Update: Agency of Ag Grant Programs Affected by COVID-19 Impacts on State Budget
The Agriculture Development Division of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets would like to share an update for potentially interested applicants who are planning to apply for fiscal year 2021 grant opportunities. Five grant programs which provide critical support to our educational institutions and agriculture and forestry businesses are funded via allocations in the State of Vermont’s annual budget. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious disruptions in the State’s budgeting process the Governor approved a “skinny” budget in June which only authorized spending for the first quarter of the State’s fiscal calendar (July through September). The Legislature returns on August 25th and a top priority for them will be to finalize a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, pending the Governor’s approval.
We recognize the State cannot operate normal granting programs without an approved budget beyond the end of September. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the budget and its impact on these programs, the Agency of Agriculture will be delaying the release of the applications for the following programs:
- Fairs and Field Days
- Farm to School
- Local Food Market Development
- Trade Show Assistance
- Working Lands Enterprise Fund
We understand this may be disappointing for many of you who have been waiting to apply to these funding opportunities, and we understand the uncertainty this may cause for your business or organizational planning. We will be monitoring the budget process closely and will provide updates on these important programs as more information becomes available.
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the respective program directors:
- Farm to School & Local Food Market Development grants
Trevor Lowell, Trevor.Lowell@vermont.gov
Tel: 802 585-9186
- Fairs and Field Days
Alissa Matthews, Alissa.Matthews@vermont.gov
- Trade Show Assistance grants
Kathryn Donovan, Kathryn.Donovan@vermont.gov
- Working Lands Enterprise Fund grants
Lynn Ellen Schimoler, LynnEllen.Schimoler@vermont.gov
We also recognize that many businesses and organizations are facing significant challenges as a result of the pandemic. The Vermont State Legislature appropriated Coronavirus Relief Funds for the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP) in Act 138 (S.351), Act 137 (H. 966), and Act 120 (H.961), which were signed by Governor Scott in June and July. Depending on your business or organization, these programs may be available to you to help mitigate economic harm suffered as a result of the global health emergency.
For more information on VCAAP assistance programs for agriculture and forest businesses, please visit this link: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program