Grants of up to $50,000 to Vermont nonprofit and for-profit organizations to strengthen the agricultural and forestry sectors. New applicants must preregister in the application system prior to applying. Funding may be used for projects such as research and development, infrastructure improvements, market development, and workforce training.
Market development – professionalizing a marketing and/or branding approach to new or expanded markets; hiring a professional marketing/branding contractor to develop strategy and/or content; implementing the strategy and/or content developed by the contractor (e.g., branding, website, or social media development)
Research and development – testing new systems or technology
Infrastructure development – project-specific planning, permitting, engineering or architectural plans; building and equipment costs, including for labor and/or energy efficiency enhancements, such as lighting, refrigeration/cooling, heat pumps, solar panels, low-energy water management, ventilation systems, and/or energy generation; may include equipment installation and/or technical assistance costs
Workforce training and development – technical skill training for staff, business management training, and/or business succession planning, including hiring a consultant to support any of these processes
Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
Additional Eligibility Criteria
Businesses must be based in Vermont and registered with the Secretary of State at the time of application submission. All structures are eligible (e.g., Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Cooperatives, Corporations, S Corporations, L3Cs, B Corporations, and/or non-profits that are involved in the support of production of agriculture and/or forest products). Applicants must be in compliance with all state regulations (i.e., water quality, taxes, child support) and in good standing with the State of Vermont at the time of applying and must remain so during the entire grant period.
Value-added food businesses that source at least 50% of raw ingredients from Vermont OR are applying for a Working Lands grant to significantly increase use of ingredients sourced from Vermont are eligible.
- Applicant organizations/businesses must be based in Vermont.
- All structures are eligible (e.g., Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Cooperatives, Corporations, S Corporations, L3Cs, B Corporations, and/or non-profits that are involved in the support of production of agriculture and/or forest products).
- All legally incorporated enterprises must be registered with the VT Secretary of State. Sole proprietors using a business name other than their own name must have their assumed business name (formerly known as a trade name) registered with the Secretary of State.
- Previous Working Lands Standard Business and COVID-19 Response Business Development grantees are eligible to re-apply for funding during Fiscal Year 2024. Previous Working Lands Supply Chain Impact, Market Level Infrastructure Impact, ARPA Primary Producer, or Meat Slaughter and Processing Development Grants are eligible to apply for further Working Lands funding after three years, meaning that Fiscal Year 2021 and earlier grantees are eligible to apply this year.
Purchases of land or animals are not eligible under this grant.
October 11, 2023 12-1: Applicant webinar with Q&A. Slides and recording will be posted here after the event.
Applications must be submitted via the online grants management system, WebGrants, between Friday, October 6, 2023 and Monday, November 20, 2023 at 8:00 PM.
Key Dates and Deadlines:
- October 6, 2023: Request for Applications (RFA) released and application opens for submission
- October 11, 2023 12-1: Applicant webinar with Q&A.
- November 20, 2023: Application deadline
- Early January 2024: Applicants notified of funding decisions
- Late January 2024: Grantee documentation due
- February 2024: Estimated project start date
Deadline to Request Optional Assistance with Grant Project Planning: October 30, 2023 at 12:00 PM/noon. Contact Clare Salerno to be referred to a business advisor from the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program.
Applicants that have not previously registered in WebGrants will need to allow 1-2 business days for their registration to be processed.
When an application has successfully been submitted, the applicant will receive a confirmation email.
Grant recipients must provide matching funds at a 100% (one-to-one) rate using cash (e.g., funds in the bank, paid staff labor hours) or a combination of cash and in-kind items (e.g., donated goods, pro bono services, volunteer labor) that the grantee organization has received from other sources.