The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announces the availability of grant funds for the purpose of strengthening Vermont’s specialty crop industries and improving the performance of Vermont specialty crops within local, domestic, and international markets. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture crops (including honey, hops, and maple syrup), and nursery crops (including Christmas trees and floriculture). Interested applicants must submit a pre-application by February 26, 2020. Read more.
There are many ways to market honey. For nearly a decade, Scott and Valarie Wilson of Heavenly Honey Apiary have hosted a beekeeping display at the Fair Haven Welcome Center. The themes vary with this year's theme highlighting the health benefits of products from the hive. Please stop by as you travel through the area and be sure to sign the guest book.
Online Registration for Winter Meeting Closed
VBA Members may register for the 2020 Winter Meeting at the Vermont Farm Show. A reminder: the meeting is open to current VBA members. Join today!
Preregister and Win SABA Tickets
VBA Members who preregister for the VBA 2020 Winter Meeting will be automatically entered into a drawing to receive two free tickets to attend the March meeting of the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association (SABA). All you need to do is preregister for the VBA meeting and attend. Yes, you must be present to win!
We thank SABA and Bob Sheedy, SABA's Seminar Coordinator for this generous gift!
VBA to Provide ASL Interpreters
VBA Winter Meeting Agenda
The agenda for the meeting will be updated as new information is made available. The most recent version will always be available here. Mike Palmer will be the keynote speaker and there will be much to discuss! Please see the agenda for the topics already scheduled.
Please note: There is no charge to attend the meeting. Registration is free but the meeting is only open to current VBA members.
When you register online you will receive an emailed confirmation AND a copy of the latest meeting agenda. Please bring both to the meeting. The emailed confirmation will serve as your entry ticket to the meeting. When you register, you may include up to three additional attendees as long as they are listed on your family membership.
Please use the online tools to renew your membership. This action will facilitate a smooth meeting check-in process and allow more time for member interaction. You can update your membership status by logging into your profile and adjusting it here.
Volunteer at the VBA Booth
There are many ways to market honey. Today VBA member Marc Beaupre held a pop-up shop at Lantman's Market in Hinesburg, VT.
VBA Past-President Kim Greenwood has been appointed by Governor Phil Scott as deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Greenwood, who currently serves on the VBA's Advisory Board has been with the department since 2015.
Kim lives in Duxbury with her husband Ian Ormon, where they run Camel’s Hump Honey. The complete announcement is available here.
Montpelier, VT | October 7, 2019 – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announces grants totaling $305,929 for eight projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food. These grants, funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), were awarded to seven agricultural organizations to undertake a range of technology development, research, education, marketing, and program-building projects. The grants will leverage an additional $203,468 in matching funds.
Of particular interest to Vermont beekeepers is a grant for the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to improve available resources for pest and disease monitoring, diagnosis, and education for Vermont beekeepers and the Vermont Apiary Inspection Program ($52,000).
Read the complete announcement here.
Beekeepers Helping Beekeepers
Continuing education looms as a priority in the beekeeping community. The Vermont Beekeepers Association offers two options to satisfy this need, the Mentoring Program and the Vermont Certified Beekeeper Program. The two programs go hand in hand but are different in organization and focus.
This excellent article in October's American Bee Journal, by Melissa Moore, describes the VBA's program.
The Agency of Agriculture is pleased to welcome Ms. Brooke Decker as Vermont’s Pollinator Health Specialist. This is Vermont’s first, full-time, pollinator health position and was created by Act 35 in the 2019 legislative session. In this role, Ms. Decker will develop comprehensive strategies to improve the health of Vermont’s pollinators. Ms. Decker will guide the state’s apiary regulatory program, as well as collaboratively develop outreach & education materials and state policy to protect and improve the health of all pollinators in Vermont.