Agriculture leaders from around U.S. meet in Vermont

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MONTPELIER (AP) - The heads of state agriculture departments around the country are meeting this week in Burlington for their annual conference with a focus on advancing agricultural literacy.

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross is president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, which represents the secretaries, commissioners and directors of agriculture agencies in the 50 U.S. states and four U.S. territories.

Ross says agricultural literacy is an appreciation and understanding of where food and fiber comes from, and how farming and ranching work.

He says the country is in the midst of a pivotal period for American agriculture, with Americans growing ever more interested in food and fiber while less than 2 percent of the population makes a living farming or ranching.

The conference starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

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