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About VCRD

Unleashing the power of Vermonters to create a better future!

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of Vermont's rural communities. VCRD is a dynamic partnership of federal, state, local, nonprofit and private partners. Actively non-partisan with an established reputation for community-based facilitation, VCRD is uniquely positioned to sponsor and coordinate collaborative efforts across governmental and organizational categories concerned with policy questions of rural import.

Since its inception in 1992, VCRD has built a profile of rural policy leadership that is grounded by work in local communities and extends to collaborative partnerships with the highest levels of state and federal programs.

Mission Statement

The Vermont Council on Rural Development helps Vermont citizens build prosperous and resilient communities through democratic engagement, marshalling resources, and collective action.


Our Vision for Vermont

VCRD works toward a future for Vermont in which its:

  • communities are healthy and resilient;
  • economy is innovative and vibrant;
  • citizens are engaged in community-building and governance, working closely with their neighbors;
  • communities attract youth, entrepreneurs, and healthy diversity;
  • young citizens are fully prepared to contribute to their communities and participate successfully in a changing economy;
  • rural character and open lands are conserved and managed productively and profitably;
  • communities, businesses and citizens prosper by designing and building economic solutions to climate change; and
  • communities serve as a models for other communities throughout rural America.

Our Vision for VCRD

We are a dynamic partnership of national, state, and local non-profit, government and business leaders that are positioned to initiate and inform local and statewide inquiries and strategies regarding the vital issues facing Vermont and its communities.

We build open dialogues that strengthen democracy, respect local leadership and decision-making, and honor the uniqueness of each Vermont community;

We convene nimble, open, and creative venues in which citizens feel empowered to contribute their dreams, goals and strategies for Vermont and their communities.

We act as an effective communicator, a strong voice for progress, and a dedicated proponent for community and economic development in Vermont.

We lead by identifying policy needs and priorities and we convene public and private leadership to catalyze strategic solutions and actions to advance them.

How We Work

From community centered initiatives that build upon local, citizen based efforts, to policy councils that build collaboration between state, federal, nonprofit, and private sector leaders, VCRD has designed and implemented highly effective programming to identify and address key issues that impact rural life. VCRD is a neutral, nonprofit organization that brings Vermonters together across political lines and organizational boundaries to advance rural community and economic development throughout the state.

VCRD has developed a portfolio of community and policy action that includes:

  • 21 years of town-by-town community development strategic planning;
  • 8 Governor's Summits retreats, 9 statewide Rural Summit conferences, 3 national Rural Policy convenings;
  • Policy council initiatives on agricultural viability, value added forest products development, the creative economy, the structure of the planning system, in-state energy development, the future of Vermont, advancing¬†the Vermont working landscape, and advancing Vermont's Climate Change Economy;
  • Strategic planning guidance to initiate creative economy plans in 12 cities and towns; and
  • Facilitating over 50 town-wide assessment and aggregation projects to acquire broadband access.

VCRD has built a reputation for integrity as a neutral, non-partisan mediator of public processes, setting the framework for decisions by communities and by policy leaders, that lead to direct and practical results in addressing fundamental challenges at the local and state level. For information about how VCRD can work with your community, contact us at 802-223-6091.