Vermont Department of Agriculture Food and Markets Gov. Phil Scott proposed groundbreaking investments in food and agriculture in his budget address on Friday, Jan. 20. The governor’s budget leverages innovative investments and programs to grow Vermont’s food, farm and forest economy.
“This budget has been thoughtful, prudent, disciplined, and carefully constructed to make the best use of the historical resources available to us. Get the best results, increase your bottom line, and move your families and communities forward. We put people first,” said Gov. Phil Scott.
One of the recommendations is based on the recently released report of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture. In its conclusion, the plan states:
To address the findings, the governor proposed investing $10 million in “subsidies for small and medium-sized farmers and value-added processors in the meat, vegetable and maple sectors.” These areas of our food system are either underresourced or ineligible for available funding. This support will help them grow and become more efficient while producing more food for Vermont and the region.
The governor is also proposing to invest in the jobs of those who live off the land. Under the governor’s proposed budget, $4 million will go to Workingland’s enterprise fund. This proven program enables the expansion of food and forestry businesses. The investment was also recommended by the Governor’s Agriculture Commission. You can read the full report.
These proposed investments will be submitted to Congress. The Agriculture Department recommends these investments because they support the farmers and producers who feed us and cultivate our land.
The governor’s proposal comes at a time when the region is making significant investments in dairy. Those in the dairy industry see local processing as a strategy to help their businesses thrive. The Agency’s Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is preparing to launch a $13 million program to help dairy processors expand and process their own Vermont he milk.This could mean more local milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream. Click to learn more about the Tohoku Dairy Business Innovation Center
This is a fragile but exciting time for agriculture. The Governor has proposed making long- and short-term investments to support the farmers, producers and people who feed us. Agriculture in the Green Mountain State is transforming and emerging as a cornerstone of Vermont’s future. Join us and invest in Vermont.