Vermont Working Landscape Partnership releases recommendations for reinvigorating state’s rural economy


Report Offers Clear Actions for Vermont’s Working Landscape

New partnership calls for investment in our greatest asset

MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Working Landscape Partnership announces the release of Investing in our Farm and Forest Future. This nonpartisan Action Plan offers five recommendations to help reinvigorate the state’s rural economy.

· Build a major campaign to celebrate the distinctiveness of the working landscape that is Vermont.

· Target strategic investment through a Vermont Agriculture and Forest Products Development Fund.

· Designate and support “Working Lands.”

· Develop tax revenue to support working landscape enterprise development and conservation.

· Create a State Planning Office and activate the Development Cabinet.

The Vermont Working Landscape Council developed this plan. Its sixteen members have deep expertise in issues pertaining to farm and forest enterprises and rural development in Vermont. Its report also identifies challenges and opportunities for the working landscape, trends for the future, and goals for the proposed policy changes.

“We have an historic opportunity for a Natural Resource Renaissance that will keep Vermont’s land working for all of us for many generations,” explains VWL Council Chair and Former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee. “But we must all support the significant investment it will take to rejuvenate our land-based businesses.”

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 report is available online at or by contacting VCRD at 802-223-6091 or by email at [email protected]

“We know how much Vermonters value and benefit from the Working Landscape,” says VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. “Implementing these recommendations is our best strategy for ensuring the future of our greatest asset.”

This focus on the Working Landscape stems from the extensive work by the Council on the Future of Vermont. In interviews and surveys with thousands of Vermonters, the state’s working landscape emerged as a top priority.

The Partnership formed following a packed State House summit in December of 2010. There are currently almost 500 individual and 170 organizational members from all parts of the state and the numbers continue to increase. To learn more visit .

EDITOR’S NOTE: Use this link if you prefer to go directly to the .pdf of the report.

Press Release

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  • David Healy

    I am particularly pleased with their recommendation to re-institute the “State Planning Office.” Having worked in that office in the ’80s under Governor’s Snelling and Kunin it provided a terrific vehicle for coordinating difference state activities/agencies as they relate to development. It also provided regular reports on the demographic and economic drivers in the state. Why Governor Dean dismantled it has always been a mystery to me.

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