October 12, 2012

On September 27th Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, issued the following statement in response to news from Washington that the House of Representatives will not vote on the bill’s expiration on September 30, 2012: I am very disappointed to learn Congress will not vote on a new Farm Bill until after the November elections. Our Congressional delegation from Vermont worked diligently to advance a new Farm Bill, as well as an extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC), but their efforts were not supported. Without a new bill, or an extension of the current bill, or some interim provisions from Congress, our farmers, particularly in the dairy sector, are left in a precarious position. MILC will expire with the current Farm Bill on September 30th. The dairy community relies on this safety net, which is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), when milk prices plummet. This Congressional stalemate is yet another threat to our dairy industry here in Vermont, and across the nation. I would like to thank Senator Leahy and Representative Welch who, with the strong support of Senator Sanders, worked hard to move a new Farm Bill forward. Our Congressional delegation continues to be a strong, consistent advocate for farmers in Vermont, and nationwide. It is my hope that, with the leadership provided by our delegation, Congress will pass a Farm Bill in the near future.

September 28, 2012

Originally a flatlander from Southwest CT, Noelle has made her way to Vermont and is calling it “home”. In 2008, Noelle received a BS in Global Business and Management from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. For a short time she worked at a web company and focused on social-media marketing, but decided to migrate north in order to attend grad school. This spring, Noelle completed her MS in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. Her focus was on “Farm to Institution” marketing, studying the supply chain of mid-sized produce farmers in VT, and identifying gaps, barriers, and opportunities in order to expand their market to VT institutions, such as hospitals, correctional facilities, colleges, universities and senior centers. Thesis research took her throughout the state, as she interviewed farmers, distributors, and institutions. Not surprisingly, in the process, she fell in love with Vermont’s scenery, economy, and culture. Noelle has decided to stick around in hopes of being called a “local” one day.Noelle loves running and, with her deep love of the outdoors, is a four season runner with her yellow lab, Jack. She can also be found on the ski slopes, hiking Camel’s Hump, or out on a Friday nights listening to live music. Regarding her new role at VAAFM as an Agricultural Development Coordinator, Sevoian says, “I am so excited to be here. Everyone is extremely welcoming, and being part of the Working Lands Initiative is something I am proud of. I am ready to work hard with my team to see this initiative succeed.”