Farmer-in-Chief: David Zuckerman UVM’ 95

david-zuckermanVermont’s new Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman is the first active farmer to occupy either the governor’s or lieutenant governor’s office in the state in more than 75 years. The UVM alumnus, who earned a degree in Environmental Studies in 1995, is the founder of Full Moon Farm, an organic farm in Hinesburg.

Zuckerman is featured in a Feb. 7 piece in Civil Eats titled, “Vermont’s New Lieutenant Governor is a Veggie-Growing Progressive” by Steve Holt.

Holt writes: “His distinction as a small farmer gives Zuckerman a leading role in moving Vermont forward in the areas of food, farming, and sustainability. At a time when federal leadership in those areas is shifting in ways that may be even less friendly to small, diversified and organic agriculture than ever before—Zuckerman may become an example of how states can continue the work toward sustainability without federal support.”

In 2009, Zuckerman and the Vermont legislature passed the Farm to Plate Investment Program, which set benchmarks for increasing economic development in the state’s farm and food sector.

The investment is clearly paying off. According to the 2016 Vermont Farm to Plate annual report, more than 700 new food or farm businesses have been started and 6,000 jobs have been added in the sector since 2009. Farm to Plate says this has resulted in more than $10 billion in gross sales in Vermont’s food systems in 2016, an increase by more than 20 percent in less than a decade.

Holt writes, “Even as Zuckerman presides over the Vermont Senate and works to increase voter engagement, he will continue to feed the pigs and chickens and harvest and sell produce from his 25-acre Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg, just south of Burlington. His work in agriculture, he said, offers strong lessons that apply to leadership and policy-making.”

Read the full story on Civil Eats.

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