Farm to School Grant Program

Farm to School Grant Program

The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program, now in its tenth year, works to improve nutrition among Vermont’s children by connecting food producers to their local schools, as well as providing enriched educational experiences and curricula. The grant program was established through the 2006 Rozo McLaughlin Act. Farm to School grant funding, allocated by the Vermont legislature, enables Vermont schools to engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education into their cafeterias, classrooms and communities. As of January 2016, the Vermont Farm to School Program has reached 120 schools, impacting more than 30,000 Vermont students.

This year, 7 implementation grants and 6 planning grants were awarded to 11 schools and 3 school districts and supervisory unions, impacting a total of 24 Vermont schools and more than 5,000 students.

Our Farm to School Program page can be accessed here.

This grant program encourages schools and school districts to:

  • Serve food to Vermont students that is as fresh and nutritious as possible
  • Maximize the use of fresh, locally grown foods
  • Educate students about healthy eating habits through nutrition education while making the connections between farming and the foods that students consume
  • Increase the size and stability of farmers’ direct sales market
  • Increase school meal participation by increasing the selection of foods available to students.

The Impact of Vermont’s Farm to School Grant Program

 “Farm to School programs are a vital tool we can use to promote agricultural literacy in schools so that, from an early age, students understand the value of nutrition, develop healthy eating habits, and appreciate where their food comes from,”  

 – Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross

NEW REPORT: Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Schools Purchase of Local Foods in Vermont

Grant Opportunities  

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets offers three Farm to School Grant opportunities. The 2017 Request for Proposals for each grant opportunity will be posted here on September 30, 2016.

  • The Planning & Pilot Grant provides schools with funding and technical assistance to support the planning and piloting of Farm to School Programs.
  • The Implementation Grant provides schools with funding to put their Farm to School plans into action and create robust, resilient adn self-sustaning programs.
  • The Universal Meals Grant is a new pilot component of the Vermont Farm to School Grant Program intended to help schools leverage the neccessary resources to ensure a sustainable transition into offering universal meals.


NOTE: New this year, all Farm to School Grant applications MUST be submitted online through WebGrants. Paper applications will NOT be accepted. Instructions for using WebGrants can be found in an appendix in the Request for Proposals. 


WEBINAR FOR APPLICANTS: On Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 3:00 - 4:30 PM, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets hosted a webinar for all potential Vermont Farm to School Grant Program applicants. The webinar covered all of the basics of the 2017 Request for Proposals. You can view the webinar HERE.


Key Dates

  • September 30, 2016: Release of 2017 Request for Proposals (posted to this page)
  • October 12, 2016: Webinar for potential applicants (3:00 -4:30)
  • October 28, 2016: Applications due (submitted online) by 12:00 PM

Grant Support

There are organizations around the state that may be valuable resources in your planning and implementation of Farm to School programing and universal meals. Below is a list of such organizations and the regions they support.


Vermont Ageny of Agriculture, Food & Markets Farm to School Contacts:

If you have any questions about the Universal Meals Grant Program, please email Jennie Porter at or call 802-661-8201

If you have any questions about the Planning or Implementation Grants or have general Farm to School Grant Program questions, please email Ali Zipparo at or call 802-505-1822