Vermont Farm Bureau
by Beverly McMullin, VHC Farm Bureau Liaison
The VFB, whose mission is "To Serve and Advance Vermont Agriculture", and the VHC "Creating a Unified Equine Voice", are complementary organizations which have worked hand in hand in various ways.
The Vermont Farm Bureau has been busy following the development of the Revised Accepted Agricultural Practices (RAAP's). The Department of Agriculture,Food and Markets has drafted revised Accepted Agricultural Practice to clearly improve the water quality of Lake Champlain. There has been a great amount of attention focused on the water quality problems during the last year. If the state does not succeed in improving the situation, the EPA could step in and mandate improvements. Of interest to small farms, including horse owners will be the definition of small farms and how the new rules might impact them.
The Bureau has also been monitoring the legislature's efforts to enact an Equine Equity bill which would exclude farm building on equine business properties from being assessed for property tax purposes in the same way that dairy buildings are currently treated. Although horses are included in the definition of farming for agricultural purposes, this proposed legislation has not seen any action to move it forward. A meeting was held recently and members of the equine business community testified. We will continue to work with the Farm Bureau to monitor this legislation.
Members of the Vermont Farm Bureau receive significant discounts on fuel, Nationwide Insurance and many other benefits. Please visit www.vtfb.org to learn more or to join.
Beverly McMullin, firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-496-9281.