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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R.  118

House concurrent resolution honoring Philip R. Benedict for his 36 years of exemplary service at the Vermont agency of agriculture, food and markets

Offered by:  Committee on Agriculture

Whereas, the Vermont farmer has no better friend in state government than Philip Benedict, and

Whereas, Vermont’s agricultural heritage flows through his soul as his ancestors were among the first settlers of the town of Sharon in the 1700s and his family has farmed the rugged Vermont soil for centuries, and

Whereas, after graduating with undergraduate and graduate degrees in entomology from the University of New Hampshire, he realized that it was time to cross back over the river and return home, and

Whereas, the agency, at that time the department of agriculture, was the perfect place for Phil Benedict to serve the agricultural community and draw on both his academic and personal knowledge, and on April 21, 1971, he joined its ranks to begin an illustrious career, and

Whereas, over the ensuing decades, he developed an expertise on the increasing impact of state and federal water law on Vermont’s farmers, and

Whereas, Phil Benedict earned the respect of other employees through his diligent work and his willingness to discuss his thoughts with them and listen to their ideas, and

Whereas, the legislative arena was his special forte as he worked with the late Senator Francis Howrigan, former chair of the senate committee on agriculture, the late Representative Bob Wood, former chair of the house committee on institutions, and Senator Bobby Starr during his terms as chair of the house committee on agriculture to mold legislative enactments that protected the interests and concerns of Vermont’s farmers, and

Whereas, according to Al Boright of the legislative council, Phil Benedict has a keen sense of the legislature’s annual adjournment, always making an appearance shortly before the final fall of the gavel, and

Whereas, over the course of his career, Phil Benedict has worked harmoniously and productively under the leadership of a dozen commissioners or secretaries of agriculture, and 

Whereas, in 1990, under Phil Benedict’s guidance and leadership, the department of agriculture built a state-of-the-art agricultural laboratory facility in Waterbury that remains one of the most advanced in the nation and has been recognized for its high quality work, and

Whereas, in 2001, he was awarded the James P. Graham Award from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for outstanding service to agriculture in the United States, and

Whereas, despite Phil Benedict’s frequently stated adage that he was nothing but a “dumb entomologist,” that folksy persona could not hide the passionate, knowledgeable, and effective advocate Vermont’s farmers have been so fortunate to have on the agency’s staff, and

Whereas, after 36 years, Phil Benedict will conclude his service on behalf of the state of Vermont, and he and his wife, Susan, son, Dan, and grandson, Alexander, eagerly anticipate spending more time together, and he also plans to pursue his favorite pastimes of skiing, golfing, fishing, and heading to deer camp each fall, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly honors Philip Benedict for his extraordinary service on behalf of the state of Vermont and his tireless efforts to ensure the future of our state’s agricultural heritage, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Phil Benedict.






Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont