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$6M gift aims to accelerate future of farming in Vermont

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) - Six million dollars is going to farmers across Vermont, and a portion of that money focuses on the Black, Indigenous and people of color community.

An announcement Thursday at the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte explained the money is a gift from the High Meadows Fund to the Vermont Land Trust.

Two million dollars will go toward establishing a land sovereignty fund over the coming months led by BIPOC leaders.

Their goal is to double the capacity of the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access Program, giving more control to those who have been marginalized and oppressed.

The remaining $4 million will go to hundreds of farmers across the state, focusing on increasing opportunities and improving ecological factors like the health of soil and resiliency of watersheds.

“We look forward to joining hands in community with others to support the important work ahead. To increase new farmers’ access to land, to increase farm ownership and to protect the farms that so many Vermonters are already holding onto, sometimes by the skin of their teeth,” said Lydia Clemmons of the Clemmons Family Farm.

But some people question why the gift was not split evenly.

The High Meadows Fund says the $4 million is not only for white farmers and acknowledges the challenges the farming community faces as a whole.

The money will assist farmers struggling financially, enterprise co-op farms and emphasize the value of healing, health and arts within the farming community.

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