“Local farmers and food businesses are essential pieces of a healthy and thriving community,” Sara Dewey, Director of CLF’s Farm and Food Initiative. “Too often, high fees and complicated legal issues are a barrier to entrepreneurs and farmers getting their businesses off the ground. Communities, residents, and our climate benefit when these businesses prosper, and it’s time they are given the tools they need.”
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on Vermonters. But, if we move forward in the right way, we can build a resilient future for Vermont. Here are the three priority areas that we must work on to create the future we want.
Even as we mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 and absorb the heavy toll it has taken on our economy, we must recognize that the old “normal” left too many communities unhealthy and especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Replicating that old “normal” will squander an opportunity to reduce climate danger while building healthier and more just communities for all.
Providing more access to land for farming in our cities will help accelerate urban agriculture and support low-income, people of color, immigrant, and New American farmers in search of land on which to grow.
When a sprawling development threatened an iconic patch of prime farmland, local residents stepped in to stop it.
Legal Food Hub launches in Connecticut to support local food economy
“We saw a trend and a growing need in the farming and food entrepreneur community for affordable legal services,” says Phelps Turner, a staff attorney who manages the Maine hub. “So we leveraged our connections in the legal community throughout New England to create this program. We identified attorneys and law firms willing to volunteer their time and provide free legal services to farmers and food entrepreneurs.”
CLF succeeds because we have people like you by our side. In this special annual report issue of Conservation Matters, we are honoring just a few of our many local heroes, people who have devoted their time, energy, and passion to defending our homes, protecting our children’s health, and supporting the vibrancy of our communities.
“We’re committed because we see that farmers and food entrepreneurs play a critical role in our community, so by supporting them we’re able to promote a sustainable and just food system,” Turner said. “For CLF, that’s really important because that means it helps create a healthy climate and a healthy environment, but also a strong economy in Maine.”
CLF connects food producers with pro bono legal services.