Vermont announces $800K in 'working lands' grants

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Agriculture and forestry-related businesses were awarded "working lands" grants Wednesday.

Officials gathered at the Intervale in Burlington to announce more than $800,000 awarded this year to 18 agriculture and forestry-related businesses. The program provides financial assistance from the state land other organizations to help working lands businesses innovate and grow.

Kyle Pratt with KJ Pratt Logging and Tree Service in Jericho was awarded a $15,000 grant to help buy a firewood processor to expand the low-grade wood division of his business. "I don't think I would have taken the initiative to do so -- it crossed my mind. I don't think I would have had the drive without this grant," said Pratt.

"When we sit around that board table and talk about the opportunities we get that this little amount of money is about catalyzing you to do something that you might normally otherwise do," said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Deputy Secretary Ted Brady.

The Working Lands Enterprise next year will have the highest allocation it has ever had, of more than $1.5 million. About a half-million of that will go to the dairy sector.

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