Working Lands Enterprise Board announces FY 2022 grants

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Working Lands Enterprise Board announces FY 2022 grants

Fri, 01/14/2022 - 12:54pm -- tim
Over $2.1 Million Invested in Vermont Agriculture & 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 make their living off the land. The Program has awarded $2.1 in grants that will help grow agriculture and small businesses in Vermont. This latest round of funding will address meat slaughter and processing bottlenecks, supply chain resiliency, marketing plans and overall business development. 

Awards from this program also support farmers, producers, markets and co-ops that make up our food system; Vermont loggers, foresters and forest products businesses managing 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 was allocated to the Working 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 emphasize impacts to a diverse range of agriculture and forestry businesses, including funding to organizations that provide viability assistance with a focus on enterprises building executive business skills,” said Lynn Ellen Schimoler, Program Lead.  “This initiative supports Vermont entrepreneurs by providing financial assistance to help business create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote growth in economies and communities of Vermont’s working landscape.”

So far this year, working lands businesses and organizations in the following categories will receive Working Lands Enterprise Program awards:  (Please follow the link in each category to view the individual businesses receiving 2022 program funds.)

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

Addison County

Addison County Relocalization Network, Inc. (ACORN) 

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

Chittenden County

Center for Women & Enterprise    

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

Vermont Grape and Wine Council    

$12,000 to create an American Viticultural Area (AVA) for the Champlain Valley of Vermont.

Northeast Organic Farming Association - Vermont    

$82,017 for a continuum of business development services for early stage farmers.

Paul, Frank, and Collins     

$100,000 for building executive business skills for working lands businesses. 

Washington County

Vermont Releaf Collective    

$20,000 for developing culturally relevant technical assistance for BIPOC-led working lands enterprises.

Vermont Community Loan Fund    

$150,000 for SPROUT low-interest loan program for emerging Vermont working lands entrepreneurs. 

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board - Forest Economy    

$99,965 for expanding access to business assistance services for the forest economy.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board- Agriculture    

$97,722 for building resilience in the agriculture sector through executive business and marketing skills.

Northeast Forests    

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

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund    

$100,000 for developing a supply chain for beef-on-dairy terminal crossbred animals.

Grants assist businesses with larger facilities to increase production, processing and/or distribution, address known existing bottlenecks, market development, marketing plans and/or sales strategies, plus on the job training or apprenticeship opportunities, HCAAP (food safety) plans and implementation, inventory, procurement, and pricing management, basic meat cutting and cured meat operation, cut and wrap for case-ready products, value-added processing, equipment infrastructure, and more. 

Addison County

Vermont Livestock and Slaughter Processing Company

$100,000 for facility renovation.

Bennington County

Southshire Meats, LLC

$74,761 for improvements and expansion of Higley Hill processing facility in Wilmington.

Caledonia County

Northeast Kingdom Processing

$104,028 for safety and efficiency upgrades for slaughter floor and smokehouse.

Chittenden County

Adam's Turkey Farm

$100,000 for farm modernization and expansion.

Rutland County

Haystack Farmstead

$95,259 for a modular meat plant.

Washington County

Babette's Table

$95,345 for smokehouse and packaging machine for increased capacity and efficiency for smoke pork products and expansion for hog farms in Vermont.

Windsor County

Royalton Meats

$50,032 for expanding smokehouse operations through training.

Grants benefit Vermont-based nonprofit producer association groups that represent and promote Vermont agriculture, food, beverage, forest, or fiber products. 

Bennington County

Vermont Sheep and Goat Association 

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

Chittenden County

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 Farm Bureau

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

Franklin County

University of Vermont State and Agricultural College

$9,900 for growing the economy of grain growing in Vermont through strategic planning, a website and logo.

Franklin and Grand Isle Farmer's Watershed Alliance

$10,754 for refocusing and reframing the Alliance.

Orange County

Real Organic Project

$20,000 for project label promotion.

Rutland County

Vermont Woodlands Association

$10,000 for transition and strategic planning for navigating change.

Washington County

Vermont Grass Farmer's Association

$15,500 for increasing the market acceptance of grassfed beef by improving industry understanding of the origins of off flavors.

Vermont Cheese Council

$18,050 for expanding funder marketing capacity and capabilities.

Windham County

Connecticut River Watershed Alliance

$20,000 for strategic plan development.

Grants to Working Lands businesses to grow markets and develop marketing plans, sales strategy, enhancing production and/or manufacturing efficiencies, research and development; and/or infrastructure improvements. 

Addison County

Rolling Bale Farm, LLC

$24,999 for creamery site work and hay barn construction.

Meeting Place Pastures

$11,050 for branding and marketing.

Caledonia County

Backyard Butcher

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

NEK Grains

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

Small Axe Farm

$24,999 for solar array for farm viability.

Chittenden County

Trillium Hill Farm

$17,500 for wash pack station expansion.

Fisher Brothers Farm

$21,200 for electrical and back-up generator improvements.

Blank Page Cafe

$10,000 for consumer durables-driven solution to waste stream management.

Vermont Tortilla Company

$24,999 for packaging upgrade.

Franklin County

Giddings Hill Forest Products

$24,999 for firewood processor for logging operation.

Pinnacle View Maples

$10,186 for infrastructure improvement project.

Ledge View Maple, LLC

$20,950 for sugarhouse storage expansion.

Grand Isle County

Hackett's Orchard

$15,000 for retail salesroom weatherization and expansion.

Lamoille County

Knee Deep Farm

$24,999 for increased crop storage capacity.

Sage Farm Goat Dairy

$10,000 for Working Lands grant.

Sterling Mountain Farm Carriage 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 farm welcome center.

The Three Cow Creamery

$15,000 for dairy barn expansion and new milking stanchion construction.

Rutland County

Baird Farm Maple, LLC

$24,999 for electrical service expansion.

Squier Family Farm, LLC

$24,999 for farm commercial kitchen.

Otter Point Farm

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

Southwind Forestry, LLC

$20,142 for logging infrastructure upgrade.

Washington County

Local Donut, LLC

$10,000 for business growth and efficiency project.

Rogers Farmstead, LLC

$20,000 for product storage expansion.

North Branch Vineyards

$16,469 for vineyard pest protection.

Windham County

Scott Farm

$24,999 for value-added product development.

Cobb Hill Cheese

$10,000 for vacuum sealing room.

“These investments will support businesses who make their living off the land. These investments will make it more affordable for these businesses while growing the rural economy.  At a time when businesses continue to navigate the pandemic, Working Lands investments help these companies innovate and grow,”  said Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts.

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

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) and governing board (WLEB) were 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 of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. 

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