In the 2021 Legislative Session, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 49 which repealed the Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council (VPAC) and replaced it with the Agricultural Innovation Board (AIB). VPAC was established in 1986 under the Kunin administration as an inter-agency council to reduce pesticide usage in the state. Since that time, pesticide issues have become more far-reaching and require a more diverse set of expertise for analysis. The idea behind the AIB is to create a more holistic approach to pesticide management and policymaking in the state. Pesticides and the impacts of their use must be analyzed in a broader health and environmental context.
VPAC was officially disbanded and replaced by the AIB on January 1, 2022. All previous materials from VPAC can be found here.
AIB Legislative Charges
- Review historic recommendations for pesticide reduction in the State and coordinate with existing work groups to avoid submitting to the General Assembly conflicting policy recommendations on the regulation of pesticides and farming.
- Recommend practices that reduce the use of and exposure to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in order to protect soil biology, human health, and environmental health, including recommended targets to achieve the State goal of an overall reduction in the use of pesticides consistent with sound pest or vegetative management practices
- Advise the executive branch and the general assembly with respect to legislation concerning the use of agricultural pest control measures and integrated pest management.
- Recommend to the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets policies, proposed rules or legislation for the regulation of the use of treated articles when the Board determines that the use of a treated article will have a hazardous or long-term deleterious effect on the environment in Vermont, presents a likely risk to human health or is dangerous.
- Recommend practices to reduce the use and generation of waste associated with plastic in farming.
- Incentivize farming practices that are looking to reduce the use and dependence on pesticides in their practices.
- Advise the Agency with regard to the regulation of plant biostimulants.
- Recommend studies necessary for the performance of its functions as established under this section.
- Explore methods and standards for transitioning farmers to practices that reduce pesticide usage.
- Explore methods and standards for farmers to engage in carbon sequestration or mitigation.
- Review the seed traits of a new genetically engineered seed proposed for sale, distribution, or use in the State.
- Study and issue recommendations regarding the feasibility of the use of biodegradable plastics in agriculture and the promotion of the use of and production of biodegradable plastics and similar products in Vermont.
The group will work together to examine the aforementioned charges and report findings, as well as policy recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and to the Legislature through an annual report. This report will be submitted by January 15th of every year.
- The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or Designee
- An active farmer who is a member of an organization representing the organic farming community
- A member from the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
- The Director of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Agrichemical Program or Designee
- The Director of the Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Water Quality Program or Designee
- The Commissioner of Health or a designee with expertise in the effects of pesticides on human health
- The Secretary of Natural Resources or Designee
- A certified crop consultant
- An active farmer who is a member of an organization representing the conventional dairy industry in Vermont
- An active farmer who is a member of an organization representing fruit or vegetable farmers in Vermont
- An active farmer who is a member of an organization representing grass-based, non-dairy livestock farming in Vermont
- A soil biologist