VCLF’s Food, Farms & Forests Fund is a new resource providing flexible financing and business development support for Vermont’s food and agricultural entrepreneurs. The new Fund is supported by investments from community-focused investors, individuals and nonprofit institutions like Shelburne Farms.
Shelburne Farms is one of the best examples of Vermont’s agricultural heritage and best practices for the future, and has a mission dedicated to educating for a sustainable future and using its working farm and forest as a campus for learning.
Webb made the announcement on May 20 to an enthusiastic crowd at the official launch event for the new Fund, held at Shelburne Farms’ historic Farm Barn. He described his organization’s decision to invest part of their endowment with VCLF.
“Shelburne Farms is investing in the Food, Farms & Forests Fund because, like the Vermont Community Loan Fund, we believe that an economically viable working landscape here in Vermont is the foundation for a sustainable future, and that everyone's success in the Vermont food and forest system is linked,” Webb said.
“We believe that local capital from local investors who care about their communities is critical for growing successful food, farm and forest enterprises across the state.
“Investing in this fund is also a way to pay forward the charitable support that Shelburne Farms receives every year by supporting other food, farming, forestry and agri-tourism enterprises who face challenges similar to ours,” Webb added.
Responding to Webb’s announcement, VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia said “The Loan Fund and Shelburne Farms have both worked to strengthen Vermont’s agricultural enterprises. Having Shelburne Farms’ commitment to the new Food, Farms & Forests Fund is an honor for us, and a tremendous benefit for the small farms, food producers and natural resources businesses in our state.”
“We know it takes a community working together to build a sustainable future for Vermont and beyond,” Webb concluded.