The fun and activities of the Grange Fair do not hide the problems of our farmers.
This has always been an island of prosperity, even in hard times, but this prosperity does not reach the farmland – just ask the local dairies. The County seeks to rectify this, with some success.
There is more farmland preserved, thanks to the Land Preservation Board. Residents are encouraged to shop locally, at farmers markets, at the new RE Farm farm-to-table café, whose menu is wholly local, or to support the Taproot Kitchen. (It makes no sense to ship produce out and then ship in different produce - transportation costs and the food is less fresh).
There is an effort to process products locally instead of shipping them out. This may be the salvation of the dairies - which lost their regular buyers – if the county government can help bring in a cheese factory.
But the big stumbling block to achieve prosperity is the lack of broadband internet. Broadband is more and more a necessity in business, and lack of it cuts our farmers from needed investment. No matter how many tax advantages and regulation easements are offered, no one will not come to a place with no broadband any more than to a place with no running water. This holds the local farmers back, and we can only hope that the efforts of the county government to bring the much needed rural broadband will bear fruit.