Working Lands Enterprise Board announces grants for fiscal year 2022

Over $2.1 million invested in Vermont agriculture and forestry businesses

Scott Farm in Windham County – received a $24,999 grant for value-added product development.

Vermont Business Magazine The Working Lands program announces historic funding for those who live off the land. The program awarded $2.1 in grants that will help expand agriculture and small businesses in Vermont. This latest round of funding will focus on meat slaughter and processing bottlenecks, supply chain resilience, marketing plans and overall business development.

The awards from this program also support the farmers, producers, markets and cooperatives that make up our food system; the loggers, foresters and forest products companies of Vermont who manage our natural resources; and service provider organizations that help strengthen our supply chain.

Under the leadership of Governor Phil Scott and the Legislature, a total of $5.294 million has been allocated to the Labor Lands program this year. Another $3.2 million in Working Lands Program grants will be announced in the spring.

“The Working Lands Program continues to focus on impacts on a wide range of agricultural and forestry enterprises, including funding organizations that provide sustainability assistance with a focus on building the skills of senior staff,” said Lynn Ellen Schimoler, program manager. “This initiative supports entrepreneurs in Vermont by providing financial assistance to help businesses create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote the growth of economies and communities across Vermont’s work landscape.

So far this year, active land businesses and organizations in the following categories will receive Active Land Business Program awards: (Please follow the link in each category to see the individual businesses receiving funding from the 2022 program.)

Grants include funding to help with business and financial planning, business responses to COVID-19, business transitions for next-generation and post-succession business owners, access to capital, manufacturing efficiency or process flow, and more.

Addison County

Addison County Relocation Network, Inc. (ACORN)

$20,000 for the Champlain Valley Food Hub business plan and feasibility study.

County of Chittenden

Center for Women and Enterprise

$20,000 for business planning of women-owned businesses in Vermont.

Vermont Grape and Wine Council

$12,000 to create an American Vineyard Zone (AVA) for the Champlain Valley in Vermont.

Northeast Organic Agriculture Association – Vermont

$82,017 for a continuum of business development services for start-up farmers.

Paul, Frank and Collins

$100,000 for executive business skills development for working land companies.

Washington County

Vermont Releaf Collective

$20,000 for the development of culturally relevant technical assistance for BIPOC-led labor land enterprises.

Vermont Community Loan Fund

$150,000 for the SPROUT Low Interest Loan Program for Emerging Farmland Entrepreneurs in Vermont.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board – Forest Economics

$99,965 to expand access to business support services for the forest economy.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board – Agriculture

$97,722 to build resilience in the agricultural sector through business and marketing skills.

Northeastern forests

$65,000 for Vermont Forest Business School’s business training and coaching program.

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

$100,000 for the development of a supply chain for animals resulting from dairy cattle terminal crosses.

Grants assist companies with larger facilities to increase production, processing and/or distribution, address known existing bottlenecks, market development, marketing plans and/or sales strategies, as well as training or on-the-job learning opportunities, HCAAP (food safety) plans and implementation, inventory, purchasing and pricing management, basic meat and deli cutting operation , cutting and packaging for ready-to-use products, value-added processing, equipment infrastructure, etc.

Addison County

Vermont Livestock Processing and Slaughtering Company

$100,000 for facility renovations.

Bennington County

Southshire Meats, LLC

$74,761 for the improvement and expansion of the Higley Hill processing plant in Wilmington.

County of Caledonia

Treatment of the Northeast Kingdom

$104,028 for safety and efficiency improvements to the slaughter floor and smokehouse.

County of Chittenden

Adam’s Turkey Farm

$100,000 for the modernization and expansion of the farm.

Rutland County

haystack farm

$95,259 for a modular meat plant.

Washington County

Babette’s table

$95,345 for a smokehouse and packing machine to increase the capacity and efficiency of smoked pork products and the expansion of hog farms in Vermont.

Windsor County

Royalton Meats

$50,032 to expand smokehouse operations through training.

Grants benefit Vermont nonprofit grower association groups that represent and promote Vermont agricultural, food, beverage, forestry, or fiber products.

Bennington County

Vermont Sheep and Goat Association

$20,000 for a market supply chain research and development grant for small ruminant producers.

County of Chittenden

Vermont Fresh Network

$19,400 for Resilience and Recovery: Cultivating Connections, Skills and Partnerships.

Vermont Organic Farmers

$20,000 for Back-to-Basics organic digital marketing campaign.

Vermont Agricultural Bureau

$20,000 for technical equipment upgrades to support membership expansion.

Franklin County

University of Vermont State and Agricultural College

$9,900 to grow Vermont’s grain farming economy through strategic planning, website and logo.

Franklin and Grand Isle Farmer Watershed Alliance

$10,754 to refocus and reframe the Alliance.

Orange County

True Organic Project

$20,000 for the promotion of the project’s label.

Rutland County

Vermont Forestry Association

$10,000 for transition and strategic planning to navigate change.

Washington County

Vermont Grass Farmers Association

$15,500 to increase market acceptance of grass-fed beef by improving industry understanding of the origins of off-flavors.

Vermont Cheese Board

$18,050 to increase funder marketing capacity and capabilities.

Windham County

Connecticut River Watershed Alliance

$20,000 for the development of a strategic plan.

Grants to Working Lands companies to develop markets and develop marketing plans, sales strategy, improve production and/or manufacturing efficiency, research and development; and/or improving infrastructure.

Addison County

Rolling Bale Farm, LLC

$24,999 for work on the creamery site and the construction of a hay barn.

Meeting place Pastures

$11,050 for branding and marketing.

County of Caledonia

farmyard butcher

$20,115 for a hydraulic lift to meet custom felling needs.

NEK Cereals

$24,999 for the expansion of the stone mill and farm store.

Small ax farm

$24,999 for solar panels for farm viability.

County of Chittenden

Trillium Hill Farm

$17,500 for the expansion of the car wash.

Fisherman’s Brothers Farm

$21,200 for electrical and emergency generator upgrades.

White Page Cafe

$10,000 for a consumer durables-based solution for waste stream management.

Vermont Tortilla Company

$24,999 for packaging upgrade.

Franklin County

Giddings Hill Forest Products

$24,999 for a logging firewood processor.

Pinnacle View Maples

$10,186 for an infrastructure improvement project.

Ledge View Maple, LLC

$20,950 for the expansion of the sugar shack.

Grand Isle County

Hackett Orchard

$15,000 for weatherization and expansion of the retail room.

County of Lamoille

Firm to the knees

$24,999 for increased crop storage capacity.

Sage Farm Goat Dairy

$10,000 for working land grant.

Sterling Mountain Farm Sleigh Service

$15,618 for carriage rides.

Orange County

Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center, Inc.

$24,212 for Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center.

black locust farm

$24,999 for the Farm Visitor Center.

The creamery of the three cows

$15,000 for the expansion of the dairy barn and the construction of a new trading post.

Rutland County

Baird Maple Farm, LLC

$24,999 for electrical service expansion.

Squier Family Farm, LLC

$24,999 for the farm’s commercial kitchen.

Otter Point Farm

$14,820 for solar power for the farm and propagation house.

Southwind Forestry, LLC

$20,142 for logging infrastructure upgrade.

Washington County

Local Donut, LLC

$10,000 for a business growth and efficiency project.

Rogers Farm, LLC

$20,000 for product storage expansion.

North Branch Vineyards

$16,469 for vineyard pest control.

Windham County

Scott Farm

$24,999 for the development of value-added products.

Cobb Hill Cheese

$10,000 for the vacuum sealing room.

“These investments will support businesses that live off the land. These investments will make it more affordable for these businesses while developing the rural economy. At a time when businesses continue to navigate the pandemic, Working Lands investments are helping these businesses innovate and grow,” said the Secretary of the Agriculture, Food and Markets Agency, Anson Tebbetts.

This is the first in a series of grants to be awarded in 2022, with another round of investments to be announced later in the spring. A total of $5.294 million will be invested this year through the Working Lands Program. Please visit https://workinglands.vermont.gov/ to know more.

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) and Board of Directors (WLEB) was created by the legislature in 2012 to stimulate economic development in the agricultural and forestry sectors. WLEI is a collaborative effort between the Vermont Agency for Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Vermont Department of Forestry, Parks and Recreation, and the Vermont Agency for Commerce and Community Development.

January 14, 2022 | Montpelier, VT – VT Agriculture, Food and Markets Agency

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