Agency dollars assist Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) last week announced grants totaling $299,350 for seven projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase 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 six agricultural organizations to undertake a range of research, development, education, business planning, and marketing projects. The grants will leverage an additional $190,026 in matching funds.
“These important investments will grow the Vermont economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “This year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding will promote local food markets, increase marketing opportunities for Vermont specialty crops within and beyond Vermont, support the emerging Vermont saffron industry, and invest in research to improve fruit and vegetable production methods and control pests.”
Since the program’s establishment in 2006, the Vermont SCBGP has invested over $3.2 million in projects to benefit Vermont specialty crop producers. The program supports projects led by producers, researchers, and agricultural service providers, including a recently completed project, Increasing the Competitiveness of Vermont Wine through Vermont Restaurant and Agritourism Opportunities.