Vermont agriculture secretary discusses challenges and opportunity

Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts was appointed by Gov. Phil Scott in January 2017. His job is to facilitate growth of agriculture while protecting the health of the land, animals and consumers.

Tebbetts deals with the latest challenges facing Vermont’s farm and food workers, including new regulations on water runoff and conglomeration of small-time farms into large-scale operations. He also must manage emerging markets such as hemp, hops, and organics.

In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts about the latest agricultural challenges facing Vermont.

Regarding the challenges of water-runoff aka the “Clean Water Act,” Tebbetts stresses that farmers are doing what they can within reason, but he may have to consider dealing with farms on a more case-by-case basis rather than a one-size-fits-all policy.

He also said that farmers markets and trade shows are important venues for farmers and producers to take advantage of, and they are very competitive to get into. He stressed that about 20 percent of Vermont’s agricultural products leave the state.

Watch full episode:

Image courtesy of Vote for Vermont/Orca Media