Shelburne receives grant to attract new agricultural, forestry businesses

The USDA Office of Rural Development has announced that the Town of Shelburne will be granted $23,000 to help defray costs associated with attracting new agricultural and forestry businesses to the Shelburne Green Complex off Route 7, just north of VT Teddy Bear Co. The funds, along with $7,500 in matching funds from anonymous sources, will also go toward technical assistance and marketing for new and existing tenants. Paul Bohne, Shelburne Town Manager, will administer the grant.

The USDA Office of Rural Development provides grants to public entities and rural nonprofit organizations to help spur economic growth and create jobs. The technical assistance provided through this funding to the Town of Shelburne will help ensure the future success of farm- and forest-based businesses.

For the last three years, J. Graham Goldsmith Architects has worked with Macy Mullican to transform the green facility and surrounding 20 acres anchored by Eating Well Magazine into a “culinary corridor.” In March, Mullican, Steve Justis and Elizabeth Cullen applied for the grant and presented a proposal to the Town of Shelburne Selectboard. Justis worked with the Agency of Agriculture for over 30 years and now does private consulting, and Cullen manages Root Consulting.

The Town of Shelburne made public an RFP for teams to manage the project, and ultimately decided to hire Mullican, Justis, and Cullen. Their goal is to attract agriculture and forestry ventures to Shelburne and provide the necessary resources to establish and grow their businesses.

So far, several non-food businesses such as Eating Well, Cricket Radio Linen, Nova Naturals, PT360, Sunward Solar, and Yoga Roots have established themselves in the facility. The prospect list includes culinary tourism businesses, meat and cheese producers, distilleries, bakeries, fishmongers, and coffee roasters.

Tenants may dedicate 20 percent of their space to retail sales, adding to the appeal of the site. The development team envisions a gradual increase in foot traffic as the complex establishes itself as a resource for locals and tourists alike. There is also space for a garden, community kitchen, and events.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Cullen at ehc@rootconsultingvt.com or call 419-0826.

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