The $20,000 grant was awarded to the Boyd farm this week as part of a $1.1 million round of grants given to a total of 37 Vermont entrepreneurs and technical service providers. The grant program focuses on agriculture and forestry, and a statewide investment in job creation, innovation, sustainability, and increased income.
The Boyds personally invested between $80,000 and $100,000 on retrofitting the old cow barn during the last three years, and the grant money provides a last push in completing its transformation into an office and storage space.
“We used to run between a lot of different places, but now we’re more in line,” said farm owner Janet Boyd. “Overall, it will bring all those loose ends together in one energy-efficient, newly repurposed, customer-friendly barn that will act as a hub for all of our activities.”
While the barn already houses the farm store, the grant will go toward the completion of office space, as well as the installation of a handicap bathroom, which Boyd said would help the farm be more customer-friendly for school groups and bus tours. Also included in the project is the creation of a washroom for produce, close to an already constructed walk-in cooler.
“The washroom bring us in line with the good food practices that we’re working toward,” said Boyd. “It will help us increase what we offer local restaurants and schools in quality, local produce, and those are huge components for us.”
This was the Boyds’ second grant application, and they were one of only two farms in Windham County to receive it. Big Picture Farm, in Townshend, received $20,000 to go toward` materials for their caramel and cheese production facility.