Rural Vermont works on tough and often controversial issues in a fight to change the system for family farmers and rural communities, in Vermont and beyond. They have traveled many of the same roads as Farm Aid over the past 30 years—including sending a large delegation of Vermont farmers to the United Farmers and Ranchers Congress, organized by Farm Aid in St. Louis in 1986. This life-changing experience gave Rural Vermont’s delegates a chance to meet other family farmers from around the country who were facing many of the same struggles. Energized by this solidarity, they returned to Vermont feeling more powerful and more able to fight for their rights.
More recently Rural Vermont began sharing the stories of a new generation of farmers through storytelling events that illustrate farmers’ struggles and successes to the public. Such events inspire support for farmers and agricultural policies that are fair for everyone.
Rural Vermont says, “The generous grants we have received [from Farm Aid] over three decades have, most importantly, enabled us to grow our grassroots leadership of farmers and activists who, in turn, have helped Vermont become a national leader in the good food movement.” These types of grants are crucial to the organization’s success: “In a world where resources for this kind of work are increasingly scarce, and many funders choose to play it safe, Farm Aid’s willingness to be bold and put the needs of family farmers in the spotlight is exceptional.”