Skip to main content

Business Planning Resources

Federal Government and National Non-Government Resources

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. 

Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs explains dozens of federal programs and policies important to sustainable agriculture and how they can be used by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

NSAC helps producers and organizations navigate federal funding opportunities and technical assistance programs with publications including the Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs.

National Good Food Network

The National Good Food Network brings together people from all parts of the rapidly emerging good food system – producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors and funders – to create a community dedicated to scaling up good food sourcing and access

Natural Resources Conservation Service

A list of web-based resources for access to natural resources conservation services available to Vermont farmers.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

Discover how farmers and ranchers are working with SARE to improve the sustainability of U.S. agriculture.

SARE Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities

A guide to federal programs for sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation, food systems and community development.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. Learn about each step in 10 steps to start your business.

USDA provides farmers, ranchers, private foresters, and agricultural producers with online self-service applications, educational materials, engagement opportunities, and business tools to increase efficiency and productivity while preserving and fostering long-held traditional relationships between local USDA offices and producers.

USDA Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources

Small and midsize producers provide new opportunities for American agriculture across the country. This page provides small and midsize producers valuable resources and program information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources.

USDA New Farmers

Access the support and resources you need to begin farming, including opportunities for women to grow, learn from one another, and lead within their industries; for veterans looking to start farming; and for youth to discover new innovation at work in agriculture, support ag in schools, and get connected. Personalize your search with the Discovery Tool

USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinators

New to farming or ranching? USDA can help you get started or grow your farm operation through programs and services including loans, crop insurance, conservation programs, and disaster assistance. Contact your state Beginning Farmers and Rancher Coordinator to learn more.

Regional Non-Government Resources

The Carrot Project

The Carrot Project works with farm and food businesses in New England and the Hudson Valley, helping them build the financial management skills necessary for their businesses to thrive. The Project offers technical assistance for farm, forestry and fishery businesses as well as food system enterprises such as those in production, processing, storage, distribution and sales.

Northern Community Investment Corporation

NCIC provides capital and expertise to strengthen businesses, communities and employment opportunities across New Hampshire and Vermont.

State Government Resources

Regional Development Corporations of Vermont

Vermont's twelve Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) serve as satellites of the Department of Economic Development, provide local knowledge, and facilitate assistance in their communities across the state. Your RDC can help you start a business, grow your business, or relocate a business to the area.

Vermont Non-Government Resources

Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont advances sustainable energy solutions for Vermont homeowners and businesses through technical assistance, standard rebates, custom incentives, and financing specifically for agricultural energy efficiency projects. To learn more about how Efficiency Vermont can help with your ag energy projects—including agricultural equipment, dairy equipment, and maple sugaring equipment—visit the Agricultural Equipment page.

Green Thumbs at Work

Green Thumbs at Work, a program of the Vermont Community Garden Network, offers garden start-up services for any business that wants to establish a workplace food garden for their employees.

Intervale Center

The Intervale Center (IC) provides business planning support services statewide. IC Farm Business Specialists work with all farm types on business planning, farm succession, and short-term planning needs. The IC also provides services around land access including Vermont Land Link, structuring land searches, and assistance with accessing capital. Interested farmers can contact the Intervale Center using the enrollment questionnaire at the link above.

Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)

NOFA-VT offers services and programs that help farmers at all levels of development to reach their business and quality of life goals. Certified organic, transitioning to organic, and non-certified farmers using sustainable practices can access services for aspiring farmers, early stage farmers, and established farmers.

Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program

The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, a program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, offers business advising and grants to enhance the economic viability of Vermont farms and forestry enterprises.

Business Advising: Business planning and technical assistance for farm businesses of all sizes and sectors; food businesses that process, store, market, or distribute local agricultural products; and forest products businesses such as maple producers, consulting forestry firms, loggers. The Viability Program also offers ownership succession planning for these business types as well as and forestland ownership succession planning assistance to families who own forestland in Vermont.

Vermont Land Trust

The Vermont Land Trust conserves farmland, forestland, and land important to communities, matches farmers with affordable farmland, and works with owners of conserved land to make sure that land remains healthy and productive.

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)

VtSBDC provides assistance and planning during all stages of a business's life cycle–from pre-venture to mature. Services include classes and workshops, one-on-one sessions, and a variety of resources such as templates for business plans and cash flow.

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) accelerates sustainable economic development by providing business assistancevalue chain facilitationnetwork development, and strategic planning in agriculture and food systemsforest productswaste managementrenewable energy, and environmental technology.

Business Coaching: VSJF provides tailored business coaching and entrepreneurial support to position Vermont businesses–including value-added food and agricultural, forest related, renewable energy, waste management, and environmental/clean technology enterprisesfor growth and long-term success. Coaches work intensively with clients over 12–18 months to help businesses their effectiveness and prepare for the right match of growth capital for their scale and stage of business.

Business Sense: a six-module training series for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The series provides essential tools and information resources in areas such as financials, operations, sales and marketing, human resources, leadership, and governance. Business Sense aims to help businesses thrive. The first two modules, Financial Literacy and Business Operations, have been released and the remaining four modules will be launching soon. The series is designed to accelerate the growth of Vermont-based enterprises and expand the leadership capacity of entrepreneurs. 

UVM Extension

UVM Extension integrates higher education, research and outreach to help Vermonters put knowledge to work in their families and homes, farms and businesses, towns and the natural environment.

UVM Vermont New Farmer Project

An access point to all the organizations, services, and educational opportunities for Vermont's new and aspiring farmers.

A listing on this page does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, or the Working Lands Enterprise Board and Program Manager.