Great Regions Meeting

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Jan 072011

A Regional Collaboration in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

Posted by Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development Vermont State Director, on December 14, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Earlier this month I joined USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Conservation, (NRCS) Ann Mills, and Deputy Director of the Executive Secretariat, David Aten, in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for a “Great Regions” convening.

Federal, state and local officials joined members of the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative and we shared some of the great progress Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG)  recipients have made and spoke about the challenges the communities of the three-county Kingdom face in securing a healthy, culturally robust and economically successful future.

During the presentations there were many memorable and insightful comments.  Steve Campbell, our area office manager in St. Johnsbury noted that in 2010 USDA NRCS, the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development invested $46 million in the Kingdom.  All of us laughed heartily when Allison Hooper of the Vermont Cheese Council, who was discussing the demand for goats’ milk told us that “3 goats = 1 cow.”  She told us their big challenge is overcoming the “real Vermonters don’t milk goats” phenomena.  We heard from Gloria Bruce of the Chamber of Commerce about sharing the Kingdom we love with our visitors in a “way that sustains” this special place.  The Chamber’s grant is focused on agritourism.  Rob Riley of the Northern Forest Center applauded the Agency’s Great Regions project stating that it is so important to build regional partnerships that make use of our regional assets like the northern forest.  Kate Williams from the Northern Forest Canoe Trail organization enchanted us with scenes of a four state canoe trail that is not only scenically spectacular but is also an economic engine.

We finished the day with a focus on the strategic plan of the Cooperative. Action steps were suggested.  Information about available resources was exchanged.  As an example, Mike McNamara of HUD outlined the rural housing grant program announced recently by the Housing and Urban Development secretary.  Deputy Undersecretary Mills and Deputy Director Aten promised their support of the Kingdom’s strategies.  Steve Campbell concluded the event by citing some of the Kingdom’s challenges but confidently stating, “With the talent, energy and intelligence that we have in the Kingdom we will succeed.”  It was a great day in a “Great Region!”


 Posted by at 10:27 am

Wastewater seminars

 Infrastructure, Sewer  Comments Off on Wastewater seminars
Nov 052010

Decentralized Wastewater Treatment System Design, Management, and Use: Free Webinars

A series of six one-hour webinars on individual and clustered (decentralized) wastewater system design, management, and use in protecting surface and ground waters is planned for November and early December. The training sessions are open to consultants, design engineers, service professionals, and regulators at no cost through a university-based watershed management webinar program.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, the Conservation Technology Information Center, and Purdue University are co-sponsoring the training to improve the level of understanding and knowledge on how conventional and high-performance treatment systems work, how they’re designed and managed, and how to incorporate them into a wastewater management program.

Webcasts will be held at 12 noon EST beginning on Tuesday, November 9th, and continue every Tuesday at noon until December 14th.  Registration information and the full schedule is posted at    For more information, contact Angie Williams at williams(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign) . A schedule summary is pasted below.

 Posted by at 7:39 am