Investing in Vermont's Food, Forest, and Farm Economy
Focus areas and funding categories are annually assessed by the WLEB to ensure adequate attention toward the priority issues and needs of the agricultural and forestry industries. Investments are designed to support
businesses at pivotal stages of development.
Over 64,000 Vermonters are directly employed by over 11,000 farms and food-related businesses. With nearly 78 percent of its landscape forested, Vermont’s culture and economy has come to rely on healthy and productive forests. Annually, Vermont’s forest products industry generates $1.5 billion in economic output supporting 10,000 jobs in forestry, logging, processing, woodworking, construction, and wood heating.
Working Lands Enterprise Fund (WLEF) investments are able to respond to emerging and impending needs, sectors and markets that have potential and/or challenges. For the Fiscal Year 2021 grant cycle, the WLEB funded Supply Chain Impact Business Grants ranging $25,000-$75,000 per award.
- Production and Processing in Agriculture – Enhancing production of value-added agriculture or forest- based products and/or manufacturing efficiencies, transitioning to operation as a new processor or expansion as an existing processor, addressing known bottlenecks along the supply chain.
- Low Grade Wood Equipment – To produce, screen, weigh, or package, wood fuel (firewood, pellets, or chips) for heating; kiln or flow-through dryers; increase commercial sawmill throughput or efficiency.
Technical and business assistance awards to Service Provider organizations focused on business succession planning, marketing development, access to capital and enterprise tools to navigate Covid-19.
Read the full 2021 WLEI Impact Report.