Opinion: Regulation causes Additional Hardship for Vermont Farmers

Mr. Jeremy Lang

When one imagines Vermont, the mind may wander to lush green rolling hills, farms covered in neatly wrapped hay bales, and black and white spotted cows grazing peacefully. Tall, slow moving tractors dot the mountains, and the only sound is the wind blowing through neatly planted rows of corn and hay. Under this postcard view is a disturbing truth: our Vermont farmers and farms are vanishing quickly.

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Here are some facts:

2.4 million acres in Vermont in 2015 were currently used as arable fields, pastures, wilderness, managed woods and natural habitats.  This is called “Current Use,” which means the owner gets set in a lower tax bracket so that they don’t have tax debt. This amounts to one third of Vermont’s land being under land conservation.

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