Douglas and I drove up to Marshfield, Vermont this week to attend the Vermont Working Lands Grant Awards Ceremony. As I mentioned in my last Working Lands post, Vermonters value their forests and farmlands so much they've made it a priority to invest in the sustainable development of them. For 2013, Vermont taxpayers (through the legislature) set aside almost $1 Million in grant monies to be awarded (by competitive bid) to organizations committed to supporting our value-added farm and forest industries. That's extraordinary!
At Vermont Woods Studios we felt that our work in developing a destination shopping experience at Stonehurst to showcase Vermont furniture (all made from sustainably harvested wood) was a perfect fit for the grant criteria. We spent months working on a grant proposal to illustrate how our plans were aligned with the state's needs. Our proposal was submitted in January along with almost 400 others.
After a challenging process of evaluating all the proposals, a Working Lands Enterprise Board selected about 40 applicants to award grants to. We are honored to be among this group! The whole idea behind the grant is to stimulate Vermont's farm and forest economy, creating sustainable, green jobs. So the heat is on to help revitalize Vermont's fine furniture industry through the Stonehurst showcase. And we are committed to giving taxpayers a great return on their investment.
Read more about our Working Lands Grant in the Vermont Business Magazine and the Brattleboro Reformer.