Farmers being blamed for runoff polluting Vermont streams and lakes say business has been bad for a long time and they can’t afford the cleanups mandated by the State. One Middlebury farmer had to sell his cows to pay the bank. And pressure about manure runoff didn’t help.
"“That was probably the worst day of my life,” Butler said. “Loaded ‘em on the trailer, take ‘em down to the sale barn, and I sat there and watched every cow sell. They brought good money, paid the bank off.” But well before he sold his cows, Butler faced other pressures. Inspectors from both the state’s agriculture agency and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources were responding to calls like this to a state tip line: “I would like to call about a manure pit that is overflowing. It’s located on Munger Street.”
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