Friday, June 1, 2012

The Vermont Farm Fund Launches Innovative Loan Program

The Vermont Farm Fund Launches New Innovative Loan Program

Getting back to their roots, VFF refocuses on moving local food system forward

Hardwick, VT, May 31, 2012— On June 1st, the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Pete’s Greens will launch the Vermont Farm Fund Innovative Loan. Offering a low interest rate and quick response, the Innovative Loan Program will benefit farmers and food producers who are “innovating” to increase the diversity of local foods produced in Vermont.

Examples of innovation include development of a new crop, product, process or market; business and/or financial planning for diversifying product lines; new kinds of infrastructure and equipment that would increase the amount of local food or local ingredients in a commonly used product. Like the Vermont Farm Fund (VFF) Emergency Loan Program, the VFF Innovative Loan Program will be a simple application process for $10,000 loans payable over the course of 24 months with a low interest rate.

Although in the planning stages since early 2011, the Vermont Farm Fund Advisory Board halted planning for the Innovative Loan in August 2011 and quickly established the emergency loan program to meet the immediate needs of farmers effected by the catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.  This zero interest revolving loan program of $5,000 and $10,000 loans has been highly successful, resulting in over $100,000 in loans to a dozen farmers in Vermont. “We are very pleased with the progress we are making” says Mary Skovsted of Joe’s Brook Farm in St. Johnsbury. “It has been a very good spring for growing and the Emergency Loan has put us in a position to take advantage of the good weather.  Our hope is that by the end of 2012 the flood will be a distant memory.

The Vermont Farm Fund (VFF), created by Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT in partnership with the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), was inspired by the outpouring of support Pete's Greens received when the farm's barn and processing facility, burned to the ground in January 2011. The VFF is guided by a group of independent advisors of farmers and community leaders.

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, 21 Mill Street, Hardwick, VT 05843. 

To apply for a loan from the VFF, please visit to view and download the application after June 1st or contact

under water at joe's brook farm
Joe's Brook Farm, St. Johnsbury, Vermont

pre-flood at Joe's Brook Farm, St. Johnsbury, VT
Better days are here

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