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Vermont Officials Highlight Agricultural Recovery Since Irene


Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state officials were at a farm in Middlesex Wednesday morning to highlight agricultural and farm recovery, and continuing relief efforts, since Tropical Storm Irene hit the state nearly a year ago.

Nearly 91-hundred acres of farmland and over 17-thousand acres of crops were damaged or  destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont.  Despite the land, crop and livestock losses Governor Peter Shumlin is heartened that no farmer has shuttered their barns and quit in the wake of Irene losses.

The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund is administered by the Vermont Community Foundation. President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay says they were able to work with the state Agency of Agriculture and other partners to get the money to farmers quickly.

The 1782 Settlement Farm is nestled in a picturesque plain along the Winooski River in Middlesex. Last August, Cyrus Scribner’s crops were washed away during the storm.  He is reclaiming the damaged land and growing crops on other acreage, but has lost business due to the closure of the Waterbury Office Complex.

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross plans to hire a case manager to work with Vermont farmers that are still struggling with the impacts of Irene.

Monday is the deadline for farmers to apply for the sixth round of grants from the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund.