Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vermont Farm Fund Awards $35,000 in Emergency Loans

 Within days of receiving applications, VFF Committee awards loans to farms in need after Irene.

Hardwick, VT, September 20, 2011— Thanks to a dedicated group of advisers, the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) has administered $35,000 in zero interest loans through the Vermont Farm Fund (VFF), to four Vermont farms of varying size. 

  • Little Village CSA, a small farm in Proctorsville, had seven weeks left to deliver to their 30 family membership when Irene hit. They lost all three of their fields, effectively ending their season. 
  • Harlow Farm in Westminister, a farm established in the early seventies that employs over 30 people, lost dozens of acres of produce, while incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. 
  • Jericho Settlers Farm in Jericho raises animals and vegetables on 200 acres, running a year round CSA and selling all the food they produce within 25 miles of their farm. When the Winooski River rose suddenly in the middle of the night, they lost animals, forage, crops and equipment in a field that hadn’t flooded in 84 years.

The first to receive a VFF loan, Kingsbury Market Garden in Warren, lost 10% of their tillable land to the river, lost a fall planting season to contaminated soil and the bulk of their crops to the widespread flooding that resulted from Tropical Storm Irene. “The first substantial relief money that we received after the flood was from the Vermont Farm Fund. In less than a week after applying for $5,000 we received word that the money would soon be in our bank account. When the fund increased their maximum loans to $10,000 total, we requested and received another $5,000. “, says Aaron Locker, who works the Kingsbury Farm with his wife and partner Suzanne Slomin. “While I expect to receive relief money from other sources, the Vermont Farm Fund enabled us to get to work quickly rebuilding our existing soil so that we are in the best shape we can be for the 2012 growing season.”

The VFF was established in the spring by Pete’s Greens, in honor of the donations gifted to them after the devastating fire that brought the farm to a standstill in January of this year. To start the fund, Pete’s Greens paid forward $40,000 of those donations and at this printing, a total of $70,000 has been raised for the emergency loan program.

To make a tax deductible donation, please visit or write a check to the Vermont Farm Fund and mail to the Center for an Agricultural Economy, PO Box 451, 41 S. Main St., Hardwick, VT 05843.

To apply for a loan from the VFF, please visit to view and download the application or contact

Media Contact:
Elena Gustavson             
Center for an Agricultural Economy


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