Montpelier, VT (STL.News) Governor Phil Scott has issued an executive order creating the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Vermont Agriculture to study and strategize how best to grow agriculture in the Green Mountain State.

The Commission’s charge will focus on ensuring the viability and adaptability of this sector, including recommendations for more cross-sector collaboration, increasing production and promotion, reducing barriers to entry and increasing diversity within the sector, and continued progress on environmental issues.

“The pandemic has further emphasized how important agriculture is to Vermonters and highlighted gaps in our food system.  So, as we recover, we must continue to advocate for investing in Vermont communities and the work of the people who make their living off the land,” said Governor Scott.  “This Commission will examine issues within agriculture – from farm to table – and deliver recommendations on how to chart a path forward for agricultural commerce in our state.”

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will lead the commission, co-chaired by AAFM Secretary Anson Tebbetts and ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle.

“This commission will lead to economic development in the agricultural sectors by helping farmers, producers and businesses create new markets and new jobs,” said AAFM Secretary Tebbetts.  “It’s important we do this work today and for future generations.”

“Developing the future of commerce for the agriculture sector is critical to our economic recovery.  As we look to grow our economy, recruit new residents and businesses to the state, and build a better future for all Vermonters, we must ensure our agriculture sector remains nimble and innovative both in the long and short-term,” said ACCD Secretary Kurrle.

Commission members have not been appointed yet.  Members will represent several sectors including maple, dairy and experts in Vermont’s food systems, as well as those with expertise in environmental and land use issues.  The Commission will deliver a report to the Governor in November 2021.