2018 Grantees of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund Announced

The Working Lands Enterprise Board awarded over $750,000 in grants to 25 Vermont agriculture and forest sector businesses and service providers at the statehouse today, in support of businesses and organizations that support Vermont's working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative has distributed over $3.8 million in grants since its inception in 2012, leading to an additional 428 jobs and $18.1 million in sales.

This year, the Working Lands Enterprise Fund received a donation of $16,000 from Ski Vermont. The annual Ski Vermont Grant went to Fairmont Farm from East Montpelier and will be used to fund the dairy farm's Life on the Farm Camp. Every summer, this camp brings many non-farm families to the dairy farm to enjoy a firsthand farming experience.

Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbetts; Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Alyson Eastman; Special Projects for Commerce & Community Development, Tim Tierney; Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Michael Snyder all participated in the presentations to the grantees, a list of which is included below:

Business Investment Grantees, (12) Agriculture and (3) Forestry Grant Recipients:

Addison County

* Champlain Valley Creamery, Moira Cook, $14,266 Champlain Valley Creamery small-scale bulk milk tankering to increase production capacity, Middlebury

* Full Belly Farm, Sarah Park, $5869, Cold Storage capacity and Low Tunnel Infrastructure, Hinesburg

Caledonia County

* Stannard Farm Vermont Maple Syrup, Riva Reynolds, $19,000 Increasing Capacity for Maple Retail marketing in The Northeast Kingdom, Starksboro

* Small Axe Farm, Heidi Choate, $9,000, Solar Installation/New Washroom, Barnet

Chittenden County

* Vermont Land Trust, Chuda Dhaurali, $35,000 Improving Slaughter Capacity at Pine Island Community Farm, Colchester

Rutland County

* Rico Balzano, Walnut Hill Farm, $9,750 Freezer Storage in Pawlet, VT, Pawlet

* Northeastern Vine Supply, Inc, Andrew Farmer, $19,700 Increasing Market Competitiveness through Transition to Virus-Certified Grapevine Nursery Stock,

Washington County

* Fairmont, LLC, Clara Ayer, $16,000 Life on the Farm Camp, East Montpelier

* Burtts Apple Orchard, Gregory and Stef Burtt, $10,000 Burtts Apple Orchard Pick your own and retail operation, Cabot

* Sawyer Made, George Sawyer, $20,000, Sawyer Made Facilities Upgrade

* Vermont Salumi, Pete Coleman, $50,000 - Improving Market Access with an automatic Meat Slicer, Plainfield

* Rhapsody Natural Foods, Sjon and Elysha Welters, $20,000 Rhapsody Natural Foods Annex and Walk-In Cooler/Freezer, Calais

Windham County

* Food Connects, Richard Berkfield, $50,000 - Building a Southeast VT Multi-use Hub for New Regional Partnerships and Increased Local Food Sales, Brattleboro

* Sustainable Timber Investment Exchange, Eli Gould, $16,000, Vermont Mass Timber Ceiling Prototype

Windsor County

* Clear Lake Furniture, Brent Karner, $19,978 Genuine Vermont Made showroom, Ludlow


Service Provider Grantees (Statewide impact) (6) Agriculture, (1) Forestry:

Chittenden County

* Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Jen Miller, $19,525 Vermont Organic Dairy: Improving Farm Efficiencies and Cash Flow in a Stagnant Milk Market, Richmond

* Vermont Grass Farmers Association, Meghan Sheridan $11,337 Education and marketing program development supporting grass-fed livestock production, Burlington

* Intervale Center, Amanda Fischer, $18,659 Direct Service to New Farmers in Vermont, Burlington

Orleans County

* Dairy Vison Vermont, Louise Calderwood $5,000 Dairy Vison Vermont Service Provider Grant, Craftsbury

Washington County

* Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association, Amanda Voyer, $9,900 Food safety in the Sugarhouse: Creating Additional Resources for Sugar Makers Waterbury

Windsor County

* Vital Communities, Beth Roy $20,000 Upper Valley Farmer Cooperative, White River Junction

Rutland County

* Vermont Woodworks Council, Kathleen Wanner, $20,000 Strengthening Vermont's Wood Manufacturing Industry, Rutland


Service Provider Pilot Contracts (Statewide Impact) (3) Forestry:

Washington County

* VT Housing and Conservation Board Ela Chapin, $130,000 Succession Planning and Business Assistance for Working Lands Businesses, Montpelier

* VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, Christine McGowan, $70,000 Vermont Forest Products Value Chain Investment Strategy Phase II - A Networked Approach to Sustain our Forest Economy, Montpelier

Concord, NH

* Northern Forest Center, Joe Short, $50,000, Connect businesses to resources, assist with strategic planning, provide technical assistance with research and design


Visit http://workinglands.vermont.gov for more information.