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Yellow Barn Project to be Featured at Statewide Conference

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HARDWICK – Local government and development leaders from across the state are set to discuss ideas for driving economic development during an upcoming conference in Hardwick. The event, hosted by the Vermont Community Development Association, will be held June 25 at the Hardwick Town House on Church Street.

Included on the agenda is a discussion about the Hardwick Yellow Barn project moderated by Misty Sinsigalli, area director for the Vermont and New Hampshire branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development arm.

Jon Ramsay, executive director for the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Hardwick Select board Chair Eric Remick are set to speak on the $8 million-plus project, which began construction last summer.

“The panel is going to showcase the collaboration between the municipality of Hardwick and for-profit businesses, as well as non-profits like the Center for Agricultural Economy and show how they came together and got funded,” said Ramsay, whose group will join Jasper Hill Farm as one of two anchor tenants in a 22,000-square-foot expansion at the Yellow Barn site.

photo by Kelly Bogel Stokes Yellow Barn renovations facing the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail include loading docks and a new porch. The barn, on Route 15 at the eastern gateway to Hardwick’s downtown, will be home to a Cabot Creamery retail space showcasing its signature cheeses and local foods made by the region’s artisans.

The panel topic fits the conference’s goal of demonstrating ways towns can get involved with development projects to spur their economies.

Ramsay and Remick will be joined by Kristie Farnham, director of business support at the state Department of Economic Development; Alison Low, senior planner at the Northeastern Vermont Development Association; and Erica Burke, general manager of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative. The dairy coop plans to open retail space in the revamped barn on Route 15.

The conference will feature two other panels, a group discussion and tours of Hardwick as well as a lunch provided by Hardwick’s Caja Madera, featuring tacos and a mobile catering service.

This is the latest entry in a series of conferences held by the Vermont Community Development Association, which typically hosts two gatherings a year in different towns across the state.

Tickets and more information are available online at: vtcda.org/springconference2024

Lucia McCallum interns as the Hardwick Gazette's community resilience reporter with support from the Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships. She works with editors at Community News Service, a University of Vermont journalism program.

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