Summer is synonymous with creemees, and well-timed ones at that: June is not only the beginning of summer, it is also National Dairy Month. This annual tribute recognizes an industry that has supported Vermonters for 150 years. A month to celebrate the food that dairy provides, and the hardworking families who have produced that food while stewarding the land and landscape that sets Vermont apart from so many other places. Unfortunately, this year, June also marks our fourth month of COVID-19 response. And although Vermont’s farming history has been fraught with challenges, the year 2020 has brought greater challenges to Vermont dairy than any farmer could have imagined throughout the past two centuries.
June 18, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – As a result of a generous donation from Vermont Rotary Clubs across the state, Vermonters in need will continue to receive fresh dairy products from the Vermont Foodbank for weeks to come. Continuing a collaboration begun earlier this year to connect Vermont dairy assistance to Vermonters, the Foodbank will receive food donations of Vermont yogurt and butter in support of their food assistance efforts. Ten Vermont rotary clubs joined forces to raise over $10,000 dollars, adding significant financial support to the effort already in place to recover Vermont milk.
June 16, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – In response to the ongoing urgent needs arising from COVID-19 challenges to Vermont’s Working Lands businesses, the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) has announced that 16 businesses will receive over $250,000 in COVID-19 Response Business Development Grants within the sectors of agriculture and forestry. These awards will focus on business response, shifting marketing strategies, or other activities that may improve business recovery. “Vermont’s agricultural and forestry businesses are critical to our future. Getting grants quickly to these companies will help Vermont’s economy to recover and grow as well as help feed Vermonters,” said Governor Phil Scott.With supply chain impacts felt around the region, one grantee, The Royal Butcher of Braintree, intends to respond to the surge in demand for slaughter and meat processing. Current bottlenecks in processing will require urgent need to meet the local demand for this butcher’s services. “These dollars will allow us to expand our business while helping farmers who need our services during the pandemic,” said Justin Sauerwein of The Royal Butcher. The Royal Butcher, established in 2003, is a USDA inspected slaughterhouse and meat processor, attending to the needs of local livestock and dairy farms. This $20,000 grant will allow them to serve more farms, improving throughput by 30-40%.