Working Lands Enterprise Initiative FundingAuthor:Paul Costello | Organization:VT Council on Rural Development | Date:June 1, 2019
The Working Lands Coalition has good news to report! The legislature finished their business this week, and they allocated an additional $1 million for the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative for fiscal year 2020, which means a little over $1.5 million will be available for grants in the coming year—the largest investment in this initiative to date.
The legislators targeted $500k of the funding to dairy farms to diversify agricultural and value-added products produced on the farm, or implement agricultural practices that improve soil health and improve water quality. However, the rest of the funding $1.094 million is not targeted.
In addition, separate from the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, $120k was allocated towards logger safety programs, to work towards improving safety and decreasing Workers’ Compensation expenses for loggers.
Although we did not realize our goal of $3 million for Working Lands this year, these are significant investments, and they will help to keep our lands productive and open.
Paul Costello, Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development on behalf of the Vermont Working Lands Coalition