The Carrot Project works to increase the number of economically viable farm and food businesses. The Agricultural Viability Alliance is a project of The Carrot Project. They work to increase the number and economic viability of farm and food businesses by bringing together providers and organizations from across New England and New York’s Hudson Valley to address shared challenges, facilitate more uniform high-quality coverage, and more effectively share and expand limited resources.
The oldest state-funded agricultural-based grant program in the United States, the Barn Preservation Grant Program helps individuals, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to rehabilitate the historic agricultural buildings that are a symbol of Vermont’s rural landscape. Buildings must be at least 50 years old and listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Community Capital of Vermont (CCVT)
CCVT is a statewide small business and microenterprise lender serving low and moderate income entrepreneurs and specializing in providing loans to business owners who lack the collateral or credit history to qualify for traditional bank loans. Loans range in size from $1,000 to $100,000 and can be used for business start-up or growth and expansion.
Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Grants provide technical assistance and incentive funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions from engines, vehicles, and equipment in Vermont with the goals of reducing public exposure to emissions from diesel-powered engines and the associated risks to public health and the environment.
Efficiency Vermont offers flexible, low-interest loans for cost-effective energy improvements that help businesses improve the energy efficiency farm and ag operations, boost production, and lower operating expenses. To learn more, visit the Financing for Agricultural Operations page.
The Eric Rozendaal Memorial Fund, created through contributions from Eric’s family and friends and managed by the Vermont Land Trust, makes awards to applicants who actively manage commercial farm operations in Vermont. Applicants are evaluated on land stewardship and commitment to practices that support soil health and conservation of natural resources, giving back to communities through mentorship and community engagement, and demonstrated ability to innovate through the introduction of new farm products or the development of new markets.
The Flex Fund is strategically focused on providing near equity or mezzanine financing (subordinated debt, royalty financing and/or warrants) to Vermont’s growing value-added ag, forestry and clean energy businesses. The fund invests in targeted Vermont growth companies that fill a gap, or strengthen the supply chain, in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, renewable energy and other natural resource sectors.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
FACT offers welfare-oriented livestock and poultry farmers a suite of services designed to support, empower, and expand humane farming practices including grants, scholarships, free webinars, and an online community to connect with other farmers. FACT awards competitive Fund-a-Farmer grants to working, independent family farmers located in the continental U.S. who raise beef cattle, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, sheep and/or turkeys.
Fresh Source Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable food and agriculture and rebuilding local, regional food systems by providing debt and royalty financing options to growth-stage companies in the Northeast.
Each spring, The FruitGuys Community Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity such as projects that reduce water and power use, increase pollinators, improve soil health, promote natural pest control, or extend the growing season.
There are a number of grants and other incentives available for agriculture, but learning about their availability and navigating application processes can be a challenge. To help with this process, Farm Credit East has compiled this summary of federal, regional and state grants and other incentives available to help Northeast agriculture, of all types and sizes.
This Vermont Community Garden Network directory includes Vermont and New England-based Grant Programs, Youth Gardening Grant Programs, and General Grant Programs That Support Garden Projects.
The Local Crowd (TLC) Upper Valley is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in the Upper Valley region. Projects based in the Upper Valley may be posted on the TLC crowdfunding platform if they (1) propose a measurable benefit to the local economy and/or improvement to the quality of life of community members (2) support community and economic development goals (3) do not propose any illegal activities and would not be considered malicious or hateful toward any individual or group and (4) help forward a local, green, and fair economy.
Serving Northern New Hampshire & Northeastern Vermont, NCIC develops lending solutions for everything from small start-ups to large well-established businesses. Loans range from $5,000–$500,000 with interest rates from 4%–12%. NCIC also supports borrowers with resources and coaching solutions and can often cost share with businesses to make professional services more affordable.
Slow Money Vermont is an emerging network that aims to inform, inspire and connect individuals, businesses, philanthropists, and investors interested in building a sustainable local and regional food system and to catalyze new investment opportunities in the people, businesses and communities that contribute to a sustainable food economy.
USDA Farm Service Agency
The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
NRCS Provides farmers, ranchers and foresters with financial assistance and technical advice to improve production, reduce input costs and conserve natural resources through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Agricultural Management Assistance Program.
SARE offers competitive grants to projects that explore and address key issues affecting the sustainability and future economic viability of agriculture.
USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA)
RMA serves agricultural producers through effective, market-based risk management tools, including Federal crop insurance and risk management education programs.
USDA Rural Development
Rural Development offers loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services and offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations. Programs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The Rural Energy for America Program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements
- Value Added Producer Grants help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products.
The Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), a program of Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), is a nonprofit corporation that provides credit to Vermont farmers, agricultural facilities, forestry, and forest product-based businesses. VACC and VEDA work with these businesses on everything from startup to expansion to making energy efficiency improvements.
Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF)
VCLF is a community-focused alternative lender and also provides financial consulting and business development services:
- Business Loan Program: VCLF works with businesses of all shapes, sizes and ages, ranging from start-up to mature, small farms to specialty foods, renewable energy to high-tech, manufacturers to service providers to retail.
- Agritourism Loan Program: VCLF's Agritourism Loan Program is a revolving loan fund focused on supporting agricultural enterprises with low-cost capital for agritourism projects.
- Food, Farms & Forests Fund: In 2015, VCLF launched this new, dedicated loan fund to consolidate, grow, and sustain the capital and supporting services that VCLF makes available to meet the needs of small farms, food producers, and the working landscape throughout Vermont.
The Vermont Farm Fund is a revolving loan program of The Center for an Agricultural Economy that, in partnership with Pete's Greens, provides no-hassle, friendly-term loans to Vermont farmers and food producers.
The State of Vermont offers an economic incentive for business recruitment, growth and expansion. The Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program can provide a cash payment, based on the revenue return generated to the State by prospective qualifying job and payroll creation and capital investments, to businesses that have been authorized to earn the incentive and who then meet performance requirements.
- Water Quality Grants: Grants of up to $40,000 to help Vermont farmers invest in water quality-related on-farm infrastructure
- Business Plan Implementation Grants: When funding is available, Farm Viability Implementation Grants are available on a competitive basis to farm businesses that have completed a full business plan or transfer plan through the Viability Program.
Vermont Grass Farmers Association (VGFA) Mini Grants
VGFA Mini Grants of $500–$1,000 support on-farm research led and designed by farmers.
Vermont Training Program (VTP)
VTP provides performance based workforce grants for pre-employment training, training for new hires and incumbent workers. Training can either be on-site or through a training provider/vendor. Grants may cover up to 50% of the training cost.
The WCEDP promotes economic development in Windham County by providing funds to stimulate job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation; encourage entrepreneurial activity; and strengthen economic development infrastructure. Program funds are available through direct low-interest loans for businesses, competitive grants for nonprofit organizations and municipalities, and non-competitive grants and incentives.
Yankee Farm Credit strives to make a positive difference serving the agricultural community by offering reliable, cost-effective services and assuring cooperative viability.