Pete's Greens and The Center for an Agricultural Economy
Partner to Create the Vermont Farm Fund
Partnership will create fund to support Vermont farmers.
Craftsbury, VT., March 9, 2011—A new fund, organized by Pete’s Greens and the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), aimed to help Vermont agricultural organizations, is on the fast track to becoming a reality. Pete Johnson, owner of Pete’s Greens, and Monty Fischer, Executive Director of CAE met recently to outline the details to create the Vermont Farm Fund. Plans include the creation of an advisory board by the end of March and focusing the funding towards innovative and progressive agricultural efforts by Vermont farms, including support for farm-to-school initiatives, emergency farm relief and exploring the establishment of small farm loan funds.
“We are setting an aggressive pace to get the Vermont Farm Fund going so donations can be received immediately,” said Pete Johnson. “In addition, a few years from now, Pete’s Greens will begin to reinvest the money that was donated by the community to help us rebuild. We are committed to paying that money forward and to making sure that the funding donated to us will do more good work down the line.”
Pete’s Greens barn which housed its processing facility, equipment, supplies and food burned to the ground in mid-January. Since then the farm has received over $130,000 in donations as a result of statewide community efforts and individual donations, including a large online auction, a concert, local dinners and events. As donations began to roll in, Johnson and his staff embraced the spirit of supporting Vermont agriculture for which the donations were given and the idea to “pay it forward” was born. As a non-profit dedicated to supporting the efforts of small farms and progressive agricultural pursuits, the Center for an Agricultural Economy will house the fund and oversee the process.
Pete's Greens is a four season organic vegetable farm located in Craftsbury, VT and owned by Peter Johnson. The farm's top priority is growing a wide variety of crops to feed Vermonters year round. The weekly food delivery program Good Eats is based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model in which customers pay up front for vegetables and other farm products receiving a share each week. Shares at Pete’s Greens save members an average of 18% per week over retail prices. Pete’s Greens vegetables are also sold at regional stores and restaurants as well as local farmers’ markets. More information is available at www.PetesGreens.com.
The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) is a non-profit organization based in Hardwick, VT that focuses on supporting a healthy, ecological and economical local food system, through community involvement and education as well as research and small agricultural business support. In the spring, CAE will operate the newly built Vermont Food Venture Center, an incubator kitchen with a focus on value-added agricultural products. More information is available at www.HardwickAgriculture.org.