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NO. R-248. JOINT RESOLUTION HONORING THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY'S EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THE EARTH'S ENVIRONMENT.

(J.R.H. 179)

Offered by: Representatives Peaslee of Guildhall, Alberico of Rutland City, Alfano of Calais, Allard of St. Albans Town, Angell of Randolph, Baker of Randolph, Barney of Highgate, Blanchard of Essex, Bourdeau of Hyde Park, Casavant of Winooski, Dominick of Starksboro, Dwyer of Thetford, Flaherty of South Burlington, Ginevan of Middlebury, Grant of Groton, Hathaway of Barton, Helm of Castleton, Houston of Ferrisburgh, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hummel of Underhill, Hyde of Fayston, Kinsey of Craftsbury, Knox of Northfield, Larrabee of Danville, Lindgren of Springfield, Livingston of Manchester, Marron of Stowe, Maslack of Poultney, Mazur of South Burlington, Mazzariello of Rutland City, McGrath of Ferrisburgh, Milkey of Brattleboro, Morrissey of Bennington, Palmer of Pownal, Parizo of Essex, Pike of Mendon, Pugh of South Burlington, Ranney of Castleton, Richardson of Weathersfield, Schiavone of Shelburne, Sheltra of Derby, Simpers of Colchester, Steele of Waterbury, Sweetser of Essex, Towne of Berlin, Waite of Pawlet, Westman of Cambridge, Willett of St. Albans City, Wisell of Bristol and Young of Orwell.

Whereas, April 22, 1998 marks the 28th anniversary of the first Earth Day observance, and

Whereas, in order for agricultural activity to thrive, mother earth must be properly preserved and nurtured on a daily basis and not just once a year, and

Whereas, Vermont's farmers are continuously working to conserve the soil and protect the environment, in order that they and their descendants shall be able to continue tilling the soil for the nutiritional benefit of us all, and

Whereas, modern farming methods have led to the restoration of wetlands, significantly reduced soil erosion and assisted in protecting the nation's wildlife, and

Whereas, during 1997, nationally 109.8 million acres were prepared for the planting of crops by means of the "conservation tillage" method while an additional 77 million acres were prepared by means of the "reduced-till method," and

Whereas, over the last four years, the percentage of younger American farmers that use some form of "conservation tillage" grew by one-third, and

Whereas, across the country, the use of insecticides on major crops has been reduced by 50 percent in recent years while a 21-percent reduction in the application of herbicides on farms has been recorded, and

Whereas, soil erosion in the United States has been reduced by 24 percent since 1983, and

Whereas, modern farming practices have led to many environmentally sound and beneficial improvements in the daily practice of agriculture, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly, as the nation observes Earth Day, is pleased and proud to honor Vermont's farmers whose guardianship of the land is an environmental asset that greatly enhances the American landscape.