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

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

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

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

Creative Communities Reports - 2008

Meeting focusses on Vermont's future

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

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


Maintaining balance

For more than a year, the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV) has been going around the state listening to Vermonters and striking up a dialogue on where we are, where we are going and the forces that will shape our future.

The Windham County meeting will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in Brattleboro. Just in time for the Brattleboro session is news of a new survey by CFV, the Vermont Council on Rural Development and the University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies.

Editorial: Working landscape for past and present

We Vermonters like our beautiful state, but think it is getting harder to afford to live here.

The Council on the Future of Vermont asked hundreds of Vermonters about their values and concerns and that's what they said. Among values, "I value the working landscape and its heritage" was tops with 97.2 percent of respondents saying they agree with the statement. For concerns, "The increasing costs of living, such as transportation, heating and electricity" came in first with 96.1 percent.

Shaping the future through art

Lyman Orton was putting together a 2006 art exhibition from his private collection, "Lost Vermont Images," when the work inspired him to look in another direction: Not back at the way Vermont was -- but forward to what it might be...The Vermont Council on Rural Development, through its program called Council on the Future of Vermont, will share with the selected artists the information it is gathering from Vermonters about issues that concern them.


Rising Cost of Living a Major Concern

Researchers at the University of Vermont released a survey Monday showing many residents share a common vision of their state ... Virtually all of those responding - 97 percent - said they value Vermont's "working landscape and its heritage" - a term researchers said refers to a strong agriculture and forestry economy. Ninety-four percent expressed pride in being from or living in Vermont. And 93 percent said they value the state's "spirit of independence."


Survey Tries to Pin Down Vermont Values

Politicians, business leaders, and the public often talk about "Vermont values." But what exactly are they? A new survey released Monday attempts to quantify those in a scientific way.

"The question is what are Vermonters' common values?" asked Sarah Waring of the Council on the Future of Vermont. "Do we still have values in common?"

The UVM Center for Rural Studies released a survey that showed there is more that unites Vermonters than divides them. The results were based on listening sessions in every Vermont county and a phone survey of 699 adults.

Burlington CFV Forums

For 45 seconds, no one in the small crowd seated in City Hall's Contois Auditorium clamored for a turn at the microphone Thursday evening. Paul Costello, director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, didn't look surprised. He repeated the questions: "What does Vermont mean to you? What common values do we share?" In advance of the forum, titled Conversations on the Future of Vermont, Costello said the council's statewide effort to gather and sort opinions never stalled for long.


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