MONTPELIER - Rural Vermont officials are excited to hear Gov. Shumlin announce that he supports "a renaissance in Vermont agriculture."
Rural Vermont's farmer members from across the state stand ready to work with the new administration whenever their visions for a sustainable, local and vibrant agricultural economy intersect.
In light of the governor's acknowledgment that "consumers are increasingly demanding locally grown, chemical-free, high quality food," Rural Vermont's executive director, Jared Carter, explained that "Vermont should focus on achievable steps to meet that demand for safe, healthy local food and farm products. While we cannot change the global economy in which Vermont must operate, we can eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens and open markets to Vermont farmers."
From addressing prohibitions against on-farm slaughter and value-added product regulations to tweaking the raw milk law to increase its effectiveness, Carter said there are numerous opportunities for the new administration to realize its goal of using agriculture as an economic engine of growth in Vermont.
"There is simply no reason why a farmer who wishes to sell value-added products should need a law degree in order to understand the regulations." Carter said. "In trying economic times, it makes sense to focus on reforms that are common-sense and not costly."
Rural Vermont officials believe that "if we focus on achievable regulatory reforms, Vermont can create millions of dollars worth of economic opportunity for farmers without the need to invest vast sums of limited state resources."
Rural Vermont stands ready to open a new chapter in the history of farming in this state.
"Whether doing so requires protesting in the streets, advocating in the halls of the legislature or litigating in the courts, we are prepared to work tirelessly for economic justice, a strong local agricultural system and vibrant communities in Vermont." Carter said.
Rural Vermont is a non-profit advocacy group founded by farmers in 1985 that advocates, activates, and educates for living soils, thriving farms, and healthy communities.
For more information about Rural Vermont, call (802) 223-7222 or visit online at www.ruralvermont.org.