June 4, 2018


           AG: FDA Rule Requiring 100% Pure Maple Products to Disclose “Added Sugar” is Confusing AG Offers New Web Tool Allowing Vermonters to Comment                                  

Flanked by maple producers at a Vermont sugarbush in Richmond, Attorney General T.J. Donovan called on the federal government to amend its proposed guidance on a rule that would require maple and honey producers to declare “added sugar” content on their labels – even for 100% pure single-ingredient products like maple and honey. Donovan said single-ingredient producers should be exempt, or have other options, when the new rule takes effect. And, he unveiled a new webpage that allows Vermonters to comment on the proposed rule and guidance.

“Today, we’re calling on the FDA to listen to Vermonters,” said Donovan. “I support clear and transparent labeling, and I support common sense. That is why I stand with Vermont’s sugarmakers to ask the FDA to amend its guidance so that consumers are not led to believe that anything is added to their 100% pure Vermont maple or honey products.”

The Attorney General sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb requesting the proposed guidance for maple, honey and certain cranberry products to include one or more of the following allowances:

  1. Exempt single-ingredient sugars like maple and honey; and/or
  2. Allow single-ingredient sugars like maple and honey to simply declare the amount of “total sugar” instead of using the term “added sugar”; and/or
  3. Allow single ingredient sugars like maple and honey to declare “0” or “N/A” (“not applicable”) in response to the “added sugar” labeling requirement.

Local sugarmakers turned out in support of the Attorney General’s initiative. “Sugarmakers all over Vermont work hard every spring to produce 100% pure maple syrup,” said Roger Brown of Slopeside Syrup, who hosted the Attorney General at its sugarbush in Richmond. “The idea that we would ‘add sugar’ to our syrup is, frankly, offensive,” he said. “Sugarmakers rely on clear labeling to underscore the purity of pure maple syrup as compared to knock-off imitations…  Labeling mandated by the FDA implying adulteration would be an unnecessary disaster.  Cheap, ubiquitous, highly processed corn syrup is an ongoing public health crisis.  Pure maple syrup is not,” said Brown.

Donovan also announced that his office has created a new webpage where Vermonters can go to comment on the proposed federal rules at:  “The only thing sweeter than 100% pure maple syrup is democracy,” said Donovan. “I encourage Vermonters to contact the FDA and tell them 100% pure means just that: nothing added.”

“Vermonters have stood behind maple for generations and sugarmakers need their support again,” said Brown. “Please tell the FDA what every Vermonter already knows - pure maple syrup has no added sugar.”

Donovan also invited FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to Vermont to meet local sugarmakers and sample Vermont’s 100% pure maple and honey products.                                                                                                  

CONTACT: Chris Curtis, 
Chief of Public Protection
802 828 5586
June 4, 2018

The latest edition of Agriview is now available online. The June 2018 edition includes articles on farming practices, the Food Safety Produce Rule, 2 wonderful recipes for veggie dips, and some special photography!  Find out about Creemee From A Cop and Clovers birthday at the Vermont Mountaineers during our Dairy Month celebration.  

If you'd like to subscribe to receive Agriview in your mailbox, click here.

June 4, 2018

Join the Champlain Valley Crops, Soil & Pasture Team to see a new grassland shallow slot manure injector in action.

FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2018

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Barnes Black & Whiteface Ranch - Bridport Ventures Farm

1176 Heitman Road, Bridport, VT 05734




  • Veenhuis Euroject 1200 grassland injector.
  • Dragline manure application.
  • Hicks Sales LLC (Vermont Veenhuis dealer) will be on hand to talk about this technology and other models available in the United States.
  • Eric Severy, Matthew's Trucking, will share his experience and expertise with manure injection and talk about how the equipment works and what situations might be best suited for it.
  • UVM Extension Agronomists will discuss the benefits of injection and how it can reduce runoff and increase yields.
  • Farmers will share their experience using other forms of manure injection.
  • Find out more about how to get this grassland injector on your farm.

DON'T FORGET TO RSVP: | 802-388-4969 x347

June 8, 2018

10:00 - 12:00

1176 Heitman Road, Bridport, VT 05734

Or contact Kirsten Workman if you have questions or want more information.   

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Karen Gallott at 802-388-4969 or 800-956-1125 by June 6, 2018.

June 1, 2018

June 1, 2018 / Montpelier VT. – As outdoor activities increase along with the warm weather, state officials and the Vermont Horse Council wish to spread a public safety message impacting all those using our roads; please share the road while riding and driving.

To help share this message, Vermont Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts teamed up to shoot a Public Safety Announcement to highlight the message’s importance to the public. 

The PSA can be viewed here

Vermont has a proud equine history.  From draft horses and the Morgan Horse to today’s equine community, horses are an important part of our state’s landscape.  This idea is the spirit of the new PSA, while recognizing that those who use our public roads must respect each other whenever they share the road.

“Horses and riders can be vulnerable on Vermont’s roads,” Commissioner Anderson said. “We’re asking drivers to be considerate and careful any time they encounter a horse. Slow down. Leave plenty of room. Don’t swerve. Together we can help all users of our roads stay safe.”

Currently, there are approximately 75,000 horses on Vermont’s farms and back roads.  The Vermont Horse Council hopes those who occasionally ride their horses on our roads can traverse in safety, while respecting those drivers they encounter.

“The Vermont Horse Council promotes safe horse and rider travel on our roadways by encouraging single file riding to the right, hand signals, and slow travel speed,” commented Carmel Stone of the Vermont Horse Council.  “This respect for drivers promotes safety for our horses and horse community, but we depend on our neighbors in cars to help us get to our destination safely.”

We encourage all Vermonters to view the PSA, and engage in safe travel practices for all who share the road.

May 31, 2018

Vince Foy loves farming.

For more than three decades Foy and his wife Debbie Yonkers have farmed the hilts in Caledonia County in the town of Danville. She may be biased but Debbie thinks her husband is a fantastic farmer.

"I really enjoying coming home. Every day and being able to come to this beautiful farm that he works every single day. Seven days a week," said Yonkers.

It's a routine that never gets old for Foy.

The Danville couple have dozens of animals from sheep to cows to pigs. It's all part of their diversified business.

The primary focus these days is selling meat, but it wasn't always this way. When they first started farming here they were a dairy, one of the first farms to transition to organic back in the 90's. While the milkers are now gone-part of their business plan includes boarding and raising organic heifers for other dairy farmers.

"These are finished calves for I draw them out of here for slaughter and these are dairy heifers-bred heifers all mixed by age," said Foy.

It's a business relationship that works for Foy and other farmers. Foy takes pride in finding niche markets that keep him close to the land. Over time Foy has built new barns and converted other structures to new uses.

Take the old milk house, it is now a retail store. Freezers loaded with food. From lamb to pork to beef. Loyal customers come to the farm each week and choose what they want to buy:

"We have stayed away from glass fronted freezers and all that expensive overhead," said Foy

Foy says it's a close relationship because the consumer knows exactly where their food is coming from and customers are supporting a fantastic farmer who is connected to the working landscape.

Foy has no plans of slowing down-always adapting and trying new things. He's also helping the next generation by working with a young farmer who just purchased a farm a few towns over in Wheelock.

A Fanastic Farmer who loves his family, animals, land and his community.