2020 Working Lands Service Provider Dollars Now Available

03 September 2019
Sawyer Made Windsor Chairs

September 3, 2019 | Montpelier, VT - The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) announces the 2020 Service Provider application period is now open.  The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) supports innovative entrepreneurs at the forefront of Vermont’s Working Lands economy through technical and financial assistance to help growing businesses thrive.  Types of technical assistance provided for Working Lands businesses may include: Market development, Marketing plans, and sales; Business and financial planning; Succession planning; Access to capital; Manufacturing efficiencies or process flow;  Business research and development; and/or pilot programs.  The WLEI grant application is now available.  Please visit https://workinglands.vermont.gov/grant-opportunities to begin the process.

  Important dates for the completion of the grant process are:

  • Applications Available: September 3, 2019
  • Applications Accepted: September 10,2019 at 12:00 PM (noon)
  • Application Deadline: November 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon)
  • Award Notification: End of January 2020
  • Estimated Project Date Start: End of February 2020

FY 2020 Program Year

The Working Lands Enterprise Board plans to award $1.6 million in total is available for investment into farm, food systems, forestry, and forest products enterprises. Funds will be disbursed in (2) investment areas: Business Grants and Service Provider Grants. A total of $100,000-150,000 is available for Service Provider Grants for awards in the range of $5,000-20,000. Information regarding Business Grants, including those for dairy-specific projects (for which $500,000 is available in grant funds) will be released on October 1, 2019. 

History of Success to Date 

The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) was formed in August 2012 and today has awarded over $5.5 million in grant funds to over 200 grantees, leveraging more than $10 million of matching funds. Since 2013, the WLEB has invested over $2 million to twenty-six distinct service provider organizations in the form of grants and contracts. For a list of previously funded projects, visit http://workinglands.vermont.gov/projects.

Description of WLEI

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) is administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets in partnership with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The initiative is led by the Working Lands Enterprise Board, made up of public and private sector members involved in agriculture, food, forestry, and wood products.  For more on WLEI, visit https://workinglands.vermont.gov/.

*Attached images of 2018 Grant WLEI recipient, Sawyer Made Windsor Chairs (credit: Vermont Agency of Agriculture).  To see more about how the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative grant was utilized by this small Vermont furniture company, click here.

Working Lands Contact:

Lynn Ellen Schimoler

Agriculture Business Development / Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets





Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.522.7811
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431