Vermont Working Landscape Partnership Update, September 2017
As a member of the Vermont Working Lands Partnership, we thought you’d be interested in these grant opportunities for the farm and forestry sectors. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) has announced the availability of over $1M in grants for the FY18 grant cycle through the following grant programs:
Working Lands Enterprise Initiative
The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) is offering over $750,000 in available grant funding for the fiscal 2018 program year. Eligible Vermont agriculture and forest sector businesses may submit applications beginning October 3, 2017. The application period for Service Providers will open on October 31st. Working Lands grant applications involve a two-step process: an initial Letter of Intent and, if selected, submission of a full application. Grants are for eighteen months and are typically tendered in early spring. The investment areas are as follows:
- Business Investments
Eligible applicants may include loggers, farmers and manufacturers doing business in Vermont who utilize Vermont agricultural or forestry products, and other businesses such as processors and distributors that support the growth of farm and forest sector businesses. Grant funds can be used for projects that will take your business to the next level, including equipment, infrastructure, and marketing.
- Service Provider Investments
This year the Service Provider Investments will contain two categories: a smaller funding pool for regional groups, research and development, and/or pilot programs; and a larger, multi-year funding pool for fundamental working lands services. Projects may include workforce training, marketing, or market research, business planning, or other activities that support the growth and viability of farm and forest sector businesses. Most service providers are non-profits, but some for-profit projects may also be a good fit for this category.
FY18 Recorded Informational Videos will be posted online on Oct. 3. View them here.
Tradeshow Assistance Grants
WLEB is offering a third year of funding for Trade Show Assistance Grants to assist Vermont producers in connecting with new markets and buyers to exhibit at out-of-state trade shows. The application period will open November 1st and funding will be allocated on a first come first serve basis until funds are depleted. All grantees will be expected to contribute a 1:1 match. This year’s grants will be available to out-of-state trade show exhibitors and requests will be granted for $1,000-$2,500.
Funds may be used to assist with the cost of marketing assets, booth design, freight, registration, as well as other eligible costs. Eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, Vermont based agriculture and forestry businesses attending out-of-state trade shows. To date, the VAAFM has made grants to over 60 businesses to attend 21 different trade shows in 14 different states, with grantees projecting more than $2 million in total annual sales attributable to exhibiting at these trade shows.
Farm to School Grant Program
The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program will release its Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2018 grant round on October 2, 2017. $213,000 will be available for schools to invest in a farm to school program. The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program works to improve nutrition among Vermont’s children by connecting food producers to their local schools, as well as providing enriched educational experiences and curricula. The grant enables Vermont schools to engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education into their cafeterias, classrooms and communities.
On October 11th from 3:00-4:30 pm, the VAAFM will host a webinar for all potential Vermont Farm to School Grant applicants. The webinar will cover all the basics of the request for applications. There will be time to ask questions during this interactive webinar. If you are interested in joining in on the webinar, a registration link will be included in the RFA. For information contact: Ali Zipparo at email@example.com or 802-505-1822 or visit the Vermont Farm to School webpage.
Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program
The VAAFM is pleased to announce the first round of a two-round grant opportunity. Each round will provide over $74,000 in available grant funding. These grants will be for Vermont farms with average annual produce sales of greater than $25,000 for produce safety improvements which help prevent or reduce produce safety risks on farms growing “covered produce,” (as defined by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR). The application period for the first round of funding will open in mid-November, 2017, and will be announced on the Vermont Produce Program webpage. The second round of grants will open in June 2018 (date TBD). For additional information contact: Tucker Diego at AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov or 802-828-2433.
Where to Apply
All applications for these grants are tendered through our Grants Management System (GMS). Each grant program will be listed as a “Funding Opportunity.” Applicants must first register in the GMS prior to submitting an application for grant funding.
About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets: VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. www.Agriculture.Vermont.gov.