September 1, 2011
URGENT: Message from the Director, Rural Vermont http://www.ruralvermont.org
I hope this alert finds you well. I have heard from many folks throughout Vermont who have been impacted by the floods and, on behalf of Rural Vermont, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a speedy recovery. While the pain is evident from the stream of photos we see, we at Rural Vermont have also been inspired by the willingness of Vermonters of all stripes to pitch-in and lend a helping hand. This is exactly the type of community based response that Vermont is known for and we look forward to working with you to help our agricultural community rebound stronger than ever!
We’ve received many phone calls and emails detailing the devastation that Irene has brought to Vermont farms. From destroyed farming equipment and machinery to the loss of crops, the flooding associated with Irene has been one of (if not the worst) natural disasters suffered by farmers in the history of Vermont.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP FARMERS?
- Go to your local farm and purchase whatever products are available-and if possible pay/donate extra.
Spending money at a local farm will help provide farmers with an important influx of funds while they deal with damaged crops, buildings, equipment or animals.
- Be on the look out for information about ways you can provide financial support to farms as they rebuild after the flooding.
Rural Vermont is working with organizations like the Vermont Community Foundation (See the sidebar) throughout Vermont to develop a fund that will provide much needed financial support directly to farms that have been damaged by the flooding. We will keep you posted as this important effort continues. Once it is up and running, please consider donating.
- Volunteer to be a part of a Rural Vermont Rapid Farm Response Brigade.
In light of the devastating impact the storm caused, one of the biggest things we can do is organize volunteers to help at farms throughout the state. In the coming days and weeks, Rural Vermont will be organizing Rapid Farm Response Brigades in different regions of the State to provide bodies and boots to farms in need.
Be on the look out as we develop these brigades and PLEASE consider volunteering for one of them in your area as they get under way. The “sweat equity” your volunteering can provide will make a tremendous difference in the success farmers have in dealing with the devastation.
HAS YOUR FARM BEEN DAMAGED?
Contact Rural Vermont and let us know if you could use volunteers from one of our volunteer brigades or to discuss other ways Rural Vermont may be able to help AND Check out the links at the bottom of this email to officially report damage. To ensure that Vermont receives the full amount of federal assistance needed to restore our farming communities, it’s critical that damage be reported.
- Your county USDA Farm Service Agency (http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=vt&agency=fsa) OR;
- Your county Natural Resources Conservation Services office (http://www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/index.html).