Grant Opportunities

2020 Working Lands Grant Opportunities

The Fiscal Year 2020 Working Lands Enterprise Initiative funding opportunities open in the Fall of 2019.

For this funding cycle, the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) will award grant funds in the following category ranges:

Award Range - $5,000 to $20,000

*Includes $500,000 in dairy-focused grants (see information below)

a.  Standard award range - $5,000 to $25,000

b.  Supply Chain Impact award range - $25,000 to $75,000

c.  Market Level Impact award range - $50,000 to $150,000

FY20 Service Provider Grants

FY20 WLEF Service Provider Grant Request for Applications

  • Request for Applications Release: September 3, 2019
  • *Application Period Begins: September 10, 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon)
  • Applications Due: November 17, 2019 at 11:59 PM
  • Award Notification: End of January 2020
  • Estimated Project Start Date: March 2020

   *There is no pre-application (letter of intent) required for the FY20 Service Provider Grant application. 

FY20 Business Grants

FY20 Working Lands Business Grants Pre-application Guide

  • Request for Applications Release: October 1, 2019
  • Pre-application Period Begins: October 8, 2019
  • Pre-applications Due: November 6, 2019 at 11:59 PM (Extended from original due date of November 3, 2019)
  • Applicant Notification of LOI Acceptance/Denial: Late December 2019
  • Invited Full Applications Due: January 26, 2020 at 11:59 PM
  • Award Notification: March 2020
  • Estimated Project Start Date: May 2020
*Dairy-Focused Funds

For this grant round, Working Lands has $500,000 to specifically target projects from dairy farm applicants. This funding will be allocated across business grant categories, and projects from $5,000 - $150,000 are eligible. The WLEB has interpreted this legislative mandate by outlining the following eligible activity areas:

  1.  Value added dairy production – transition into this as a new processor or expansion as an existing processor
  2.  Diversification – new or expansion of existing diversification opportunities (e.g., maple, grass-fed beef, agritourism opportunities)
  3.  Innovative solutions to soil health and water quality

a.  Proposals in this category should not otherwise be eligible for NRCS or VAAFM water quality program funding

 4.  Other changes or diversification, new or expansion:

a.  change to milk a different species – goat/sheep;

b.  switch to intensive grazing;

c.  building direct to consumer markets (including marketing/brand development);

The WLEB will not fund water quality or soil health equipment and infrastructure that is covered under existing programs and funding sources. The WLEB is willing to consider match waivers or lower match requirements for dairy farm applicants. Applicants have an opportunity to explain their reasoning in the application.


Links to Statewide Strategic Plans

(useful for the Impact Section of the Full Application)

Contact Information

Working Lands Enterprise Initiative
116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620
(802) 622-4477
Email Working Lands Staff