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This Land — The Changing Story of Rural Vermont

A Public Media Collaboration:

In 2019, VPR and Vermont PBS embarked on a unique and innovative collaborative project intended to empower the people of Vermont to analyze and to improve the future of rural life. At the center of the project was a public opinion rural life survey, cross-platform news and feature reporting, a national tie-in, a podcast, visual and audio elements and an in-person community storytelling event. The idea was to bring the full power of broadcast and digital media together for the fullest understanding and the maximum impact on every platform.
Audio submission: Rural Stories on Stage (selection from full event)

More than 200 people attended a public event at Randolph's Chandler Center for the Arts on Oct. 29, where five Vermonters shared stories illuminating the challenges and joys of living here. The idea was to hear from Vermonters directly and see how the issues revealed in the Rural Life Survey translated into real-life stories. The storytellers came from the local community around Randolph, though they work across different industries. Some have lived there all their lives, some left and then returned, but all have made Vermont home by choice — but it wasn’t always the easiest choice. Each story was capped in turn by a short interview on stage with host Jane Lindholm. The event was broadcast on Vermont PBS and VPR.

Video submission:  Future of Farming, Part 1

The Future of Farming docu-series profiled two farm families with first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry: The first was a Franklin County family who decided to sell their herd, and the other was a Cabot couple who saw the future in organic farming and new technology. The two-part program was broadcast on Vermont PBS in November 2019 and released online to stream.  Below is the first part of the series.

Other project highlights

The Poll: 

This survey was built on an independent platform, with data that is accessible and free to anyone.
Event:

Videos:

Five minute-long videos informing viewers of the top-line survey results.
Television:

This weekly news roundup show on Vermont PBS analyzed the issues brought forward by the survey.

    Podcast:

    VPR's monthly podcast, Brave Little State, examined the state of child care compensation in Vermont.

    Music:

    An original theme by VPR audio engineer Peter Engisch became the signature sound of the project. The music – Green Mountain Fanfare – was used in live and broadcast events and in promotional announcements.

    Radio/web stories:

    Live conversations:

    Reporting and analysis from VPR's daily news magazine, Vermont Edition.