By CYRUS LEVESQUE
NEW HAVEN — Coming on the heels of what has been described as a “perfect storm” of problems for the Vermont’s dairy industry, the $8.6 million emergency relief program announced at last Thursday’s dairy summit drew praise from local farmers.
“It will encourage a lot of people to work for nothing if they have to, because they know they are supported,” William Scott, a farmer from Vergennes said at a Farm Bureau meeting at Rep. Harvey Smith’s house last Thursday. About a dozen Addison County farmers attended the monthly meeting and all agreed that just knowing the state government and state residents understood the depth of the crisis meant a lot to them.
Any help is appreciated, said Harvey Smith, president of the Addison County Farm Bureau, who hosted the meeting at his own farm. For most farmers, the aid will only amount to a few thousand dollars of direct aid to counteract an estimated average decline in farm income of $50,000 this year just due to the lower price of milk, plus an equally onerous hit caused by crop damage and higher fuel costs. “It isn’t meant to replace the total amount of the loss,” Smith said.
LEICESTER — Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) will seek state funds to start a new Route 7 bus service that would operate between Middlebury and Rutland. Two communities that figure to be stops along the route — Leicester and Salisbury — are currently readying “park-and-ride” facilities for prospective users of the new service.
BY HARRIETTE BRAINARD
BRANDON â€” Bluegrass music, food, music workshops, a guitar raffle, dancing and field picking will all be going on July 6-9 at the 12th Annual Basin Bluegrass Festival in Brandon.
â€œField picking,â€? says Dudley and Linda Berry, is â€œa unique component of the weekendâ€? which involves the spontaneous playing of instruments with others festival-goers in the field.
The Berries, who together with Rhodes and Donna Wyman and their son and daughter-in-law Tracy and Harriet Wyman have been running the festival since its inception in 1994, said the festivalâ€™s unique culture has attracted a loyal following for much of the past decade.
â€œPeople will start arriving on Sunday, July 2 at 8 in the morning (when the gates open) to pick their spot for the camper. Weâ€™ll have somewhere around 600 to 650 campers at the festival that weekend,â€? Linda Berry said. â€œSome people come to pick their spot for the following weekend, pay and reserve it. Many others come for the entire week before the festival with their instruments and spend the weekend playing music with others in the field.â€?