Two local companies win state grants

Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg and Shelburne Orchards are both recipients of funds distributed to Vermont businesses by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. The agency awarded $74,000 to nine Vermont produce growers making on-farm improvements that prevent or reduce produce safety risks.

Money was distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold “covered produce,” which refers to produce that is frequently consumed raw.

In total, the program has awarded $148,029 to 17 Vermont produce farms. In both rounds, applications exceeded the total available funds within minutes; a total of 44 applicants requested $353,470 in produce safety improvement grant funds.

Shelburne Orchards received $10,000 to add a protective insulation layer that can be effectively cleaned to the refrigerated storage room.

Red Wagon Plants will use their $6,400 award to improve their produce wash station by adding a covered roof and concrete pad.

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