Title 6: Agriculture
Chapter 209: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
6 V.S.A. § 4701. Sustainable agriculture research and education program
§ 4701. Sustainable agriculture research and education program
(a) The purpose of this section is to promote research and education that will encourage the development and use of economically and ecologically sound sustainable agriculture practices such as organic methods, biological control, integrated pest management, soil improvement, cultivation, harvesting and irrigation techniques, and transportation and marketing innovations, through:
(1) The control of pests and diseases of agricultural importance through alternatives that reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and petrochemicals.
(2) The production, processing, and distribution of food and fiber in ways that consider the interactions among soils, plants, water, air, animals, tillage, machinery, labor, energy and transportation to enhance the viability of agricultural soils, public health, and resource conservation.
(3) The expansion of marketing opportunities and promotion of products produced through the practice of sustainable agriculture which will encourage the purchase of Vermont grown foods and promote regional food security.
(4) The coordination of research and education activities on sustainable agriculture among private and public agencies and individuals within Vermont.
(b) A sustainable agriculture council is established, to be chaired by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets. The council shall include the commissioner of education and representatives, appointed by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets, of the college of agriculture at the University of Vermont, the extension service at the University of Vermont, Vermont Technical College and farm organizations, and a representative of the low input sustainable agriculture program of the United States Department of Agriculture. The council shall meet on call of the secretary and shall make recommendations regarding:
(1) Goals and priorities for ongoing public and private research of particular relevance to Vermont agriculture, and for the coordination of research and demonstration projects on sustainable agriculture.
(2) The dissemination of research results, the identification of future research needs and other useful information on sustainable agriculture.
(3) The use of state-owned lands, participating farmer managed land, and land owned by the University of Vermont and state colleges system for continuing research on sustainable agriculture practices.
(4) Techniques for financing the integration of sustainable agriculture practices into farming operations.
(5) The teaching of sustainable agriculture practices in schools at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.
(c) The secretary of agriculture, food and markets is authorized to apply for, accept, and make use of grants from public and private sources to achieve the objectives of this section, in accordance with the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 5. In awarding grants, preference shall be given to individuals, especially farmers, conducting on-farm research.
(d) By January 15, annually, the council shall prepare a report for distribution to participating organizations and the public summarizing developments in sustainable agriculture in Vermont and nationally. The report shall also make recommendations for future activities that will promote the objectives of this section. (Added 1989, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2009, No. 33, § 16.)