Far too often, agricultural workers are overlooked when legislation is written. Here are the ways that I propose supporting the agricultural workers in Vermont:
develop the Food processing industry
Farmers in Vermont are often forced to let excess produce go to waste because the in-season market can only absorb so much. By developing food-processing opportunities in Vermont, we can both boost the economy by creating more jobs and support our farmers by giving them an ever-ready market to absorb however much product they can produce.
Buy locally, vt government!
I envision supporting Vermont farmers through using their produce at government-funded institutions, including public schools, public universities, prisons, and the statehouse. The best way to practice what we preach about supporting farmers is to buy their products.
including farmers in legislative process
When I’ve worked for farmers both in Vermont and around the country, it’s been my experience that the farmers understand agricultural policy better than anyone else. It has been disheartening to observe the “we-know-best” attitude that the government can sometimes display towards agricultural workers. It is my hope that we can start by approaching farmers with the question “how can we serve you?”, and draft legislation in response to the answers.