The success of this program depends on the collaboration of its many partners with the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) managing all of the details once a barn painting project has been approved.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture’s main role is to accept and process the submitted applications. A number of criteria are reviewed by the Agency to determine if the application should be forwarded to the Vermont Department of Labor for a site review. Some of the application criteria that must be met include:
- The owner and site are “In Good Standing” with all environmental regulations pertaining to water quality and farm operations.
- The structure is considered to be a “functioning” barn, still in service in some capacity to its owners, to agriculture and/or to the community.
- The barn does not contain any safety concerns such as lead paint or other hazardous materials.
- The barn does not have any structural issues that create an unsafe working environment and need to be corrected.
Once an application has been reviewed and approved by the Agency of Agriculture, it is then sent to the Department of Labor for a site visit and review. This process allows for a close up inspection of the barn site, the building and all the characteristics that will have an impact on the barn painting effort. If any concerns are discovered that disqualifies the barn during the site inspection, the Agency of Agriculture will communicate those issues with the barn owner. Once those concerns are remedied, the owner is welcome to resubmit their application.
If the site visit and review findings are favorable for the painting project, the Department of Labor will then include the project on a Master Waiting List for completion. This list is compiled “first-come-first-serve”, and is comprised of projects that are “paint ready”, meaning all safety and resource concerns have been addressed.
Once this determination has been made, the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) will seek community partners who may have an interest in the planning and completion of the project. As long as funding is available, the identified community partners in collaboration with VDOL will work to paint all approved barn projects that apply. VDOL will also engage any area persons, groups or entities that wish to volunteer and participate in the project to support the program mission. Along with the Program Partners, VDOL will plan for the needed labor and resources to complete the project.
As long as funding is available, the Program Partners will work to paint all approved barn projects that apply. Along with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Department of Labor, past program partners have included ReSOURCE, YouthBuild, and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. For each future project VDOL and the program will seek any new persons, businesses, and/or community partner that wishes to join the efforts and provide volunteer service. Each paint ready project will have resources and labor from these groups brought to bear on the barn restoration.
Additionally, each project will receive a $10,000 grant from the A.Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation to bring the barn a refreshed presence, and protect it for decades to come.
Vermont barn owners can apply at: https://vermontworkinglands.wufoo.com/forms/vermont-barn-painting-project-application/ or email Faith.Raymond@vermont.gov to explore this idea.
If you are an organization or individual who would like to explore volunteering with a barn painting, please contact Tracy Verge at the Vermont Department of Labor: Tracy.Verge@vermont.gov