Secretary Tebbetts Op-Ed: Grateful for Veterans & Farmers
November 9, 2021 | Montpelier, VT - November: a month of transition; a time to reflect and give thanks. We honor our community and the many ways that our fellow Vermonters contribute to our collective well-being. We are grateful for our harvest and being able to share our abundance.
As we honor Veterans on November 11, we are thinking of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont. After discharge, many of our state’s veterans have the opportunity for a new focus, and some are choosing to work with the land. With a mission to mobilize veterans to feed America, the Coalition has set up a robust network of a new generation of farmers and food leaders. Their work is to develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.
This Veterans Day we also honor the Vermont National Guard. During the pandemic they provided valuable services to Vermonters, setting up health clinics and hospitals and providing critical support for food distribution. Without the help of the Guard many Vermonters would have been alone or gone hungry. We are thankful for their ongoing help.
And of course, we are thankful for the harvest. Many will be fortunate enough to enjoy nature’s bounty; Vermonters are lucky to have so much local food to put on their tables. Thanksgiving will likely be bigger than last year, thanks to vaccinations and being able to gather in larger groups. From local vegetables to exquisite baked goods; dairy to maple; Vermont-made libations and farm-grown meats, we hope that Vermont is represented on every Thanksgiving table. Consider serving up a local turkey; buy it right from the farm or find it at your favorite store with this DigInVT turkey tracker.
Vermont is blessed to have so many choices and so many ways to access some of the best food on Earth. Find fresh food at your local farm stand, farmers’ market, co-op or grocery store. We give thanks to our Vermont farmers and all those who collaborate to serve local food on our Thanksgiving table. From all of us at the Agency of Agriculture, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful to be a part of a caring and grateful Agricultural community!
Anson B. Tebbetts
Secretary, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
**images: Vermont National Guard assist with food assistance distribution at the Berlin Airport, May 15, 2020.