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Agriculture Agency grants $324,000 to Vermont specialty crop organizations

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announces grants totaling $324,467 for eight 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 seven agricultural organizations to undertake a range of research, development, education, and marketing projects. The grants will leverage an additional $162,629 in matching funds.  

“We are thankful for our Congressional delegation’s continued commitment 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 resiliency in the face of rapid market changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increase wholesale market opportunities for farmers, support the emerging Vermont tree nut industry, sponsor grower-led events and educational opportunities, and invest in research to improve fruit and vegetable production methods and control pests.”    

Since the program’s launch in 2006, the Vermont SCBGP has invested over $3.6 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 Vermont Apple Industry’s Marketing Capabilities, directed by the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association.  

In this project, the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association hired a contractor to create a long-term marketing and recruitment strategy for the association. The contractor helped the association develop and disseminate a strategic marketing plan and established partnerships with the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, the Vermont Fresh Network, and other organizations. 

To view the USDA press release announcing SCBGP awards nationally, click here.

For more information:  
Gina Clithero  
Tel.: +1 (802) 585-6225

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