Investing in our Farm and Forest Future is the final report of the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership Council. It offers five recommendations to help reinvigorate the state’s rural economy:

  1. Build a major campaign to celebrate the distinctiveness of the working landscape that is Vermont.
  2. Target strategic investment through a Vermont Agriculture and Forest Products Development Fund.
  3. Designate and support “Working Lands.”
  4. Develop tax revenue to support working landscape enterprise development and conservation.
  5. Create a State Planning Office and activate the Development Cabinet.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) launched this broad-based partnership as a way to focus efforts to keep our farm and forest economy healthy and prosperous. The Action Plan has been a catalyst for progress. It led to the creation of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative in 2012 (Act 142) with funding for farm and forest enterprises (Item #2) and laid the foundation for the formation of the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium in December 2013 which is working to make Vermont the epicenter of higher education food systems in the nation (Item #1).