New report details state’s spending on Vermont dairy farms
MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A new report from Vermont’s auditor shows the state spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the last decade supporting the dairy industry.
The report is intended to be a resource for decision-makers as the state charts a path forward for the industry.
Auditor Doug Hoffer says the state has spent $285 million to support the industry through subsidies, tax breaks and environmental cleanup efforts from 2010 to 2019.
Vermont’s dairy industry, which has faced market challenges, has also seen the closure of hundreds of farms over the decades.
Hoffer says he wants to know the extent that large farms contribute to Vermont’s local economy and whether the state should financially support them.
“Much of what we see is a history of subsidies because dairy, in particular, is so important to Vermont, and to some extent, it still is in terms of its identity and land use and the way it’s perceived. That’s all great stuff but I haven’t seen a comprehensive strategy for the next 50 or 100 years,” said Hoffer, D-Vt. Auditor.
Hoffer says the report will help the governor’s new commission on the future of agriculture decide what initiatives to invest in.
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