SANDGATE ~ If you love the beautiful setting of Vermont, with its rolling farmlands graced with forested backdrops of the Green Mountains or Taconic Range, then thank a farmer, a forester or a logger. These hardworking folks with sore backs and bummed knees work from dark to dark, with no vacation plans, holidays or sick days. These are the people who create and maintain Vermont's working landscape, a brand known worldwide and appreciated by all its in inhabitants.
The Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill, which would make a State commitment to and investment in our working land's economy, is currently being debated in Montpelier. This “working landscape” bill is all about creating economic opportunities using the resources that we currently have; a dedicated, innovative and hardworking workforce, prime farmlands, local food production and distribution networks, renewable wood products and biomass. The bill recognizes the people who work the land or create value -added products as entrepreneurs and business owners who face fluctuating markets and specific challenges in the current financing system. It also acknowledges that we need to build a strong economy based on good local jobs in the private sector that can't be outsourced. The working landscape is truly the economic engine that keeps Vermont's economy healthy and deserves our support in any way. I am hopeful that the legislature will pass the "working landscape" bill and will work hard to find the required funds to support this important economic development program. For more information of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill visit www.vtworkinglands.org.
Jim Henderson, Sandgate
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