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Opinion: Smith’s agricultural experience an asset in Statehouse

Rep. Harvey Smith has my respect and support.
Harvey Smith is a person who leads by example. He is committed to keeping our working landscape open, productive and available for future generations.?He introduced and the legislature passed the Farm Viability Enhancement Program. Currently this is the fastest growing farm program in Vermont. It is available to any farmer in the state whether they are large, small, organic, conventional, livestock or crops to help develop a business plan for a new or an expanding farm business.
Harvey knows firsthand how this program works. He used it to transition from his dairy farm to a diversified farming operation growing pork, chickens and grass-fed beef for his growing local market in addition to growing the corn, soybeans and hay crops on his conserved land.  
Over the years he has followed a number of conservation practices to help protect water quality. He has double-sided stream buffers along all streams on his property. He uses cover crops and conservation tillage to reduce soil erosion. He fallows a nutrient management plan to help reduce farm nutrients from entering the streams that cross his farm.
?Harvey grows most of his own food and fuel on the farm. He has been able to provide enough firewood to heat his home and has not burned any petroleum products to heat his home in 40 years.
We need people like Harvey in the Legislature: creative small businesspeople. Please join me in voting for Harvey Smith on Nov. 4.
Robert Foster 
Weybridge 

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