farmland

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Testing Our Mettle
by Sandy Levine

When rampant development overran Vermont’s hillsides in the form of shoddy ski chalets, our state’s casual regulations proved ill-equipped to stop the flow of sewage, pollution and bad decisions. In 1969, the prospect of 1400 new vacation homes on Stratton Mountain sent a wake-up call. Our collective response was to pass Act 250. This law…

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Farmland vs. Asphalt
by Sandy Levine

Valuable farmland in Vermont is under siege. A proposal is on tap to build more than 1 million square feet of hotel, conference center, industry, shops and houses on very valuable farmland at a rural highway exit.

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Protecting Farmland and Communities – Keeping Act 250 Strong
by Sandy Levine

For decades, Vermont’s premiere land use law, Act 250, has provided important protections for Vermont’s natural resources and communities. Prescient when it was passed in 1970, it provides for development to conform to the natural resources on which we all rely, and to provide for objective, citizen oriented environmental review of major development projects. Over…

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FDA Grants New England Farmers’ Holiday Wish
by Ben Tettlebaum

You spoke; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listened. The FDA announced today that it will redraft significant portions of its recently proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule and Preventive Controls Rule. This is big news! As drafted, the rules could have forced thousands of small farms across New England out of business…

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FDA Extends Deadline To Comment on Food Safety Rules
by Ben Tettlebaum

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the deadline to comment on its two proposed food safety rules until this Friday, November 22.  Many people reported trouble accessing the federal comments website, regulations.gov, last week.  FDA has been flooded with so many comments about its proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules that it…

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Last Chance To Save Your Farmers’ Market!
by Ben Tettlebaum

When Congress drafted the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it intended to make our food safer while protecting smaller farms and food businesses, not forcing them to shut down.  And when President Obama signed the FSMA into law in 2011, he never intended to put out of business small- to medium-scale family farmers across the…

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Your Turn To Act: Tell FDA Not To Crush Local Farms!
by Ben Tettlebaum

Do you love farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and fresh fruits and vegetables in schools? New regulations proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could seriously damage small New England farms that bring you this healthy, local food. As explained in my last blog post, FDA’s proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act…

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The Rhode Island Local Food Forum: Getting Food Policy Right in RI
by Max Greene

Last week I attended the Ninth Annual Rhode Island Local Food Forum, organized by Farm Fresh Rhode Island. The forum’s theme was “Center of the Plate,” reflecting its focus on local protein production. Particularly enlightening was a panel discussion whose moderator, academic chef Bill Idell, posed questions that resonate across the region.  These questions ultimately…