"I joined the board of Rural Vermont in 2011 because I knew it to be the only statewide organization with the vision and straight-up gumption to fight for the deep-rooted change our state’s agricultural and food systems sectors so desperately need.
Over the four years I served on the board, I only became more convinced of how urgent this work is, and the extent to which it can bring renewed vitality to the health of our citizens, our farmers and their livestock and crops, and to our ultimate health care provider: The land. There is not a single organism – human or non-human- in our beloved state that does not benefit from truly restorative, grass-based agricultural practices. The tragedy, of course, is that our current agricultural and food regulatory system discourages many of these practices, not to mention the deeply nutritive food products that are a natural outgrowth of these practices. In my view, it is no exaggeration to say that we live in an era of food oppression.
By its very nature, Rural Vermont’s work is nuanced and multi-faceted: Education, advocacy, outreach, facilitation, and so much more. We have long understood that in order to realize our full potential, we needed a clear, concise way to express what it is we actually do. This understanding led to months of internal debate, as we wrangled over language and imagery and even, at times, what they stood for. As you might imagine, this was not a simple process. It was by turns frustrating and gratifying, dispiriting and joyful. Which is to say, it was a whole lot like farming itself.
I’m pleased to present you with the fruition of this work. A beautiful and delightfully feisty new logo, designed by board member Ryan Hayes, along with a new tagline that we believe sums up our work quite nicely: Real Food. Real Farms. Real Change. It’s simple, really, just six words. But we think it says a lot.
Perhaps even more important than Rural Vermont’s new look is the simple fact that we are stronger and more viable than any time in recent history. Our membership is growing fast, our capacity is increasing, and more Vermonters than ever are aware of our work and how critical it is. None of this would be true without your support. Thank you.
Rural Vermont envisions a state that is nourished by grass-based, restorative farming practices. We believe in a local food economy that is about more than money, and encompasses the health and well-being of all its participants, including those that walk on four cloven feet, along with the teeming populations of living organisms that constitute the soil beneath those feet. Furthermore, we believe that every Vermonter deserves the right to feed their family as they wish.
Real Food. Real Farms. Real Change. It’s happening, right now, all around us, and we’re incredibly excited to be part of it. We hope you are, too."
- Ben Hewitt, Fat O' the Land Farm, Stannard VT