This is posted on the NOFA-VT website, with a list of actions local farmers and consumers may take to support VT Compost Company. While this may not seem to directly affect livestock farmers, many of the farmers within the Pasture Network and VT Grass Farmers Association are diversified producers as well as appreciating the sustainable use of systems and support of local economies.
In recent months Karl Hammer, farmer and owner of the Vermont Compost Company in Montpelier, has been struggling to continue operations in the face of legal action by the State of Vermont that allege that Vermont Compost is operating in violation of ACT 250, VT’s land use development law. Karl vigorously disputes this and his appeal is now pending before Vermont’s Environmental Court.
On July 7th, in an unexpected and outrageous development, the state’s Natural Resources Board (NRB) served Karl with a “Cease and Desist” order requiring him to immediately cease operations, remove all compost from his farm and pay an $18,000 fine for violating ACT 250 — even though there have been no court hearings or judgments on his pending appeal!!! Karl has been given 15 days to appeal this order, which he will now do.
These gratuitous and aggressive actions by the Natural Resources Board threaten the future of Vermont Compost Company, as well as the farms and businesses of scores of certified organic growers across Vermont, a large number of whom depend upon Vermont Compost’s products in producing locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables.