BURLINGTON, Vt., Feb. 22 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - today announced a $930,000 federal loan guarantee to Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro. The funds will support 20 existing jobs and create 14 new ones.
Approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD), the loan guarantee will be used to finalize construction of two unfinished cheese cave vaults, which are carefully controlled environments where cheeses are aged. Additionally, the funds will help with the completion of office and lab space.
"We are delighted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has guaranteed this loan to complete the cheese caves in Greensboro, which represent the bright future of Vermont dairy," Leahy, Sanders and Welch said in a joint statement. "Collaborative and forward-looking, this project enables farmers and cheese makers to create value-added products. Vermont's commitment to cheese making, and to small cheese makers of quality with increasingly recognized products, will be advanced by this loan."
Molly Lambert, State Director for USDA Rural Development, said, "Rural Development is pleased to assist the Cellars with the further expansion of their world-class cheese aging facility. This new additional capacity will enhance and leverage the existing value-added agricultural investments Rural Development has made in the Northeast Kingdom and across Vermont."
In 2007, Jasper Hill Farms received a $500,000 loan guarantee through USDA RD to help construct a 21,000 square foot cheese aging facility. Absent the loan guarantee, construction would not have gone forward. The projected resulted in ten new high-quality manufacturing jobs and in 2011 Jasper Hill was awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for their Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Moses Sleeper and Harbison cheeses.