum in Rutland on August 26th 2015 (7-9pm, Paramount Theatre) will discuss "What’s Next For VT’s Climate Change Economy?" Host Tom Donahue interviews Paul Costello (Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development) and Joe Fusco (... read more
Landfill methane powers WEC’s generators
For ten years now, Washington Electric Co-op has been generating power from the stuff that Vermonters throw away. Their system channels methane gas from deep within the Coventry landfill to fuel the five Caterpillar engines that produce enough... read more
Rutland Forum to Explore Next Steps for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. What are your experiences? Do you have... read more
Climate Change Economy Forum ~ Rutland 8/26/16
Public Forum in Rutland to consider what's next for Vermont Climate Change Economy: When: August 26th, 7-9 pmWhere: Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St. Rutland, VTPanelists: Joe Fusco, Casella; Betsy Ide, Green Mountain Power; Mark Foley, Foley... read more
New York Post names Killington one of top five summer ski towns in U.S.
We were so pleased to see that the New York Post recently named Killington one of “Five ski towns that are worth visiting in summer,” (the only resort in the northeast!!) alongside the Western resort towns of Park City (Utah), Vail (Colorado),... read more
Transportation, Housing, Wages Biggest Impediments To Economic Stability Citizens Brainstorm Ideas For A Healthy Economy At Forum
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland Staff Writer, Barton Chronicle: http://caledonianrecord.com/ HARDWICK -- There are multitudes of services and funding sources available to people in the rural and agricultural economies of the Northeast Kingdom, but... read more
Upcoming Forums Focus on Stimulating Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. The Vermont Council on Rural... read more
St. Johnsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in St. Johnsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Improve Community Communications and Promote a Positive Town Image; Develop a St.... read more
Students Traverse Vermont on Food Systems Tour
By Leon Thompson Vermont Correspondent, Lancaster Farming: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/news/northeedition/Students-Traverse-Vermont-on-Food-Systems-Tour#.VcuoOfm2KW5 ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Long Island native Kasey Wien had never been to a dairy farm... read more
Video ~ Course allows students to explore Vt. food systems
As broadcasted by WCAX-TV, June 10, 2015: http://www.wcax.com/story/29288672/course-allows-students-to-explore-vt-food-systems A group of college and grad students is taking a first-of-its-kind course this month a tour of Vermont’s local food... read more
Video ~ Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Grant Awards Ceremony
The 2015 Working Lands Grants were announced at Maple Wind Farm in Richmond in May 2015. Here are a couple videos of the event.
Field Day: The Summer Study Tour Blog
Check out the Summer Study Tour Blog by Ivars Balkits, the media fellow of the Vermont Summer Study Tour. An adventurer by nature with a background in agriculture and ecology, Ivars currently hails from the midwest. Discover the Vermont food... read more
Media Invited to Visit with Students on Statewide Farm and Food Summer Study Tour
Members of the press are invited to connect with student leaders from across the nation on tour in Vermont from May 31 – June 20. The Vermont Food Systems Summer Study Tour invites students to move from the classroom to field and forest with an... read more
Farm and Food Student Leaders to Arrive in Vermont for Whirlwind Study Tour
Leaders from across the nation who are studying how communities source, grow, process, purchase, and contemplate food will soon arrive in the Green Mountain State for the inaugural three-week Vermont Food Systems Summer Study Tour, May 31 – June 20... read more
Folks Sought To Focus On Town's Future: Community Vision Process Continues
By Taylor Reed, Caledonian Record: http://caledonianrecord.com/ ST. JOHNSBURY -- Community collaboration continues following the start of an initiative that brings residents together for the sake of their town's future. More than 80 people have... read more
Renters 101 offers training
From the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/community/ci_28115453/renters-101-offers... BENNINGTON >> Bennington Renters 101 recently offered a free training for Bennington residents. The training included three sessions:... read more
Beyond Basics: Feast Your Eyes, Heart, and Mind on Vermont Food and Farm Education
By Vicky Tebbetts, Published in Food Solutions New England A quiet revolution is astir in Vermont. Food systems education, practical agricultural experience, entrepreneurship, and inspiration have blended into an elixir for community revitalization... read more
Vermont: America’s Food Relocalization Laboratory
By Steve Holt, Civil Eats: http://civileats.com/2015/05/12/vermont-americas-food-relocalization-lab... If most Americans were to rank the nation’s most influential states, chances are Vermont would not make many lists. But it should. Quietly,... read more
Swanton Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Swanton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Expand Outdoor Recreation Opportunities, River Access, Bike-ability and Bike Tourism;... read more
Passion, energy at VCRD visit: Seventy gather, begin to build social capital
By MATTHEW PREEDOM, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/ SWANTON — The smiles were wide and the energy high Wednesday at the third and final community visit from the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD). Roughly 70 people were... read more
Testimony to Senate Appropriations: April 7, 2015
Madam Chair and Members of the Vermont Senate Appropriations Committee: I am Paul Costello, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. I’m here to speak as the coordinator for the Vermont Working Lands Coalition to ask you to... read more
Commentary: The 21st Century Global Food System: This Summer, Vermont is its Classroom
For nearly a half century, Sterling College has emphasized a "working hands-working minds" approach to education that views agriculture through the lens of environmental stewardship. This college, and its program of study refined over many decades,... read more
Hardening Against Disaster by Going Digital
By Dale McKay, Daily Yonder: http://www.dailyyonder.com/hardening-against-disaster-going-digital/2015/04/06/7790#.VSLAXw4NMRA.facebook When tropical storm Irene wiped out a month’s worth of timber sales, Vermont logger Carl Russell, who lives off... read more
Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change - 2015
The Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change brought together over 400 innovative business, non‐profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public policy advocates, students, and interested residents to begin to... read more
New England Culinary Institute Joins the Vermont Higher Ed Food Systems Consortium
Montpelier’s New England Culinary Institute (NECI) has joined Vermont’s education and agriculture leaders as part of the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium. A visionary for Vermont’s evolving food economy for many years, NECI offers... read more
‘Maple Fest” brings community together
By Josh Ogorman, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150322/THISJUSTIN/703229951 CABOT — What a sweet way to foster a tighter community. Several hundred people turned out at Cabot School on Saturday for Maple Fest, an annual... read more
A call for action
By Steve Pappas, Times Argus: www.timesargus.com A summit at Vermont Technical College on Wednesday showed exactly how far Vermont has progressed when it comes to climate change, but also how far we still have to go if we want to be economically... read more
2015 - Community Leaders of St. Albans
On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of downtown St. Albans over the last few years.  The award was presented at... read more
Living Economically: Ramp it up with Vermontivate, the game that inspires behavior change and fun
By Laurie Caswell Burke, published in the Shelburne News: http://shelburnenews.com/?p=20752 Last month I joined 400 Vermonters from around the state to participate in the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Summit on Creating Prosperity and... read more
VCRD Annual Reports
Here is a link to VCRD's 2016 annual report as well as those from the past few years: 2016 Annual Report 2015 Annual Report 2014 Annual Report 2013 Annual Report 2011 Annual Report 2010 Annual Report 2009 Annual Report 2008 Annual Report... read more
The Vermont Climate Change Economy Council - 2015
VCRD strives to create a centrist dialogue that frames solutions to build Vermont’s prosperity and that grow and attract entrepreneurs who confront rather than just adapt to climate change. The Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC),... read more
Swanton gets fix on future: Meeting selects 4 ideas for community action
By Elodie Reed, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/community-swanton-gets-fix-on-future/ SWANTON — For a town looking to come together as a community to better itself, Swanton seems off to a pretty good start. About 100 residents,... read more
Letter to the editor: Working lands program worthwhile
A Page 1 article in Sunday’s Times Argus (“Serving notice”) notes that the Vermont food system is currently undergoing unprecedented growth, “from $6.9 billion to $8.6 billion between 2007 and 2012, according to figures from the Vermont Sustainable... read more
And now is the time to watch Swanton grow
St. Albans Town has Walmart and two growth districts open for development. St. Albans City is in the homestretch in its effort to rebuild its downtown through a $41 million building project. Now, eight miles north, the community of Swanton is coming... read more
Opinion: A crisis and an opportunity
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150308/OPINION06/703089979 By Brian Shupe, Executive Director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council Many people have raised alarms about the need to do something about climate... read more
Video ~ Climate Economy Summit
This video captured sessions at the Summit on “Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change” held at the Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center on February 18, 2015. [Video by Rick McMahan of Vermont In Person: http://www.... read more
Notes from Montpelier: Revenue shortfall will require tough decisions
Editorial published in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/localeditorials/ci_27621782/notes-from-montpelie... It's hard to believe that Town Meeting is here. I look forward to visiting with folks at all of the Town Meetings in my... read more
Opinion: Moving forward on climate change
By Bill Laberge, owner of Grassroots Solar, and published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150301/OPINION06/703019960/1014 Despite the thermometer suggesting otherwise, the February sun is starting to give us the sense of... read more
With Front Porch Forum, Internet Goes Local
By Dale Mackey, Daily Yonder: http://www.dailyyonder.com/front-porch-forum-internet-goes-local/2015/02... A Vermont-based social media platform helps residents communicate with neighbors. In the process, participants feel more connected to each... read more
VCRD Awards its Annual Vermont Community Leadership Award and a new Community Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award
MONTPELIER, VT – On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of downtown St. Albans over the last few years. The award... read more
Vt. discusses ways to turn climate change into economic opportunities
Visit WCAX to view the video: http://www.wcax.com/story/28141188/vt-discusses-ways-to-turn-climate-cha... WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports- RANDOLPH, Vt. - Most government officials, nonprofits and policy groups agree on the... read more
Getting There and Parking
The Summit is taking place at Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT 05061. For directions, here's a link to the google maps page. There's plenty of parking in the VTC lots but some parking is a distance away, so get there... read more
Summit to tackle climate change, economy
This week’s Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change isn’t about the debate over climate change, organizers say. Instead, it’s about how to use climate change to benefit Vermont’s economy. The summit Wednesday at... read more
Video ~ Paul Costello and Ted Brady on City Room
This 28 minute program gives a good overview of the Climate Economy Summit and Initiative. City Room with Steve Pappas: Paul Costello and Ted Brady of Vermont Council on Rural Development from Central Vermont Television on Vimeo.
Nate Freeman: Vermont’s climate questions
By Nate Freeman. Published in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/02/15/nate-freeman-vermonts-climate-questions/ Editor’s note: This commentary is by Nate Freeman, who is director of ClimatePlanners Consulting and program coordinator for the... read more
Fusco Commentary: Benefitting Vermont’s economy by rewarding innovative climate solutions
by Joe Fusco I’m not here to argue with you about climate change. I’m not here to convince you that it’s real, or that it’s not. I am here to convince you, politics aside, that there is a cascade of genuine economic and business development... read more
Townspeople seek help to create and cultivate community
By Alana Fichman/The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=11637&page=1#... VERNON—Some of the 44 people who assembled in the combined auditorium/cafeteria at Vernon Elementary School were disappointed at the... read more
Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium
The VT Higher Education Food Systems Consortium is designing new ways to collaborate, share students and resources and expand a plethora of elective opportunities for place-based food systems education where “Vermont is our classroom.”
Climate Economy Summit Financial Sponsors
The Climate Economy Summit is made possible by the generous support of the National Life Group and all of our Sponsors: Bay and Paul Foundations Casella Waste Management Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAS Donella... read more
Climate Economy Summit Outreach Sponsors
Thanks to the following organizations and businesses who signed on as "Outreach Sponsors" and actively shared the Summit information through their networks: Bolton Valley Building a Local Economy (BALE) Champlain College Champlain Mini Maker... read more
Vernon considers 'community visit'
By Michael Faher, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_27422043/vernon-considers-communit... VERNON >> What should Vernon's future look like? It's a big question, especially given last month's closure of the Vermont... read more
Summer Study Tour: Savoring the flavors of Vermont farm and food education
Published in VtDigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2015/02/01/summer-study-tour-savoring-flavors-vermo... Leaders from education and agriculture are collaborating on an innovative “movable feast” of study where undergraduate and graduate students... read more
Digital tools having big impact on Vermont farms
In one way or other, Vermont farmers have always been drawn to new technologies, from innovations in horse-drawn plows to devices that bring them essential weather updates. Today, rapid advancements in digital tools are putting remarkable... read more
Allison Hooper Opinion: Connect people, places and food
Published in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2015/01/22/opin... In Paris during my junior year of college, I spent the summer working on an organic farm. The French know where their food comes... read more
Swanton Community Visit Day - January 28th
On Wednesday, January 28th, all members of the Swanton community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders who... read more
Southern Vt. town revisits fluoridation
By Patrick McArdle, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150121/NEWS03/701219903 BENNINGTON — Voters in Bennington will be asked in March to weigh in on whether they want the town’s water supply fluoridated but the question is only... read more
Cambridge Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Cambridge. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Plan and Develop a Senior Living Center and Expand Senior Services; Advance a Cambridge... read more
Vermont Council on Rural Development hires Community and Policy Senior Associate
January 12, 2015, Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jenna Whitson has joined the organization as the Community and Policy Senior Associate. Jenna will be supporting the VCRD Community Visit program... read more
Swanton residents will have their say: VCRD visit aims to prioritize wants and needs
By MICHELLE MONROE, St. Albans Messenger SWANTON — The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) this month will make a community visit here. Among the issues certain to face discussion are hopes for a revitalization of the downtown district.... read more
Summit Agenda
--> Click Here for the full Summit Program (pdf) with names of speakers, moderators, facilitators, and more details about the day. ----------------------------------- Agenda At-A-Glance Summit on "Creating Prosperity & Opportunity... read more
Climate Economy Summit Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Jigar Shah, Founder SunEdison Other Speakers, Facilitators, Moderators, and Panelists: Bob Ackland, Steep ManagementPeter Adamczyk, Vermont Energy Investment CorporationMarie Audet, Blue Spruce FarmAlan Betts, Atmospheric... read more
Ron Miller Commentary: Upcoming Conference Promotes “Climate Change Economy”
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is holding a major statewide conference, “Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change,” in Randolph on February 18. The gathering will launch VCRD’s new Climate Change Economy initiative... read more
Vermont Climate Economy Initiative
From Green Energy Times: http://www.greenenergytimes.net/2014/12/15/vermont-climate-economy-initi... The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy Initiative with the Summit on Creating Prosperity and... read more
Costello: Digital innovation brings new vitality to rural Vermont
When we think of Vermont, we picture our beautiful working landscape, our lakes and mountains, and our dynamic community centers. Our past is crucial to who we are and to the character and identity of this special place. But the land we care for and... read more
February Summit to Kick Off New Focus on Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT –The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy Initiative with the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change on February 18 at Vermont Technical College in... read more
New Report Highlights Potential for Vermont’s Digital Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Bridging the digital divide and expanding the innovative use of online tools will remain critical for Vermont if it wants to continue building resilience into our communities, keep businesses competitive, and assure that community... read more
Allison Hooper Commentary: Terroir grows from working lands
By Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery In Paris during my junior year of college, I spent the summer working on an organic farm. The French know where their food comes from, and they are connected to the working rural landscape. There I... read more
Letter to the editor: Fund working lands program
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20141209/OPINION02/712099926 The Working Lands Enterprise Fund, an innovative and imaginative idea, was created in 2012 by Act 142. Its purpose is “to stimulate a concerted economic... read more
Vermont's Digital Stories - Final Report of VCRD's Vermont Digital Economy Project
VCRD launched the Vermont Digital Economy Project to offer free support to speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters. The project worked directly with Vermont towns affected by 2011... read more
Rutland's Wonderfeet Children's Museum Expands, Hopes To Become A Destination
By Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/rutlands-wonderfeet-childrens-museum-expands... VCRD comment: The idea for the creation of a children's museum in Rutland, was sparked during VCRD's Rutland Creative Community project. The... read more
New report highlights potential for Vermont’s digital economy
MONTPELIER, VT –Bridging the digital divide and expanding the innovative use of online tools will remain critical for Vermont if it wants to continue building resilience into our communities, keep businesses competitive, and assure that community... read more
Montpelier farmers market has multiple winter homes
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20141202/THISJUSTIN/312029999 MONTPELIER — The Capital City Farmers Market is kicking off its winter season Saturday with a new website and a pair of new venues. With the loss of its... read more
Vermont Council on Rural Development’s summit on ‘Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change’
The Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Summit on “Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change” on February 18, 2015 will bring together scientists, innovative business, non-profit, and community leaders, elected officials,... read more
Cambridge Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 1
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major sessions in the Cambridge Community Visit process on December 1st; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On October... read more
Guilford studies future of Broad Brook Grange
By Michael Fahar, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/ci_26940824/guilford-studies-future-broad-brook-... GUILFORD >> At a recent Guilford Selectboard meeting, there was much debate about whether Broad Brook Grange should accept a... read more
February Summit to Kick Off New Focus on Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT –The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy Initiative with the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change on February 18 at Vermont Technical College in... read more
Susan Alexander Commentary: Working Lands Grants lead to partnerships and growth
This commentary, by Susan Alexander, the founder of The Vermont Switchel Company in Cabot, was published on VtDigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2014/11/26/susan-alexander-working-lands-grants-lead... Over the past two years The Vermont Switchel... read more
The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative
Climate change is the defining issue of our time. We, as a people, are faced with an unprecedented environmental challenge, and must identify strategies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. This challenge also presents an economic opportunity... read more
Climate Change Economy Initiative
Irene's Silicon Lining: Has wiring Bethel changed it for good?
By Ken Picard: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/irenes-silicon-lining-has-wiring-beth... The noontime rush at Cockadoodle Pizza Café in Bethel is more like a steady trickle. Two construction workers in reflective neon vests wait in line for pizza... read more
Cambridge Community to Set Priorities for Action on October 27th
All members of the Cambridge Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Cambridge. The meeting, to be held on Monday, October 27th 6:30 – 9:00pm at the... read more
Video ~ Paul talks about Community Visits and other VCRD projects
Senator Bill Doyle interviews Paul Costello about VCRD programs including Community Visits, the Digital Economy Project, the Working Lands Initiative, the Higher Education Food Systems Consortium and other initiatives. [http://vp.telvue.com/... read more
Food And Farming Consortium's Pilot Course Will Sample From College Programs
By Steve Zind. Click here to listen to the story: http://digital.vpr.net/post/food-and-farming-consortiums-pilot-course-wi.... --------------- Last November, a group of Vermont colleges announced the formation of a consortium to promote food and... read more
Send a Postcard to Governor Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross
Send a postcard to Governor Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross encouraging them to fund the Working Lands Enterprise Fund with $1.5 million for FY16 in their proposed budget. The Working Lands Enterprise Fund: Creates jobs in... read more
VCRD job opening: Community and Policy Senior Associate
The "Community and Policy Senior Associate" position supports VCRD Community Visit programs, helps lead fund development to ensure program sustainability, and actively assists the Executive Director in providing leadership for rural policy... read more
Audio ~ VT Connected Summit on the Mark Johnson Show
Mark Johnson interviewed 5 participants of the VT Connected Summit of September 23, 2014. Here are the links to the Show broken into 2 parts: http://markjohnsonshow.podbean.com/e/92314-vermont-digital-economy-pt-1/ - Alex Tursi of Fletcher Allen,... read more
Improving Vermont's digital economy
By Alexei Rubenstein, WCAX - http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports- MONTPELIER, Vt. - In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, most of the visible damage was to Vermont's... read more
Digital economy summit addresses Vermont’s ‘brand’
By Hilary Niles, VtDigger.org - http://vtdigger.org/2014/09/23/adapting-vermonts-brand-surfaces-digital-... Vermont is on the right track toward developing a digital economy and has more to do, Gov. Peter Shumlin told an audience at the Statehouse... read more
Got Tech? Industry Wants To Be Part of Vermont's Image
http://digital.vpr.net/post/got-tech-industry-wants-be-part-vermonts-image By Steve Zind, VPR - Vermont high tech companies say the state’s way of life is a powerful calling card for the kind of clean industry it hopes to attract, but they would... read more
Conference Assesses Vermont’s Future Digital Economy
http://wamc.org/post/conference-assesses-vermont-s-future-digital-economy By Pat Bradley, WAMC Northeast Radio - A daylong conference was held at the statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday to highlight what technological and digital innovations could... read more
Close the digital divide
http://www.timesargus.com/article/20140925/OPINION01/709259945/1021 By Steve Pappas, Times Argus - A few hundred Vermonters made history at the State House this week. While a few of them were lawmakers, the vast majority of the participants were... read more
Summit addresses Vermont's digital economy
MONTPELIER -- Vermont is on the right track toward developing a digital economy and has more to do, Gov. Peter Shumlin told an audience at the Statehouse on Tuesday. Shumlin gave the keynote speech at a daylong summit in Montpelier organized by the... read more
Got Tech? Industry Wants To Be Part of Vermont's Image
Vermont high tech companies say the state’s way of life is a powerful calling card for the kind of clean industry it hopes to attract, but they would like state officials to do more to market itself to attract new business. The “Envisioning the... read more
Cambridge Community Visit program invites the full community together
Cambridge community members will be coming together over the next few months to review challenges and opportunities before the town, set priorities, and advance action plans to ensure the future vitality of the community. The process kicks off with... read more
State farm, business groups share $2.3 million in USDA grants
BURLINGTON, Vt. —During a visit to Burlington, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $2.3 million in grants and loans intended to create jobs in rural Vermont. Krysta Harden said Friday that 13 organizations will... read more
Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont nets $2.3 million for rural development
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) announced $2.3 million in funding for rural development in Vermont. The funding, under the new Farm Bill, has been awarded to 13 organizations across the... read more
USDA Announces Investments to Increase Economic Activity in Rural Areas and on Native Lands: Funds will help capitalize rural businesses and create jobs in economically distressed communities
Vermont Council on Rural Development has been awarded a Rural Business Opportunity Grant of $100,000 from USDA Rural Development to bring community leaders together to identify their towns' strengths and challenges, and determine action items and... read more
Cambridge Community Visit Day - September 30
On Tuesday, September 30, all members of the Cambridge community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders who... read more
For Some Vermonters, A Lack Of Knowledge Is The Barrier To Getting Online
By Steve Zind. Listen to the story here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/some-vermonters-lack-knowledge-barrier-getti... ------------------ Much has been made of Vermont’s efforts to extend broadband service to every resident. But the service isn’t... read more
Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of the Vermont Digital Economy Summit at State House Sept. 23
Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of the Vermont Digital Economy a summit convening produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) will be held at the Vermont State House on Tuesday, September 23. The event will highlight the... read more
Getting There & Parking
Check-in opens at 8:00 a.m. in the House Lobby with coffee and muffins available for conference participants in the Cafeteria. The Summit will start promptly at 9:00 in the House Chamber. With over 300 people coming, we recommend that you come early... read more
Working Lands Supporters
Thanks to the funders for their support of our Working Lands Initiative: Cabot Creamery Cooperative Castanea Foundation, Inc. Cellars at Jasper Hill David Blittersdorf Family Foundation Davis Conservation Foundation The High Meadows Fund of... read more
Vergennes Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vergennes. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Improve Transportation & Parking; Advance the Vergennes Economy & Expand the... read more
Vergennes residents rank community priorities
Vergennes — Over 100 Vergennes residents gathered in a community meeting last week to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for action. At the Community Meeting participants... read more
VCRD and IBM partner for a more resilient Vermont
Final IBM disaster preparedness workshop with the Vermont FoodBank wraps up $150,000 IBM grant MONTPELIER - On Thursday, June 5th, IBM specialists will deliver a disaster preparedness workshop to Vermont FoodBank members from flood-prone... read more
Vergennes dedicates Task Forces to address priorities; Resource Meeting May 21 to build action steps
On April 16, over 100 Vergennes community members gathered in a community meeting to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for action. At the Community Meeting participants... read more
Video ~ Info about the upcoming Vergennes Community Meeting Day
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is facilitating a Community Visit process in the City of Vergennes that helps area residents discuss, set, and then implement common goals for the future of the city. On Wednesday, April 16th, VCRD will... read more
Vergennes To Set New Community Priorities on April 16th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is facilitating a Community Visit process in the City of Vergennes that helps area residents discuss, set, and then implement common goals for the future of the city. Vergennes, Vermont’s smallest city and... read more
Vergennes Community Visit Day - March 18th
On Tuesday, March 18th, all members of the Vergennes community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders who... read more
Press Release: New Working Landscape Coalition Pushing for Farm and Forest Funding
December 19, 2012 ~ The Vermont Council on Rural Development announced today that a new leadership team has formed to advance Vermont’s working landscape by supporting state investments through the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB)... read more
Manchester Community Visit
There was so much to reflect on following last week's Community Visit organized by a local group of community leaders and the Vermont Council on Rural Development that it's hard to know where to start. So we'll start from the beginning. First, the... read more
Community Visitors return
MANCHESTER, Andrew McKeever - The time is approaching for Community Visit, the sequel. Three weeks ago more than 300 area residents converged on four locations across town to take part in one or more community forums and discussions on issues... read more
Manchester sets four community priorities
MANCHESTER — At the second public session for Manchester’s community visit, the community narrowed down a list of goals to four priorities for improving the town’s draw for tourists, economic future and educational opportunities. By the end of the... read more
Video ~ Vermont's Working Landscape: Keeping it Vital
VWLP’s video, Vermont’s Working Landscape: Keeping it Vital, looks at the difficulties facing our farm and forest economy as well as the opportunities the state can pursue to reverse alarming trends. Narrated by Chris Graff with original music... read more
Vermont Working Landscape Partnership press conference, January 11, 2012
Several Vermont lawmakers and advocates announced the introduction of the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill on Wednesday morning in the Vermont statehouse. After a presentation to the Rural Economic Development Caucus, representatives... read more
Video on CAT-TV: Bennington Community Visit
Paul Costello and Joe Krawczyk talk about the upcoming community visit process that kicks on on March 15 in Bennington.
Video ~ Reps testify on H.496 before the House Appropriations Committee 3/27/12
   Vermont Reps. Carolyn Partridge and Will Stevens testify on H.496, the Working Landscape Enterprise Investment Bill, before the House Appropriations Committee.
Video ~ VT Working Lands Bill Signing Ceremony
May 15, 2012 - Chuck Ross, VT Agriculture Secretary, and Paul Costello, Executive Director of the VT Council on Rural Development, speak at the signing of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill. Governor Peter Shumlin signs the bill.
Video ~ Vermont Countryside interview about the Working Landscape Initiative
A Vermont Countryside show featuring Representative Will Stevens and Paul Costello from the Working Landscape Partnership will be broadcast on public access TV in Vermont at the end of November and early December... But you can see it here in the... read more
Video ~ Summit on the Future of Vermont's Working Landscape
Thanks to Orca Media for filming the Summit sessions that took place in Judd Hall and making the video available online. The day is broken out into 4 videos: Part 1 ~ Introductions and welcoming remarks by: Paul Costello, Phil Conroy, Chuck Ross,... read more
Snapshot of Community Projects as a Result of a VCRD Community Visit
Snapshot of Community Projects as a Result of a VCRD Community Visit Almost all towns have built community spirit and engaged new volunteers. Projects have been advanced and accomplished ranging from a town merger in Richford, to building a senior... read more
About the Community Visit Program
How does a Community Visit work? VCRD’s Community Visit program actively connects grassroots community building efforts in towns across Vermont with state-wide resources, expertise and opportunities. Each Visit brings together a broad mix of... read more
Video ~ Working on Vermont's working landscape
Visit this link to watch the news story on the WCAX website.
Securing the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape
By Jeremy Carter, The Bridge: http://www.montpelierbridge.com/2014/01/securing-the-future-of-vermonts-... On December 17, 2013, temperatures plummeted, snow plastered the streets and schools closed. And yet, inside Vermont Technical College in... read more
Act 142: Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill
The Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill turned the recommendations in the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership’s Action Plan into legislative language for consideration by Vermont lawmakers in the spring of 2012. The bill (S.246 and H.... read more
Working Lands Coalition
The Working Lands Coalition members have joined together to support farm, forest and value‐added development for the future by systematically encouraging significant additional public investment in the Working Lands Enterprise Fund (WLEF). The... read more
Working Lands In Action
We are actively working to promote the growth of the WLEF fund through the Working Lands Coalition, which we convened to support continued public funding for farm and forest enterprises, with a goal of $15M which will be transformational for Vermont... read more
Support Us
VCRD works throughout Vermont, providing avenues for public discussion and action on issues important to Vermonters. Through program and policy initiatives, we are working to strengthen communities, develop local leadership, and advance rural... read more
Guilford Task Force Groups are Forming December 4th
At the “Guilford Community Meeting” on November 12, over 80 residents worked to consider key priorities for the future of Guilford. The priorities that residents identified include: Redevelop the Grange Building; Develop Small Business Incubation... read more
Food systems proposal crucial
Editorial by Emerson Lynn, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/ Vermont is not flush with products or services that lend themselves to national brands of any significant scale. We have neither the population nor the central location to... read more
Take a Tour of Working Lands
1. Start your tour of Vermont's rural renaissance with this video of a few of the 2013 Working Lands Enterprise Fund grant awardees sharing their stories and vision. And update from February 2016: see how WLEB has helped working lands... read more
Town looks at creating wi-fi 'hot spot' at Broad Brook Grange
By John Snyder/The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=8797&page=1#.... GUILFORD—The Selectboard said it is on the fence about whether to invest in a public Internet wireless “hotspot” at Broad Brook Grange, and... read more
Conference Focuses on Financing Working Lands
Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/conference-focuses-financing-working-lands According to those working to improve farming and forestry opportunities in Vermont, the state is experiencing a renaissance.  There’s an influx of... read more
Join the Working Landscape Partnership
It is time for action to ensure the future of Vermont’s working landscape. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites both individuals and organizations/businesses to join the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership (VWLP). See who has... read more
Is Vermont's Front Porch Forum Moderating Civil Discussion — or Censoring Free Speech?
Written by Kathryn Flagg of Seven Days: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/is-vermonts-front-porch-forum-moderat... Imagine this: A South Burlington resident posts an offhand remark on his neighborhood Front Porch Forum about killing “some useless... read more
Front Porch Forum expands to every Vermont town
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and Front Porch Forum (FPF) jointly announce today that Front Porch Forum has expanded and is now available statewide in every Vermont town and neighborhood. Today’s announcement is made possible after... read more
Immigration Reform, Obamacare, The Economy: Just A Few Things Companies Like Facebook, Google And Much Smaller Businesses Want Resolved
By Laura Matthews - Paul Costello was interviewed for this piece on the current state of the U.S. economy. Here's an excerpt from middle of the article where he was quoted: By comparison, Vermont, less than 200 miles away from the Maine border,... read more
Vermont’s Forest Economy: Advancing Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Value-Added Forest Products
Report of the 35th Grafton Conference. Produced by the Windham Foundation and facilitated by VCRD. On August 14 and 15, 2013, a few dozen leaders in the forest products sector of Vermont gathered at the Grafton Inn for a Windham Foundation... read more
The Northeast Kingdom growth surge
Commentary by John McClaughry On June 15 some 120 people from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom came together for a session at Lake Region High School on “building action to advance the health and prosperity of NEK communities while maintaining their... read more
Bennington’s First Fridays back on track for July
BENNINGTON -- Throughout the summer season and into October, Downtown Bennington will hold "First Friday" celebrations on the first Friday of every month. The concept for Bennington’s First Fridays stemmed from a Vermont Council on Rural... read more
Grants for local apple, meat-cutting projects aims to fuel local foods movement
ADDISON COUNTY — Nearly $100,000 in grants to two local apple operations announced last week, plus additional grants supporting meat-cutting and composting efforts, aim to help businesses cultivating the local foods market. Ultimately, the awards... read more
2013 Working Lands grants awarded
MONTPELIER — The state has announced $750,000 in grants as part of its Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. The grants for service providers as well as capital and infrastructure were given as part of the first round of grants in those categories.... read more
Windham County rakes in big grants
BRATTLEBORO -- Windham County's agricultural business community got a big boost Tuesday when the latest recipients of the state's Working Lands Enterprise Fund were announced. More than $750,000 in grants were given out to 16 grantees at a... read more
Gov. Shumlin announces final 16 grantees of the 2013 Working Lands Fund
MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Chuck Ross, Commerce & Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller, Forests, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder and the Working Lands Enterprise Board... read more
Working Lands awards $750,000 in 2013 grants
Vermonters in the forestry and agriculture sectors got a helping hand from the state on Tuesday. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative awarded 16 local businesses a total of $750,000 in grant money at an event at Beaver Brook Farm in Marshfield,... read more
Vermont fine furniture company receives $100,000 working lands grant award
Vermont Woods Studios online fine furniture to be awarded a $100,000 working lands Grant Award. The Vermont Woods Studios was selected to receive a $100,000 grant to be used to complete the construction and landscaping of Stonehurst, their Vermont... read more
Vermont’s first economic summit takes on perception problem
Joseph Fusco, VCRD board member and vice president of Casella Waste Systems, on a panel at the state’s first economic summit, June 3, 2013. Photo by Anne Galloway. by Anne Galloway | June 4, 2013 | http://vtdigger.org/2013/06/04/vermonts-first-... read more
Morrisville Food Co-op to hold meeting
The Morrisville Food Co-op (MoCo) Task Force is holding a community meeting, “Community Engagement 2013,” on June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, to launch its member/ownership pledge drive and talk about the next steps in... read more
Community sets action steps
MANCHESTER - Tuesday night marked the final of three meetings in Manchester's 2020 Community Visit series. The gathering brought the community back together to focus on their four defined priorities - developing a small business incubator, becoming... read more
Compendium of press for the first round of working lands grants
On Wednesday May 2nd the Working Lands Enterprise Board announced the first farm and forest enterprises to receive grant funds made available through funds build through Act 142 last year. Here are a some articles about the awardees: Grants to fund... read more
Gov. Shumlin announces 20 grantees of Working Lands Enterprise
MONTPELIER, 5/2/13 – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, Forest, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder and the Working Lands Enterprise Board today announced the first round of grant recipients from the “Enterprise... read more
Video ~ Michael Wood-Lewis founder of Front Porch Forum on City Room with Steven Pappas
With support from VCRD's Vermont Digital Economy Project, Front Porch Forum is now in every Vermont town. FPF Founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, talks with Steven Pappas of City Room. City Room with Steve Pappas, Michael Wood-Lewis founder of Front Porch... read more
Working Lands Enterprises are Growing Throughout the State
The Working Lands Enterprise Board received a total of 387 applications for the three investment areas, for a total requested amount of $11,569,397. Some examples of requests include processing equipment, facility upgrades and expansions, marketing... read more
Manchester explores its future
MANCHESTER -- On the one hand, challenges - youth emigration; lack of nightlife; a need for more regional transportation; more integrated communication. On the other hand, opportunities - beautiful natural scenery; a vibrant arts and cultural scene... read more
Focusing on opportunities, challenges
MANCHESTER - More than 300 people from Manchester and the surrounding area participated in nine different discussions on Monday, part of a "Community Visit" organized by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The nine topics of discussion around... read more
Community visit comes to Manchester today
MANCHESTER — Residents of Manchester are encouraged to come out today and take part in the Community Visit process by helping to set priorities for the town and bringing their views to discussions about what steps Manchester should take in the... read more
Vermont Lawmakers Support Working Lands Investment: Five million per year for three years will build a strong working lands economy
MONTPELIER, VT – A coalition of lawmakers today delivered a “Dear Colleague” letter to the Vermont House and Senate Appropriations Committees, in support of the “five-by-three” investment for the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. The 66 legislators... read more
Working landscape groups look for $15 million boost over three years
by Andrew Stein | vtdigger.org | February 14, 2013 Vermont agriculture, forestry and conservation groups are asking the Legislature to set aside $5 million annually over the next three years to fund forestry and agricultural enterprises. The... read more
A tale of three cities
By Tara Kelly, in A Weekly Column from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link Lately, I’ve been thinking about the communities I’ve lived in and their relationships with local food and agriculture. Growing up in the Boston area during the 70’s and 80... read more
After a busy couple of years, what's next for Manchester?
Manchester Journal, 01/23/13 ~ One Roundabout. Check. A Park House. Check. New Visitor's Center. New streetlights, refurbished Adams Park, plus a new parking lot for a historic district. Town wifi - at least for a downtown sliver. Check, check check... read more
184 agriculture entrepreneurs vie for slices of “working lands” pie
Pent up demand for investment capital among agriculture entrepreneurs has sparked a massive response to the inaugural “Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.” As part of an attempt to fuel a “renaissance” of the ag economy, lawmakers last year... read more
Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Receives $9 million in Request for Funds
Media Advisory, January 18, 2013 ~ The Working Lands Enterprise Board solicited Letters of Intent (LOI) for two of three investment areas (Capital & Infrastructure, and Service Providers) and received 184 applications, for a total request of... read more
'Community Visit' in the works
MANCHESTER - Sometime in early 2013, the Town of Manchester will participate in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's "Community Visit Program," an initiative geared towards connecting community building efforts in Vermont towns with state-wide... read more
Press Release: New Working Landscape Coalition Pushing for Farm and Forest Funding
December 19, 2012 ~ The Vermont Council on Rural Development announced today that a new leadership team has formed to advance Vermont’s working landscape by supporting state investments through the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB)... read more
Farm and Forestry Interests to Seek Greater State Investment
By Pat Bradley ~ click here to listen to the broadcast A coalition of groups plans to lobby the Vermont Legislature in the upcoming session for additional funding for infrastructure investments in the state’s farm and forest sectors. The Vermont... read more
Rutland Creek Path gets $295K
In 2006, VCRD brought its Creative Communities program to Rutland. Rutland community members embraced the concepts and remain committed and energized as they continue to advance projects designed to make Rutland a more dynamic, exciting, and fun... read more
Update on Bennington's "Downtown as a Destination" project
Members of the "Downtown as a Destination” task force have been meeting since it's formation through the VCRD Community Visit process in 2012. John Shannahan, chair of the committee, reports some progress being made: For those who have been... read more
VISTA volunteers to work with local community
BENNINGTON -- A pair of volunteers from a federal program will be attached to the local hospital for the next year, working with youth to address poverty and nutrition in the Bennington area. ...one thing the students may help with is the expansion... read more
Planning Commission Welcomes Agripreneurs to Hinesburg
Here's an email update we received from a member of the Hinesburg Planning Commission. Paul, Keep up the forward progress on the Working Landscape Partnership! I thought you might like to hear about one of your success stories in progress.... read more
Governor Shumlin announces $1.9 million in community development grants: New jobs, affordable homes, and downtown revitalization will result
MORRISTOWN, Vt. — Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the former Arthur’s department store, a landmark building in the center of Morristown, will be renovated into new commercial space and affordable apartments with the help of a $600,000 grant... read more
"Success for All Vermont Students” Governor Shumlin’s Workshop on Education ~ Report Available
The Governor’s Workshop on Education, held June 12 and 13 at the Grafton Inn, was designed for the Administration and partners to explore key policy ideas to improve Vermont’s Pre K‐12 education system, to develop a comprehensive and coordinated... read more
Downtown Morristown battles setbacks
By Lisa McCormack Last summer, it seemed downtown Morristown was about to experience a renaissance. • Two affordable-housing agencies signed a contract to buy and renovate three empty buildings that had housed Arthur’s Department Store. Shops,... read more
Work begins on goals set through community planning meetings
BENNINGTON -- Local residents began working Wednesday toward four community goals identified last month as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit program. Nearly 100 people attended Wednesday's "resource meeting," which... read more
Working Lands Bill Moving toward Enactment: Governor expected to sign bill Tuesday afternoon
MONTPELIER, VT – Legislators gave final approval to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496) in the final days of the session, and sent the bill to the Governor’s desk. Governor Shumlin is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday in St.... read more
Natural resources: 'It was a pretty good year for the environment'
Candace Page of the Burlington Free Press (www.burlingtonfreepress.com) interviewed Brian Shupe, Executive Director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council. He discusses the working landscape effort as well as other efforts they have been involved... read more
Tom Slayton Commentary: Working landscape is our signature
I believe that the working landscape of Vermont — that familiar tapestry of farm fields, forests, small cities and compact villages — is vital to the future of Vermont, and is endangered. The working landscape is part of the signature of our state... read more
Landscape at work
The passage of a bill this year to boost farm and forest enterprise says something about the pervasive and enduring commitment of Vermonters to the rural character of their state. The bill was the product of extensive work by the Council on Rural... read more
Vt. Senate Passes 'Working Lands' Bill
The Vermont Senate has passed a bill designed to jump start farm and forestry projects. The "working lands" bill sets up a board that will oversee a fund to promote agriculture and forest ventures. Senate President pro tem John Campbell says he... read more
Food and Agriculture: The ‘Value-Added’ Buzz: Our Farms, Our Food
By Josey HastingsThe Herald of Randolph The Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill, the result of a year’s work by the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership, seeks to create a fund to award grants and loans to start-up businesses making value-... read more
Costello Commentary: Support funding for Vermont Working Lands
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, which is coordinating the work of the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership. Right now, Vermont has an opportunity to build a new,... read more
Vermont Senate approves working landscape bill
BENNINGTON -- The Vermont Senate gave final approval Monday to a bill that proponents say will enhance the state’s farming and forest industries. The Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill, which aims to boost agriculture and small businesses and... read more
Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill Approved by Vermont Senate
House & Senate will work to resolve minor differences and agree to funding amount MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Senate gave preliminary approval to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496) on Friday afternoon. A final vote on the... read more
Letter to the editor: Applause for the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill
Thank you, Mike Yantachka, for voting in favor of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill (H.496). Charlotte is blessed with some of the most fertile land in all of Vermont. Before moving to Charlotte in 2008, I gardened in a small lot at my... read more
Stuart Hurd column: Communitywide efforts exerpt
On April 12, I attended the Community Day follow-up meeting. More than 100 people came to the Fire Facility to participate in the formulation of tasks/ideas important to the community. Rather than focus this discussion on the four ultimately... read more
Slayton commentary: Working landscape is Vermont’s signature
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Tom Slayton, a journalist, writer, radio commentator, and retired editor of Vermont Life Magazine, who lives in Montpelier. I believe that the working landscape of Vermont – that familiar tapestry of farm fields,... read more
Hey, let's do them all!
It is too bad the community planning initiative Bennington is undertaking with help from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the many state officials and experts the process will bring to town, couldn't pursue all of the excellent ideas... read more
Bennington community defines goals
BENNINGTON -- Residents winnowed more than 20 potential action statements down to four Thursday evening with the help of the Vermont Council on Rural Development as part of that group's ongoing Community Visit Program. The group held nine community... read more
Stevens commentary: Working Lands bill is sound policy
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Rep. Will Stevens, an independent from Shoreham who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. He and his wife own Golden Russet Farm. I’ve often been asked, “What’s so special about the Working Lands bill (H.... read more
Audio: Paul Costello testimony in the Senate Ag Committee
Listen to Paul Costello share his perspectives on the Working Land Enterprise Bill with the Senate Agriculture Committee: http://www.action-circles.com/wl/paulcostelloagcmteapril2012.mp3.
Scott Buckingham commentary ~ My turn: Growing our future economy
Vermont has an extraordinary and growing wealth of talent, energy, and entrepreneurial interest in its agricultural and forest products sectors. With the state's working lands economy at a turning point, a flood of interest from young entrepreneurs... read more
2012 Doyle Town Meeting Day survey results
The 2012 Doyle Town Meeting Day survey results are in and show that 89% of Vermonters believe that the state should continue to support our working farms and forests. Click here to see all the results.
Bills target working lands for economic development assistance
The following article was published in the April/May 2012 Vermont Property Owners Report. (Reproduced here with permission) It has become common for states, including Vermont, to compete for jobs and economic development by offering potential... read more
House Supports Bill To Preserve Working Landscape
Vermont Public Radio ~ (Host) The House has given its strong support to legislation that's designed to provide opportunities to strengthen the state's agricultural sector. The legislation allocates just over $2 million to help launch new businesses... read more
Letter to the Editor: Support our working landscape
SANDGATE ~ If you love the beautiful setting of Vermont, with its rolling farmlands graced with forested backdrops of the Green Mountains or Taconic Range, then thank a farmer, a forester or a logger. These hardworking folks with sore backs and... read more
Commentary: This is the town's big chance
BENNINGTON ~ I have heard the voice of Bennington, and there is reason for hope. The Vermont Council on Rural Development paid us a visit recently. They held forums to stimulate a discussion on how to improve our community. What was said there was... read more
Side Dishes: Morristown gains ground for a co-op
Lamoille County is home to 375 farms — according to the DC-based Environmental Working Group — and not one food co-op. Residents seeking to own a stake in their farm-fresh food have to purchase a CSA, or head to co-ops in Hardwick or Montpelier.... read more
Fairfield resident posts on FPF about positive outcome of VCRD's Community Visit process
Here's a recent post on Fairfield's Front Porch Forum. A nice mention of VCRD's recent Community Visit process there and some of the progress made in the communications priority: Hi Fairfield! As someone in town (maybe one of a small few) who... read more
A good start with forums: Now, let's build on that
Bennington residents turned out in impressive numbers Thursday afternoon and evening for nine community forums to offer suggestions and comments on broad topics for possible initiatives that would benefit the town. Those residents and others, and... read more
Bennington speaks out at community forums
BENNINGTON, NEAL P. GOSWAMI, Staff Writer -- Local officials and residents fanned out in force in nine separate forums Thursday as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's community visit program aimed at jump-starting discussion on a... read more
Community-wide planning effort to launch
Friday February 24, 2012: KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer BENNINGTON -- If other towns are any indication, some changes and new initiatives could be coming to Bennington in the near future. On March 15, there will be a Community Visit Meeting... read more
Working lands bill unanimously supported by House Agriculture
House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill MONTPELIER, VT—The Vermont House Agriculture committee gave their unanimous support to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496) Thursday morning with an 11-0 vote. The... read more
House Agriculture Committee just says ‘yes’ to working lands bill
MONTPELIER– Remember that “working lands” bill we wrote about a while back? Since then the House and Senate Agriculture committees have taken weeks of testimony on legislation that would create a board that would give out grants and loans, help... read more
Letter to the editor: Benefits us all
Letter to the editor of the Times Argus by Dan Breslaw of West Corinth: I hear a lot of arguments over whether the government or the private sector should be planning our future. What I like best about the Working Landscape bill now before the... read more
Press Release: House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill Moves Forward House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill MONTPELIER, VT—The Vermont House Agriculture committee gave their unanimous support to the Working Lands Enterprise... read more
Letter to the editor: Support Working Lands bill
Audrey Famette of Montpelier, submitted her letter to the editor of the Bridge. Click here to read it.
Letter to the editor: League of Women Voters
02/20/12 ~ Support working lands bill. The League of Women Voters of Vermont supports the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill (H.496/S.246). The League recognizes that some land-use decisions are of statewide concern and believes that the... read more
Letter to the editor: Nancy Wayne Jaffe
Shelburne resident, Nancy Wayne Jaffe, writes in support of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill. Click here to read her letter to the editor of the Shelburne News.
Letter to the editor: Protecting our resources
Ruth Wallman, Executive Director of the Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce, wrote a letter to the St. Albans Messenger in support of the Working Land Enterprise bill. Click here to read her letter to the editor.
Leaving RutVegas: A blue-collar city reinvents itself — and refutes its reputation
“Let’s talk about RutVegas.” Jim Sabataso is sitting at a small table in Café Terra, “Rutland’s best coffee shop” — and only one, he admits. Sabataso is 28 years old, bearded and friendly. His family goes back a long time in these parts: His great-... read more
Video ~ Rep. Stevens at the Rural Economic Development Caucus, 1/25/12
Representative Will Stevens presenting to the Rural Economic Development Caucus on January 25, 2012 on the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill:
Vt. bill would promote value-added ag, forestry
New Vermont legislation that appears to have broad support seeks to promote turning milk into cheese, apples into cider and trees into furniture as keys to keeping the state's working landscape of farms and forests vital to its economic future. The... read more
Vermont bill looks to move more businesses beyond raw materials
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Turning milk into cheese, apples into cider and trees into furniture are the keys to keeping Vermont's working landscape vital in the future. That's the idea behind a bill introduced Wednesday by a group of lawmakers and the... read more
Best of both worlds: Protecting Vt, adding jobs
(1/10/12) MONTPELIER — In an effort to preserve the character of Vermont’s rural landscape and create jobs, the Vermont Council on Rural Development will tout legislation this week that it says would do both. The council is the force behind a bill... read more
Council wants to know Bennington’s goals
BENNINGTON -- The Council on Rural Development is planning to bring its Community Visit Program to Bennington to help residents identify and achieve goals for the town. Executive Director Paul Costello said an initial steering committee is being put... read more
'The Blood in this Town' screens on Capitol Hill Thursday
“The Blood in This Town,” the documentary about Rutland, Vermont’s grassroots efforts to revitalize itself, travels to Capitol Hill this week for a screening and revitalization forum, bringing the plight and promise of America’s ailing small towns... read more
Animation of Vermont dairy cows being rescued during tropical storm Irene
A former Vermonter now living in Brooklyn--Isaac Littlejohn Eddy-produced this animated short for TIME.com It captures how floods from Tropical Storm Irene threatened the dairy cows at Vermont's Liberty Hill Farm, their dramatic rescue, and the... read more
Task forces get to work on Morristown’s future
By next summer, Morristown could boast bustling storefronts, a local-foods co-op, emerging small businesses, and a recreation trail system that attracts both tourists and locals. Nearly 80 citizens are working to make those goals happen. Earlier... read more
New Projects Galvanize Morrisville Leadership
Morristown community and municipal leaders are working together on four projects identified this spring to energize the economy, improve the downtown, and advance Morrisville as a dynamic place to live and do business in the future. The Vermont... read more
Vermont town's blood drive, film draw notice
RUTLAND, Vt. — When documentary filmmaker Art Jones and his five-man crew set out from New York to shoot footage of a blood drive in a small Vermont city, he did it to satisfy an old friend, one of the organizers. Jones figured it might make a nice... read more
Morristown residents set priorities for town's future
MORRISTOWN ~ Morristown residents want to fill empty downtown storefronts, promote local foods, make the town much friendlier to pedestrians, and support new and growing small businesses. Next month, some of Vermont’s top economic-development... read more
Rutland Takes a Bow
RUTLAND ~ May 16, 2011. VCRD's Paul Costello hosted a morning session at the Vermont Business for Social Responsibility's annual meeting. There he pointed to Rutland's successful efforts since VCRD's creative economy program there, including the... read more
Morristown Selects Top Four Priorities
MORRISTOWN – About 150 people turned out for the second of a series of meetings hosted by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), and as a result the top four priorities for action in Morristown have been chosen. The Morristown community... read more
Community visit could spark change for Morristown
Would there be enough customers to support a natural-food co-op in Morristown? How could the town draw business from the thousands of tourists who visit Stowe and Smugglers' Notch every year? Those were just a couple of the issues on the table... read more
Downtown Morrisville has vacant look
This article points out the effects of the economic downturn on Morrisville and points to ways the community is addressing the problems there, including our upcoming Community Visit process to begin in March 2011 and the e-Vermont Community... read more
Summit on the Future of Vermont Report - 2009
The 2009 VCRD Summit on the Future of Vermont marked a watershed point. It served as the official “report out” to Vermonters on the findings of the Council on the Future of Vermont. It turned their findings into a challenge to Vermonters, and... read more
“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 “... read more