Last week, Governor Shumlin delivered his budget address to the Vermont legislature, and in that address, he showed a renewed commitment to the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. Importantly, he stated that the funding line is included in the base budget, and he is recommending a 5% increase over last year's funding, which was $1,425,000. The Governor opened his speech by celebrating our food, farm, and forest product economy, noting that "we draw world-wide attention for our award-winning products: cheeses, artisan furniture, craft beers and spirits, and many others born from the creativity of our hands and the abundance of our lands."
The work of every member of the Working Landscape Partnership has helped to highlight the importance of the working lands economy in Vermont. As we begin the budgeting cycle once again, we will be calling on you to visit the statehouse, speak to legislators, and talk to your neighbors about the importance of the investments in our working lands enterprises.
You can get ready for this work by taking a tour of Vermont's rural renaissance. Watch a video, check out some photos, and get some information about how the Working Lands Enterprise Fund has already created jobs and made a difference for Vermont. Take the tour here:www.vtworkinglands.org/tour.
I look forward to seeing you at the State House and working with you again this year. Thank you for all you have done and for YOUR commitment to Vermont and our working landscape.