Pete’s Greens at Craftsbury Village Farm,Governor Peter Shumlin, joined by officials from Craftsbury and Pete Johnson, today announced a $300,000 award to help Pete’s Greens rebuild after a devastating fire in January. The award, recommended by the Vermont Community Development Board, goes to the Town of Craftsbury, which will loan the money to Pete’s Greens. The loan and interest will be repaid over 10 years. ‘This award is an important step in supporting not only a significant organic farm, but a local community that also suffered as a result of that fire,’ Governor Shumlin said. ‘Pete’s Greens is a key player in Vermont’s value-added agricultural market.’ The grant is one of several recommended by the VCDP Board and approved earlier this month by Lawrence Miller, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development. The Governor announced the other awards, which included a $600,000 grant for the Samaritan House homeless shelter in St. Albans, on Monday. ‘The Vermont Community Development Program is an essential tool for helping businesses create jobs for Vermonters,’ said Secretary Miller. ‘The grants are funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant program which was recently cut by more than 16 percent. We urge Congress to preserve this critical program.’ The January fire at Pete’s Greens destroyed the barn, which was central to Pete’s operation, and all its contents, including farm vegetable washing and processing equipment, walk-in coolers, freezers, tractors and supplies. Also lost were 200,000 pounds of stored vegetables and 40,000 pounds of frozen produce and meats. A certified organic vegetable farm, Pete’s Green sells wholesale to restaurants and markets in Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. It also runs a year-round CSA. Pete Johnson, the sole owner, started the business in 1995. Johnson said he plans to rebuild and expand, hoping to be back in operation for the 2011 growing season. Insurance proceeds, a VEDA loan and donations will rebuild the barn. VCDP funds will be used to replace equipment and farm materials and help restore and create 10 jobs.Source: Governor’s office.