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Stevens Commentary: Future of Agriculture

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2009-06-07

WILL STEVENS
As Vermonters, do we want to live in a theme park - full of characters we've heard of but never met? Or would we rather engage, through agricultural activity, with our families, our neighbors, and our communities in meaningful ways? As chairman of Shoreham's Planning Commission in the 1990s, I signed off on a lot of letters of support for farmers who wanted to conserve their farms and sell their development rights. The "working landscape" was a prominent termused in those letters to evoke an image that conveyed the essence of Vermont.

Now I'm having second thoughts about whether that term actually means what we think it does. I'm falling out of love with the idea of the working landscape, and I'm replacing it with the notion of the "cultural landscape."

What's the distinction?

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