January 16, 2024 | Montpelier, VT - Small farms looking to undertake diversification and/or transition activities can apply now for a Small Farm Diversification and Transition Grant from a pool of special one-time funds allocated by the Vermont legislature to the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM). The application portal is open now through March 4, 2024 at 11:59 PM. Small farms can apply for grants ranging from $5,000-$15,000. There is no match requirement for this grant.
This grant can cover the costs of equipment, supplies, infrastructure, marketing, research, and/or workforce development costs that relate to the following project categories:
- Diversifying farm products, including continuing with a diversification project that began in the last 5 years.
- Transitioning from one form of farming to another, including continuing with a transition that began in the last 5 years.
- New processing or scaling of current processing of farm products.
- Developing an accessory on-farm business.
To qualify as a small farm operation for this grant, the farm must meet a minimum of ONE of the following criteria:
- Operate 4 or more acres for farming; OR
- Have filed a 1040(F) Tax Form once in the last 2 years; OR
- Earn an annual gross income of more than $2,000 from the sale of agricultural products.
“We are excited to offer these grants to farmers,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture. “There is tremendous energy and enthusiasm from small farms to grow their businesses. These investments will make it more affordable for farmers to diversify and transition their operations.”
Other important considerations for this grant are:
- Farms within any agricultural sector are eligible.
- The applicant farm must NOT be registered as a Permitted Medium Farm Operation (MFO) or Permitted Large Farm Operation (LFO).
- Processing-only operations that do not farm are not eligible.
- Projects in any category should demonstrate a proposed plan for diversification or transition that includes potential markets identified for the proposed product.
- Applicants should also demonstrate that there is potential from the proposed diversification or transition to create additional income for the farm.
Please visit the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative funding opportunities calendar and the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets grant calendar to see other grants for farms available for Fiscal Year 2024.
For more information and to apply, visit workinglands.vermont.gov/grant-contract-opportunities/small-farm-diversification-grant or contact Clare.Salerno@vermont.gov or 802-917-2637.