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Guest editorial: Legislature faces crucial decisions on current use

Posted on February 9, 2015 |
By Jamey Fidel



Among the many issues being debated in Montpelier that could have a lasting impact on Vermont’s environment and economy are possible changes to the Current Use program.

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Farmers focus on water quality issue

Posted on February 5, 2015 |
By John Flowers



BRIDPORT — Members of Addison County’s agricultural community are concerned about how they could be affected by the state’s latest push to clean up Lake Champlain.

Gov. Peter Shumlin in his January inaugural address cited cleanup of the lake as one of his top priorities for the 2015-2016 biennium. He noted that farmers must play a key role in that effort, through water quality initiatives that are in part designed to reduce manure runoff into Lake Champlain. Manure is a leading source of phosphorous pollution in the lake.

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Opinion: State has poor track record on water pollution issues

Posted on January 23, 2015 |
By Steven Reynolds



Gov. Shumlin’s efforts to reduce agricultural pollution into Vermont waterways deserve support. The present system of agricultural regulation imposes limited restrictions on manure runoff that, even when implemented, are ineffective in preventing pollution. And, the rules are not strictly enforced. Those are the conclusions I reached in spring of 2011 when trying to stop pollution of the lower Middlebury River.

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Farmers to Shumlin: Lay off Current Use

Posted on January 15, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



ADDISON COUNTY — Gov. Peter Shumlin has made cleaning up Lake Champlain a top priority. To do that, he proposed in his Jan. 8 inaugural address to make changes to the state’s Current Use tax program to penalize farmers who pollute waterways.

The Agency of Agriculture said denying Current Use tax breaks to offenders would add another enforcement tool to the state, which is cracking down on pollution into its waterways.

full story

Editorial: Of sacred cows and runoff

Posted on January 15, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross had to know that the farming community would take issue when the governor proposed in his Inaugural address to make changes to the state’s Current Use tax program that would penalize farmers who pollute waterways. What they also had to suppose was that the majority of Vermonters would not think it was unfair for farmers to be willing to accept a share of the responsibility for cleaning up the state’s waterways, particularly those that run into Lake Champlain.

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Yankee Farm Credit opens new Middlebury office

Posted on December 23, 2014 |
By Addison Independent



Yankee Farm Credit.jpg

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Chamber of Commerce announces that Yankee Farm Credit has opened its new office at 320 Exchange St., Middlebury. Yankee Farm Credit had been located elsewhere on Exchange Street since 1986. An open house for the public will be held at a later date in January.

Built by Bread Loaf Corp., a Middlebury-based planning, design, and construction services firm, the new 4,300-square-foot building features:

•  Daylight harvesting with bi-level LED light fixtures and occupancy sensors.

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Cornwall's Severy sees tractor tires in France

Posted on December 17, 2014 |
By Addison Independent



France.jpg

CORNWALL — A custom operator from Addison County recently visited France for a first-hand look at Michelin’s agricultural tire technologies and how they help farmers improve crop performance.

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Greg Dennis: Ag traditions old and new in House race

Posted on October 23, 2014 |
By Greg Dennis



It’s been true for decades that in Vermont most of us no longer live or work on farms. Addison County sometimes even seems to be slowly suburbanizing.

So it’s easy to forget how wrapped up Vermont’s identity remains with agriculture — from the beauty of our landscape to the local produce at the natural foods store around the corner.

While our politics are often dominated by concerns about energy, social services and healthcare, agriculture still has a big role to play.

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Paquette inducted into Vt. Ag Hall of Fame

Posted on September 18, 2014 |
By John S. McCright



Lucien Paquette Ag Hall of Fame group photo.jpg

MIDDLEBURY — Everyone in Addison County knows Lucien Paquette, he moved to Addison County in 1946 to become County Extension Agent. Over 36 years in that position he became the best-known agriculturalist in the county.

Working with farmers of all sorts of crops — from apples to dairy — he developed a reputation that continues to be strong today.

Because of his enduring ties to farming in the Green Mountain State, Paquette recently was inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame.

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Dairies of Distinction: Farms put the best face on Vt. dairy

Posted on September 4, 2014 |
By Addison Independent



lazy dog farm 5972.jpg

VERMONT — The Vermont Agency of Agriculture recognized 140 dairy farms as “Dairies of Distinction” at the annual luncheon hosted at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex this past Thursday. Twenty-seven of those farms, or about one-fifth of the total, are in Addison County.

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