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Center For The Agricultural Economy Leads Effort To Acquire Big Yellow Barn

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2016-11-12

As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/features/business/center-for-the-agricul...

HARDWICK — The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), working with a consortium of Hardwick area businesses, the town and economic development groups, has secured an option to purchase the landmark Yellow Barn as a home for future economic development initiatives. The barn, located adjacent to the intersection of routes 14 and 15, previously housed the Greensboro Garage, Inc.

“This project is about investing in our town’s vision while creating opportunity for growth,” said Hardwick Town Manager Jon Jewett. “Food, agriculture and forestry are Hardwick’s rising tide and the Yellow Barn is one of our ships.”

The property is being evaluated for its feasibility in advancing the area’s emerging working lands and agricultural economy. In a Vermont Council on Rural Development action plan released earlier this year, two major points emerged: growing Hardwick agricultural economy and building a network of businesses who can work together. The Town of Hardwick and Northeastern Vermont Development Association are assisting with grant proposals aimed to fund a feasibility study.

“Momentum, creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of the Hardwick area entrepreneurs and community,” said Sarah Waring, Executive Director for the Center for an Agricultural Economy. “This six-month option agreement allows time to seek additional community involvement, secure funds for a feasibility study and determine whether commitments can be secured to finance the project.”

CAE, located in Hardwick, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit whose mission is to build a regenerative, locally based, healthy and sustainable food system through collaboration, opportunities, educational outreach and building appropriate infrastructure. The Town of Hardwick and Northeastern Vermont Development Association are partners in the collaborative project.

The iconic Yellow Barn housed the Greensboro Garage for 28 years before owners Tim Nisbet and Stephen Ferber sold the business last December to Joanne Lacasse, the former general manager. Under her ownership, the Greensboro Garage is back operating at its original location in Greensboro.

“We’re all excited to see how this special property will continue its important role in strengthening and connecting our community,” said Nisbet.