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Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces FY21 Grantees

Joneslan Goats

August 13, 2021 / Montpelier, VT - 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 Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

“Working with the Legislature, the Working Lands Enterprise Program budget grew to an unprecedented $5.94 million in 2021-2022,” said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. “These funds are used to support the farmers, producers, markets and co-ops, that make up our food system. It also supports the loggers, foresters and forest products businesses, helping them strengthen our supply chain.”

This initiative supports Vermont entrepreneurs by providing financial assistance to help innovate and grow their business while also creating jobs, building infrastructure, and promoting growth in economies and communities of Vermont’s working landscape. ‘WLEB, which finalizes all funding decisions, achieves this goal by making investments across businesses and service providers in critical leverage points which will have the highest return on investment, in all 14 counties,” said Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Deputy Secretary Alyson Eastman.

For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Working Lands Enterprise Board deployed over $520,000 around the State. Part of the strategic plan for 2021 was the emphasis on continued supply chain impacts to a diverse range of agriculture and forestry businesses, including funding to the emerging grain sector possibilities.  

A list of the FY20-21 grantees is below:

Supply Chain Impact Business Grants

Project

Award

Sector

County

Jasper Hill Creamery

Jasper Hill Creamery Supply Chain Impact Project

$75,000

Dairy

Orleans

Naga Bakehouse

Regional Grainshed Mill project

$75,000

Grains

Windham County

Tony Dwyer Logging

Low Grade Wood Equipment- Firewood Kiln

$75,000

Forest: Low Grade-Wood

Caledonia

Environmental Mediation Center, Inc.

Intra-Family Mediation and Counseling For Dairy Farms Facing Financial Challenges

$20,000

Dairy

Statewide

Vermont Community Loan Fund

SPROUT Program

$90,000

Agriculture and Forest

Statewide

Vital Communities

The BIPOC Land Access Every Town Handbook

$14,801

Agriculture and Forest

Statewide

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

3rd Annual Forestry Summit

$55,475

Forest

Statewide

Northeast Forests LLC

Forest Business School

$55,000

Forest

Statewide

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

Business Succession  Planning

$60,000

Agriculture and Forest

Statewide

The next funding opportunity round for businesses to apply opens on September 10th, 2021.  Please visit https://workinglands.vermont.gov/ to find out more.

For questions please contact:

Lynn Ellen Schimoler

VAAFM Senior Agricultural Business Development | Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

LynnEllenSchimoler@vermont.gov | 802-622-4477  

The mission of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont's working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) achieves this by making essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy and facilitating policy development to optimize the agricultural and forest use of Vermont lands.