1 Jan

Vermont farmers to benefit from $157,700 in grants and technical assistance

first_imgThe Vermont Farm Viability Program announced today the award of $95,000 in grants and $62,700 in technical assistance awards to Vermont farmers to assist them in implementing their farm business plans completed through the program. In this latest round of funding, 21 farmers around the state received grants ranging from $650 to $7,000. An additional 21 farmers received technical assistance awards ranging from $700 to $4,000 to cover the cost of consulting with specialists. Among the implementation grants presented:Manchester Center –  At Earth Sky Time Community Farm, Oliver and Bonnie Levis grow vegetables and orchard fruits and run a commercial kitchen to make value-added products such as breads, spreads, pickles, and a new product, the VT Goldburger, a veggie burger made with Vermont produce. Following completion of their business plan in 2009, Oliver and Bonnie applied for a Farm Viability Implementation Grant in November 2010 to upgrade their farmstand and to purchase veggie burger production equipment. They were awarded $7,000 towards a total project cost of $20,000.             After purchasing the equipment, Oliver said, ‘Though we have been making VT Goldburgers in our farm kitchen for several years, we had neither the equipment we needed to ramp up production or a clear understanding of what the veggie burgers cost us to make. The Farm Viability Program helped us get a handle on the finances of the project, and the grant funding for equipment purchase made our regional product launch a reality. We are thrilled that VT Goldburgers are now available in 15 natural food co-ops in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. Thanks to this program we are utilizing thousands of pounds of organic VT grown produce and supporting our farm with year-round income.’Hinesburg – Linsday Harris and Evan Reiss own The Family Cow Farmstand, a small grass-based dairy farm. They sell state-certified raw milk directly to customers from their farmstand and by delivery.  Lindsay and Evan started Family Cow in 2008. They wrote a business plan through the Farm Viability Program in 2010.  They applied for an Implementation Grant in November 2010 to renovate their milk room and improve the milk handling system. They were awarded $4,000 in February towards the $8,676 project, quickly set to work, and completed the project in April. The grant helped to fund a new sink, bulk tank, dishwasher, floor, and washable ceiling.             Lindsay said of the renovations, ‘We are really happy with how our project came out. It has already made our day-to-day farming operation a lot safer, easier and cleaner.’Three of the farmers receiving technical assistance awards to work with specialists were: Ray Shatney and Janet Steward (Greenfield Highland Beef, Plainfield and Greensboro Bend) received an award to cover development of promotion materials for the farm and consultation on their watering system;Reynolds and Celia Hackett (Hackett’s Orchard, South Hero) will receive  consulting on the intergenerational transfer of their orchard;An award to Jeremy Michaud (Clair-A-Den Farm, East Hardwick) will cover the costs of construction engineering for a new on-farm value-added processing facility, Kingdom Creamery of Vermont.             The Farm Viability Program accepts applications for business planning assistance quarterly. To request an application, call 802 828 3370 or see www.vhcb.org/viability.html(link is external). Farmers who complete business plans with the program are eligible to apply for implementation grants to help with capital expenses or additional technical support to launch new on-farm projects identified in the business planning process. The technical assistance awards pay for consultants to work one-on-one with farmers to further the goals of the business plan, such as meeting with crop or animal health specialists, planning for new farm enterprises, estate or farm transfer, or to develop ideas for value-added processing, for instance. There is a $75 fee to enroll in the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program. Aside from this enrollment fee, business planning and technical assistance services are provided free of charge if your farm is chosen to participate.            The Farm Viability Enhancement Program is funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, with funding assistance provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Rural Development and private foundations, including the John Merck Fund. In addition to private consultants contracting with the program, consultants are provided by the University of Vermont, the Intervale Center, and NOFA-VT. More than 350 Vermont farmers have used the services of the Farm Viability Program since it was established in 2003.last_img read more

26 Nov

Dhoni seals 6 wicket victory for Pune against Hyderabad

first_imgPublished on Rising Pune Supergiant players celebrate the dismissal of Kane Williamson during the IPL Match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Pune on Saturday. – PTI Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 61 to finally come good and reassert his top-class finisher tag as he guided Rising Pune Supergiant to a six-wicket victory over defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in a thrilling IPL match here today.After a series of flop shows, Dhoni’s reputation as a top-notch finisher was at stake, but today the former India captain was in his elements, smashing a flurry of fours and sixes as Pune overhauled the target of 177 in the final ball of the run chase.Dhoni needed two runs from the final delivery but he hit Siddarth Kaul for a boundary as Pune reached 179 for 4 to the wild celebrations of the home supporters at the MCA Stadium.Dhoni faced 34 deliveries for his unbeaten 61 that included five fours and three sixes.This was the third win for Pune from six matches and they now have six points.Hyderabad, on the other hand, have eight points from seven matches, after four wins and three losses.Opener Rahul Tripathi had kept Pune in the hunt with a 41-ball 59 before he was out in the 14th over. Captain Steve Smith contributed with a 21-ball 27 but he got out early in the 11th over.When Dhoni came out at number four at the fall of Smith’s wicket in the final delivery of the 11th over at 87 for 2, Pune needed 10 runs an over to win the match.However, the situation worsened after Tripathi was out.Ben Stokes (10), this IPL season’s costliest buy, once again failed to contribute, falling in the 17th over and by that time the asking rate had shot up to above 14 an over.Dhoni, who seemed to be struggling as he could not connect his bat with the ball for some time, then swung into action as he hit two fours and a six to take 17 runs from the 18th over bowled by Mohammed Siraj.Dhoni was on song then and he did not spare death overs specialist Bhuvneshwar Kumar, stealing 19 runs from the penultimate over with the help of two fours and a six. That changed the complexion of the match and Pune needed 11 runs from the final over.Manoj Tiwary (17 not out) was dropped in the first ball of the final over and got a four courtesy Rashid Khan. But Tiwary and Dhoni could score only in singles in the next three deliveries before a couple of runs in the penultimate ball.Pune needed two from the last ball and Dhoni hit a four to seal the issue.For Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bipul Sharma and Rashid Khan got wicket apiece.Earlier, Pune produced a disciplined bowling effort before a smashing half-century by Moises Henriques enabled Hyderabad to reach a competitive 176 for three.Put into bat, Hyderabad were struggling at 122 for three in the 16th over before Henriques (55 not out) increased the tempo to steal 54 runs in the last four overs, in the able company of Deepak Hooda (19 not out off 10 balls).Off to a decent start after being put in to bat, skipper David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan put on a 55-run stand for the opening wicket before Hyderabad bowlers led by Daniel Christian (1/20) and Imran Tahir (1/23) dominated the middle overs to put brakes on the scoring.Tahir was the one, who gave Hyderabad their first breakthrough by seeing off Dhawan for a 29-ball 30.Kane Williamson tried to accelerate the run-rate during his 21 off 14 balls that included a six and a four, he was trapped leg-before wicket by Christian.Even though Warner held on to his wicket and played a responsible knock, he failed to up the ante.Eventually he was bowled out by Jaydev Unadkat for 43 off 40 deliveries, studded with three boundaries and a six.After Warner’s departure, Henriques launched a furious assault, hitting two sixes and six boundaries to guide the team to a 175-plus total.He remained unbeaten on 55 off just 28 deliveries. COMMENTS cricket × April 22, 2017center_img SHARE Rising Pune Supergiant players celebrate the dismissal of Kane Williamson during the IPL Match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Pune on Saturday. – PTI COMMENT IPL 2017 SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more