October 11, 2021 | Lyndonville, VT – By the side of a freshly painted Vermont historic barn on Pudding Hill Road in Lyndonville, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) and the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) celebrated the Vermont Barn Painting Project and the many partners who have collaborated to assist Vermont barn owners in preserving these historic structures on Vermont’s working lands.
The owner of the Pudding Hill Road barn, Eric Paris of Tamarlane Farm, applied to the Vermont Barn Painting Project last year, hoping to restore his barn to its original glory and preserve it for the future. With the help of the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund, ReSOURCE YouthBuild and the Vermont Community Foundation, the barn was painted and refreshed this summer through the project. The project also received the support of the Vermont legislature and Governor Phil Scott.
“This program is designed to help young Vermonters build skills and experience that will help them when they enter the job market. At the same time, participants are preserving these wonderful pieces of Vermont history, making this work experience even more meaningful and long lasting,” said Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington. “This project helps connect Vermont’s future with its historic past, and the Department of Labor is proud to be a part of that effort.”
Taking place alongside this celebration was the announcement of the first Vermont Fantastic Farmer award. Cameron Clark, a dairy owner and operator from Williston, was chosen to receive this special award for her commitment to sustainable agriculture, land-use diversity, and her eighth generation family farm.
“We are committed to keeping our land in the family and as working lands, in the most low-impact natural ways possible,” Clark said. “I firmly believe organic production is the best way for us to do this and maintain for years to come while using our land’s resources to their potential, including grazing forage, maple production and timber.”
Behind all of these efforts is the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund. For years, the Pizzagalli Family has worked with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to paint barns in Caledonia County. Now with the collaboration of the VDOL Barn Painting Project, barns across Vermont have the opportunity to apply for a fresh coat of paint.
“The goal of the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund, as evidently was accomplished here, is to preserve our precious barns and to improve their roadside appeal across Vermont, for the locals and for those who visit our amazing State,” said Lisa Pizzagalli. “Additionally, we hope that those who work on these barns find it a valuable experience and learn some new technical and other skills that they are able to take with them in their next endeavor. Supporting our State’s hard-working agricultural entrepreneurs and the youth helping to build our State’s economy is vital to Vermont’s future.”
“We are grateful for the support of this fund. It’s meaningful to our youth, farmers & our rural economy. This generous program supports our working landscape and rewards farmers for their hard work,” said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “The Pizzagalli family also funded the High Quality Milk Award winners announced earlier this year. These awards reward the hard work of dairy farmers for producing high quality.”
After a successful summer, the Barn Painting Project, with support from the A. Pizzagalli Family Farm Fund and partners, will continue the program next year and beyond. Any Vermont barn owner who may have interest in the program should visit the Vermont Barn Painting Project to learn more about the history of the effort, and to apply.
To find out more about the High Quality Milk Awards, visit the Vermont Dairy Industry Association.
To nominate or apply for the Vermont Fantastic Farmer Award, please visit: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/administration/fantastic-farmer-award