Since the 1950s Putney’s economy has expanded significantly. Modern dairy farming continues to sustain a few families – mostly along the major waterways – but other modes of production exist as well. A flight over the landscape reveals that many of the hillsides have been converted to growing apples, blueberries, and raspberries like those at Green Mountain Orchards. But on the whole, agriculture no longer dominates the average citizen’s way of life in Putney. These days, many townspeople are employed as artists and self-employed professionals, in educational institutions, and in jobs associated with manufacturing and technology. One local example is Putney Paper, which employs some 150 workers, a majority of them from Putney nearby communities. Service industries related to recreation and tourism are also prominent, such as bed and breakfasts like Hickory Ridge House.
Historically, Putney has been a regional source of innovative and progressive ideas, a legacy that is still alive and well today: at the same time that the agricultural countryside is being converted into a landscape of commerce and private homes, there is also much current debate about the direction in which economic growth is headed. People are concerned about the health of waterways, animal habitats, and small town community life, and many private and public initiatives have been developed to preserve and celebrate Putney’s unique character. Together these efforts will help the town face future changes, and embrace appropriate solutions that provide for the well-being of the natural and cultural landscape as a whole.