In 1989, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) started making agricultural loans to assist farmers in restructuring their balance sheets, which had been negatively impacted by a cyclical downturn in the dairy industry. In 1999, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC) was formed, and now, agricultural lending through VACC has grown to comprise almost half of VEDA’s direct loan portfolio. VACC’s portfolio, initially more than 90% dairy, is becoming much more diversified as the Vermont agricultural economy expands to include new types of agricultural operations and forest product-based businesses.
VEDA now has two programs dedicated to agricultural financing — VACC, and the Agricultural Energy Loan Program. Through VACC, farm loans are available for a variety of purposes to strengthen existing farm operations and agricultural facilities, encourage diversification, support beginning farmers, and encourage marketing and processing of Vermont agricultural products. Through the Agricultural Energy Loan Program, financing is available for Vermont agriculture- and forest product-based businesses to support qualifying renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvement projects, and to adopt technologies that enhance or support the development and implementation of renewable energy or energy efficiency, or both.
Interested agricultural businesses are encouraged to visit www.veda.org to learn more, or call 802-828-5627 to speak with an experienced agricultural lender.