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VTC awarded grant to increase meat processing courses

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A boost in our region to help counter a shortage of meat processing plants in the Northeast that officials say was exacerbated by the pandemic.

Vermont Technical College has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the state’s Working Lands program to increase meat processing courses at the school.

State agriculture officials say the money will create a number of certificate opportunities for students.

Officials say about 70 students a year will learn the trade which ultimately will help address workforce shortages in the industry.

“Vermont livestock producers cannot expand their operations or capitalize on the growing demand that we are seeing for their value-added products unless we really get the meat processing infrastructure expansions that are going to enable more throughput and help with the insufficient meat processing infrastructure that exists,” said Lynn Ellen Schimoler of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund.

This May, the program awarded $3.1 million in grants to grow agriculture and small businesses in Vermont.

More than $5 million in grants have been awarded since the beginning of the year.

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