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Vermont Economic History


Agriculture of Vermont
Agriculture of Vermont

Farming was the main economic activity in Vermont until the 20th century, when manufacturing took the lead. By the mid-1990s the service sector, led by tourism, was the fastest growing segment of the state’s economy.

Until the 1820s grain, including wheat, was Vermont’s leading source of farm income. From 1825 to 1850 the largest source of farm income was wool from merino sheep. After the Civil War (1861-1865), dairying replaced sheep raising as the principal agricultural activity. With the urbanization of the northeast, milk became Vermont’s chief agricultural product.

Dairying is still the dominant agricultural activity in Vermont. The state produces about half the milk consumed in New England and leads the New England states in the production of dairy cattle. Vermont milk is also used to make butter, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. With its cool summers and abundant rain, the state is one of the finest hay and pasture sections of the United States. In addition to hay, the state’s principal crops include apples, Christmas trees, and vegetables, including sweet corn. Poultry and eggs are locally important, as are greenhouse and nursery items. Vermont leads the nation in the production of maple sugar and syrup.

Forestry


About three-fourths of Vermont land is forested. Much of it is farm woodlots, however, and is not operated as a regular source of income. The principal hardwoods are the sugar maple, beech, and yellow birch; the principal softwoods are spruce, fir, and white pine. Christmas trees and evergreen wreaths are important specialties, providing many farmers with additional income. "Vermont" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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