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Dealing With Dairy

Side Dishes: Rural Vermont changes directors; throws a mozz meetup

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On July 1, Amy Shollenberger, director of Rural Vermont — a nonprofit farm-advocacy group — will relinquish her position to start a Montpelier-based consulting business. “I’m planning to focus on campaign strategy and grassroots organizing,” the lobbyist says. “I’m hoping to do most of my work around here, and I might do some national stuff … if the opportunity arises.”

In her tenure as director, Shollenberger helped shepherd bills that allow farms to sell uninspected poultry and greater quantities of raw milk. But despite these successes, she believes it’s time for new blood. “I really believe it’s good for organizations, especially small ones, to have new directors every so many years,” she explains. “I was ready for the next step in my career, as well.”

Where does Shollenberger think Rural Vermont should go from here? “Honestly, that’s not for me to say,” she demurs. “The mission is economic justice, and it’s focused on what the farmers need.”

Her replacement, Brian Moyer of Pennsylvania, will be relocating for the position. Shollenberger speculates: “I think the board felt that, out of all the candidates, he stood out as the one who was not only passionate about the work we do, but also had the background.”

Supporters of Rural Vermont who want to learn to whip up homemade butter, yogurt, ricotta and mozzarella may want to make a special trek to Hinesburg this Sunday.

At her Family Cow Farmstand, dairy farmer and RV board member Lindsay Harris will share the techniques she uses to turn her farm’s creamy raw milk — which sells like hotcakes at $10 a gallon — into dairy delicacies. The fundraiser for Rural Vermont will last three hours, she says, “and I’m inviting people to stay and tour the farm afterwards.”

True to the ideal of economic justice, Harris is charging on a sliding scale, from $20 to $40. Call Rural Vermont to register, at 223-7222.

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