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Agency Receives Record Demand for Maple Grants

April 26, 2024
Governor Tapping

Eleven maple producers received awards from $20,000 to $100,000.  

April 26, 2024 | Montpelier, VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has awarded over $540,000 in grants to maple producers and processors through the Maple Agriculture Development Grants program. Eleven producers, ranging in size from 500 to 30,000 taps, received funds for operational efficiency, food safety, and climate resilience improvement projects.  

“Maple is critical to Vermont and these grants will make it more affordable for producers in our state,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Making long term investments like this will allow maple producers to expand and thrive. Vermont is number one in quality and quantity in maple production and it’s important we continue to support our maple producers however we can.”

The award represented the largest ever state investment in maple producers.  Acting on the recommendation of Governor Scott’s Future of Agriculture Commission, this first-time program will help grow, develop, and sustain maple, produce, and meat businesses throughout the state.  

“These investments are important to the maple industry. We are fortunate to have these dollars for maple producers so they can continue to grow their operations,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture. “We are grateful the Governor included these grants in his budget.” Tebbetts announced the grant awards today at the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans.  The annual event celebrates all things Vermont Maple, bringing together maple vendors, producers, food and more, all recognizing the importance of the Vermont maple industry.

The response to these grants was overwhelming. In November of 2023, the Agency received over 350 applications exceeding $18 million in requested funds—the single highest number of applications for a grant program in Agency history. The Agency followed a thorough and in-depth review process leveraging expertise from 60+ maple experts, technical assistance providers, and agricultural business professionals from Vermont, New York, and Maine. 

Feedback from maple industry stakeholders—including representatives from producer associations, research institutions, and business viability programs—informed the Agency in the development of the grant program. Eligible projects were required to address one of four program objectives: business sustainability, business efficiency, climate-change resilience or mitigation, or food safety and/or product quality. Selected projects will produce a range of outcomes, including but not limited to improved production efficiency, improved climate resilience, increased sap purchasing/processing, lead remediation, reduced labor, and achievement of Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association Sugarhouse Certification. Projects will run through mid-2025. 

A list of final awards and project summaries is below:  

  • Atkins Family Farm (Addison) – $94,000 for evaporator upgrades for food safety and efficiency improvements. 
  • Blackberry Hill Maple Syrup & Logging (Orange) – $21,250 for construction of a separate, food-safe area for canning and visitors. 
  • Blackmore Farms (Franklin) – $26,112 for evaporator and processing upgrades for food safety and efficiency improvements. 
  • Couture’s Maple Shop and B&B (Orleans) – $46,689 for reverse-osmosis machine for food safety and efficiency improvements. 
  • Dalestead Farm & Maple (Franklin) – $100,000 for increased storage capacity, improvement to sap transport, and a high-efficiency reverse osmosis machine. 
  • Foxglove Farm (Addison) – $26,977 for construction of a new, high-efficiency area for processing and bottling, as well as improvements for reduction in wood use. 
  • Honey-Do, LLC (Lamoille) – $75,000 for construction of new building to support launch of new, co-operative production model. 
  • Idle Hour Maple (Rutland) – $22,669 for installation of vacuum monitoring system for steep sloped operation. 
  • Johnson Farm (Chittenden) – $57,900 for installation of new potable well and kitchen area for improved food safety. 
  • Parent Boys Sugaring (Franklin) – $24,700 for upgraded firewood processor to improve efficiency. 
  • Umbrella Hill (Lamoille) – $56,046 for climate-resilient improvements to sugarbush roadways in response to flooding. 

VAAFM received a wide array of eligible applications from producers in all 14 Vermont counties, from small home operations to large commercial processors. Applicants are encouraged to stay engaged with funding opportunities through the Agricultural Development Division’s webpage at   

An accompanying program to these Maple Agriculture Development Grants, the Meat and Produce Agriculture Development Grants, has also seen dramatic demand from producers and processors. Currently in the final stages of decision making, just over $1.6 million in grants was available in this program, receiving a total of 172 applications, exceeding $25 million in total requests. The combined demand of over $43 million for the Maple and Meat & Produce programs is unprecedented in Agency history.

Questions related to Maple Agriculture Development Grants should be directed to program coordinator Madison Berry at 802-622-4626 or