Intervale Center Receives $20,000 Working Lands Enterprise Board Grant
We were one of 36 grant recipients from Vermont’s agricultural and forestry sectors. The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) awarded 24 agricultural and 12 forestry grants, totaling a $1 million investment in Vermont’s working landscape and local food development.
Last week, the Intervale Center was the proud recipient of a Working Lands Enterprise Initiative service provider grant of $20,130 to support our land access work. The funds will help us work with several partners to develop and implement workshops and provide technical assistance for farmers seeking land to lease or purchase.
In addition, many of this year’s awardees were farms that the Intervale Center has worked with closely through our one-on-one business planning program, Success on Farms. These include Meeting Place Pastures, Bread and Butter Farm, Laughing Child Farm, Ploughgate Creamery, and Maple Wind Farm, which hosted the award ceremony (see: photo (left) of Beth Whiting and Bruce Hennessey, Maple Wind Farm owners).
Over the past three years, WLEB has invested over $3 million in Vermont’s food and forest industry, leveraging about $4 million in matching funds. As of December 2014, 23 completed projects created 25 jobs and a 25% increase in product output.
The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, Act 142, is administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in partnership with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board is an impact investment organization whose mission is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont’s working landscape by making essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy, from individual enterprises to industry sectors.
This year Local Food Market Development grant funds, focused on increasing institutional and wholesale market access, were made available through the Working Lands grant process to increase overall program efficiency and impact. These funds aim to increase the quantity of local food available in Vermont institutions by supporting the development of institutional markets and helping ready producers to meet these market demands.
Learn more about the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative at VermontWorkingLands.com.