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Plan seeks to preserve Vt.'s open landscape


MONTPELIER — At a summit in Montpelier this past Friday, members of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Working Landscape Partnership laid out a plan that they hope will preserve and bolster the state’s agricultural and forestry economy.

The more than 300 people gathered at the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape summit included planners, legislators and governor-elect Peter Shumlin. Among the faces were many from Addison County who are interested in sustaining the area’s agricultural way of life and the culture surrounding it.

“The summit was to share a five-point draft platform to really change the condition for Agricultural enterprise in Vermont,” said Paul Costello, executive director of VCRD. He cited the organization’s research, which predicts the slow demise of Vermont’s agricultural economy.

“Unless something is done, we could lose the working landscape within a generation,” said Costello.

The Working Landscape Partnership’s action plan set out five items designed to increase the viability of Vermont’s agricultural markets. Among these were proposals creating a corporation to fund agricultural and forestry business improvement efforts and a marketing campaign to promote Vermont products.