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
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.