Agriculture Agency awards $ 324,000 to Vermont specialty crop organizations
The Vermont Agency for Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) announces grants totaling $ 324,467 for eight projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable and value-added producers and to increase the consumer access to locally produced food. These grants, funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), were awarded to seven farm organizations to undertake a range of research, development, education and marketing projects. The grants will generate an additional $ 162,629 in matching funds.
“We are grateful for the continued commitment of our Congressional delegation to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which funds projects that strengthen Vermont’s agricultural economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts.
“This year’s specialty crop block grant funding will promote industry resilience in the face of rapid market changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increase wholesale market opportunities for farmers, support the Vermont’s emerging nut industry, sponsor producer-led events and educational opportunities, and invest in research to improve fruit and vegetable production methods and control pests.
Since the program began in 2006, the Vermont SCBGP has invested more than $ 3.6 million in projects benefiting Vermont specialty crop growers. The program supports projects led by growers, researchers and agricultural service providers, including a recently completed project, Boosting Marketing Capacity for the Vermont Apple Industry, led by the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association.
In this project, the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association hired an entrepreneur to create a long-term marketing and recruiting strategy for the association. The entrepreneur helped the association develop and disseminate a strategic marketing plan and establish partnerships with the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, the Vermont Fresh Network and other organizations.
To view the USDA press release announcing the SCBGP nationwide awards, click here.
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