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Vt announces working lands grants to 20 businesses

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Twenty new or growing Vermont farm or forestry businesses are the first recipients of the state's working land grants.

The first round of grants was announced Thursday.

The $3,000 to $15,000 grants are going to projects such as infrastructure improvements at a mushroom farm in Middlebury; buying a small kiln for a sawmill in Danville; and bottling and capping equipment for a drink company, called the Vermont Switchel Company in Cabot.

The enterprise investments are just one of three of the program's grants.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says the funding will help to ensure Vermont's best agriculture days are in the future and not the past.

The program received a total of 191 applications seeking a total of $2.1 million in funding.