May 12, 2016


The Working Lands Enterprise Board is pleased to invite you to the 2016 Working Lands Enterprise Initiative’s Grantee Announcement Celebration and Networking Event.  This year's grant recipients represent a diverse selection of Vermont businesses and service providers who are valuable contributors to Vermont's culture, communities, and sustainable economies.

Scheduled to attend the event are Governor Peter Shumlin, Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets Chuck Ross, Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation Michael Snyder, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets Jolinda LaClair, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lucy Leriche, and the Working Lands Enterprise Board Members.

WHEN: Tuesday May 17th, 2016 10:00am – 12:00pm.  Following the grantee announcement ceremony, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative will be hosting a 90 minute networking session for past and present Working Lands grant recipients, technical assistance providers, and capital providers.

WHERE: The celebration will take place at Vermont Tree Goods at 5971 Plank Road, New Haven, VT


Vermont Tree Goods is an early stage business in New Haven manufacturing specialty and natural “live edge” lumber and furniture. Vermont Tree Goods uses reclaimed heirloom trees, exclusively from Vermont. Vermont has a tremendous variety of beautiful hardwood species, each with a wide range of unique and beautiful characteristics. Vermont Tree Goods received $20,000 in working lands funds in 2015, for the purchase of equipment for their new facility, including new saws, kilns, and material handling systems. Vermont Tree Goods is also a participant in Vermont Housing & Conservation Board’s Forest Viability Program which received $75,000 this year to continue this invaluable technical assistance to Vermont’s forestry and forest product sector businesses.


Since its inception in 2012, The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) has invested over $3.1 million dollars in 112 projects impacting every county of the state, leveraging just under $5 million in additional funds. Impacts to date include:

  • 106 new jobs created by working lands grantees
  • A $12 million+ increase in gross income across all working lands grantees

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative 2015 Annual Report can be found here:

The Working Lands Video can be found here:

For more information about grant recipients, visit:

Included in this year’s funding was a $25,000 allotment to refund the Tradeshow Assistance Grant program administered by the Domestic Export program at the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.  The small grants are given to producers looking to promote their product out of the state. Last year’s 24 grantees reported 950 sales leads and 82 immediate sales valued at over $30,000.

This year, the Working Lands Enterprise board received generous contributions from three Vermont entities, Charles and Leigh Merinoff, Progressive Farm Alliance, and Long Trail Brewing.  The board and grantees are very thankful for these donations, which allowed more grants to be made and will support the working landscape.

Again this year, $30,000 of Local Food Market Development (LFMD) grant funds were made available through the Working Lands grant process. The focus of LFMD funding is to increase Vermont producers’ access to institutional and wholesale markets, promote consumption of local food, and encourage scaling up through new market development opportunities across the state.

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, (Act 142), is administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in partnership with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.  The Working Lands funds are administered by the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB), an impact investment organization whose mission is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont’s working landscape by making essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy, from individual enterprises to industry sectors. For more information, visit


May 12, 2016

Trainging: WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016 - 4:00PM TO 6:00PM

Spraying pesticidesWorker Protection Standard (WPS) applies to all commercial growers that use any pesticides- organic or conventional- on farms, nurseries and greenhouses.  Before you spray, now is the time to attend a training about pesticide handling. You will also learn how to train your agricultural workers before they enter a pesticide treated area.  

Click HERE to learn more.





May 2, 2016

Three mosquito control districts have formed in Vermont for the purpose of reducing populations of nuisance mosquitoes. The BLSG Insect Control District was formed in 1990 and includes the towns of Brandon, Leicester, Salisbury and Goshen. Two additional mosquito districts were formed in 2006, the Lemon Fair Insect Control District (LFICD) and the Weybridge Insect Control District.

Public Comment: 2016 BLSG Draft Permit

Public comment for the 2016 BLSG draft permit is now being accepted.  Please submit any comments you may have to by May 13,2016.

To view the permit please go to: Draft Permit


Additional information about Mosquito Control

Mosquito Control Permitting

Mosquito Control State Law

Mosquito Control Districts

May 1, 2016

Grow the Movement!  VT Farm to School Conference

November 2-3, 2016
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and Vermont FEED in partnership with the VT Farm to School Network is pleased to announce a state-wide conference designed to bring together members and leaders of the farm to school community for two-days of education, networking and inspiration. Join the movement and help bring food, farm and nutrition education and local purchasing to all VT schools.

Don’t miss this event! The conference will feature:
• 12+ workshops
• Keynote speakers from USDA Farm to School
• Deep-dive sessions with local, regional and national experts
• Opportunities for youth leaders

Registration Opens in August!

Learn more & join our mailing list for event details at:
April 27, 2016
Vermont Cheese Council Members Win Multiple Awards in Madison, WI

By Tom Bivins, Vermont Cheese Council

Jasper Hill Farm cheeses captivated judges at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, WI.  Along with Jasper Hill Farm, three other Vermont Cheese Council members, Vermont Creamery, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and Boston Post Dairy, also captured top awards in their categories.  Jasper Hill Farm, located in Greensboro, won two “Best in Class” awards for “Winnimere,” a washed rind, seasonal cheese and “Moses Sleeper,” a brie style, bloomy rind cheese.  In addition, its “Harbison” won a second place award and its much loved “Bayley Hazen Blue” won a third place award.  “Winnimere” was one of four outstanding American cheeses that made the cut for consideration for Best in Show, but lost to the “Grand Cru Surchoix,” an Emmi-Roth USA cheese made in Wisconsin.  This is the first American cheese to win the top prize in 30 years.

Cabot Creamery Cooperative, located in Cabot, also won two “Best in Class” awards, for their “Cabot Sharp” (6 months- 1 yr.) and Cabot Greek Yogurt.  In addition, Cabot received a third place award for its “Vermont Farmhouse Reserve,” part of its new Farmers Legacy Collection.  Vermont Creamery, located in Websterville, was named “Best in Class” for its “Fresh Crottin”, a fresh goat cheese.   Boston Post Dairy, located in Enosburg Falls, won a third place award for its gouda-style goat cheese “Tres Bonne.”

The World Championship Cheese Contest is held annually in Madison, Wisconsin and boasts a record-breaking 2,955 cheeses submitted from around the world. There were 110 judging categories, with only 11 percent of all the cheeses taking prizes in their classes.  The World Championship Cheese Contest is the world’s largest technical competition for cheese, butter and yogurt.

The Vermont Cheese Council is a non-profit trade association with 50 members. Its mission is to promote and advance quality cheesemaking in Vermont.  The Vermont Cheese Council prints The Vermont Cheese Trail Map and will host the 8thAnnual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival on July 17, 2016.  The Festival was recently named “Top Five Food Festivals to Plan Your Vacation Around” and Fodor’s Travel “Top Ten Summer Food Festivals in the United States.”

For additional information, please email Tom Bivins, Executive Director for the Vermont Cheese Council at or call 802-451-8654.