The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) supports farm to school and farm to institution efforts through a variety of initiatives. These efforts aim to increase agricultural literacy, strengthen markets for Vermont grown and produced products, improve equitable access to nutritious food, and celebrate Vermont’s agricultural identity.
Farm to School
Vermont is a national leader in the Farm to School movement, with nearly eighty percent of Vermont schools engaged in farm to school activities. In addition to schools, many of the State’s early childhood education (ECE) organizations have embraced farm to school.
One way that VAAFM supports schools and ECE’s is through our annual farm to school grants. Established by the Rozo McLaughlin Farm to School Act of 2006 (6 V.S.A. § 4721), these grants provide financial and technical assistance to organizations looking to establish or expand their farm to school programs.
This year's farm to school grant round just concluded but will start up again in the fall with a new round of Child Nutrition Grants. A summary of the most recent grant programs is available below.
- Community Supported Agriculture Grants support Vermont registered or licensed childcare providers by reimbursing successful applicants eighty percent of the cost of CSA shares purchased from Vermont farms. Application closed February 17th, 2021
- Farm to School Child Nutrition Implementation Grants provide financial and technical assistance to schools or early childcare education organizations looking to advance their farm to school programs. Application closed March 19th, 2021.
- Farm to School Vision Grant The Vision Grant is meant to support innovative ideas that have the potential to meaningfully address emergent issues within farm to school. In addition to schools and childcare organizations, this grant is also open to non-profits, so long as they apply as a co-applicant with a school or childcare organization. Application closed May 12th, 2021
Farm to Institution
VAAFM supports efforts to enhance institutional markets for Vermont grown and produced food. Colleges and universities, healthcare organizations, correctional facilities and the State of Vermont itself—all of these institutions represent important markets for Vermont growers and producers. VAAFM works with a variety of stakeholders to strengthen these markets by addressing supply chain issues and promoting the value of local food.
Reports & Resources
- Vermont Farm to School and Childcare Program 2020 Annual Report
- Milk Service in Vermont Schools: Decision Making Criteria, Best Practices and Case Studies
- Milk in Vermont Schools: A Decision-Makers' Guide to Milk Service
- Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Local Food Purchases Made by Vermont Schools
- FINE Farm to Institution Resource Database
- What Happens When Schools Buy Local Food?
- Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Changes in Fruit/Vegetable Consumption After Implementation of Farm to School Grants
- School Health Profiles: Nutrition Environment and Education in Vermont Secondary Schools among Vermont Farm to School Grantees