Orwell’s Eastman to join Scott’s cabinet as deputy ag secretary
MONTPELIER — Governor-elect Phil Scott on Wednesday announced the appointment of Addison-Rutland Rep. Alyson Eastman, I-Orwell, as the new deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.
Her appointment means that Scott will need to appoint a replacement to serve out the two-year term to which Eastman was re-elected last month. Eastman ran unopposed for the seat that represents Orwell, Shoreham, Whiting and Benson.
“I am honored and excited to work with the agricultural industry,” Eastman said during a brief phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
She vowed to be a “team player” with other state officials in working with farmers during a very challenging time of low milk prices and new environmental standards.
Eastman said she spoke with Scott yesterday, and offered to give him some suggestions for her replacement in the House. She added Scott is likely to ask state GOP and Democrat leaders to each submit two candidates for the Addison-Rutland post.
Other cabinet appointments announced on Wednesday by the Scott administration included Anson Tebbetts as secretary of the Agency of Agriculture; Joe Flynn as secretary of the Agency of Transportation; and Cory Gustafson as commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, which is responsible for the management of Vermont’s publicly funded health insurance programs.
“My goal with each appointment is to identify strong leaders who will work tirelessly on behalf of all Vermonters and who understand the urgent need to grow our workforce and economy and make Vermont more affordable,” Scott said through a press release. “Anson, Alyson, Joe and Cory share these priorities and each bring unique experience and perspectives that will be a great asset to the state, our team and their individual agencies and departments.”
Eastman was raised on a 270-acre family farm in Orwell. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Champlain College and has represented Addison-Rutland in the House since 2015. She has served on the House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products, and owns her own business — Lake Home Business Services Inc., in Orwell — providing farm labor consulting, bookkeeping and payroll services to farmers throughout Vermont. The home-based business has a handful of employees and completes immigration paperwork for foreign workers taking part in the H2A seasonal work visa program.