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Waitsfield dairy farmers Martin and Kelley von Trapp were awarded a $10,000 barn preservation grant by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas.
In a March 17 ceremony at the farm, Douglas presented the von Trapps and family members with the check. Douglas recently announced nearly $209,000 in Historic Preservation Barn Grants to 23 farms to help preserve historic structures across the state.
Standing before a barn at the historic von Trapp Dairy Farm that will receive a new roof courtesy of a $10,000 grant, the governor noted that the program benefited two of Vermont's most important industries, agriculture and tourism.
"Martin and Kelly von Trapp and other owners of barns in rural Vermont should be praised for their commitment to repairing historic barns so they can continue as parts of our working landscape," Governor Douglas said. "I am very pleased that the state can assist them in preserving these magnificent structures for future generations."
Upon his acceptance of the preservation grant, Martin von Trapp pointed to the significance of preserving and maintaining Vermont's farms for the next generation.
The grant program, administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, provides owners of agricultural buildings with matching funding of up to $10,000 for a variety of capital repairs. Eligible projects include repairs to roofs, foundations, walls, sills and overall stabilization.
The Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation prioritizes projects for funding that ensure the continued use of significant agricultural buildings in critical need of repair.
"The competition for these grants is very strong, because there are so many more worthy projects than we have funding for," Governor Douglas said.
Since its inception 20 years ago, the program has provided more than $1.3 million and leveraged many millions more to bring new life to roughly 200 historic agricultural buildings.
"Vermont has a rich agricultural heritage which is easily identified by the historic barns that decorate our rural landscape," said Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee. "Governor Douglas is dedicated to enhancing the agricultural industry in Vermont and through these grants and other programs; some of the state's most cherished barns will be refurbished to protect this symbol of Vermont's rich farm tradition and its future."
"Every year we lose barns to a variety of conditions, but we must do what we can to preserve this important piece of our history," Douglas said. "Vermont's rich agricultural heritage and working landscape not only draws visitors to Vermont but contributes to strengthening our agricultural and specialty food industries."