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Farm to School, Early Childhood, and Institution

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) supports schools, early childhood organizations and institutions 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 & Early Childhood

Funding Opportunities

Vermont is a national leader in farm to school and early childhood. Nearly eighty percent of Vermont schools are engaged in farm to school activities. In addition to schools, many of the state’s early childhood education (ECE) organizations have developed or expanded their own farm to early childhood programs.

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.

  1. 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 Opens January 2023.
  2. 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 Opens March 2023.
  3. Farm to School and Early Childhood Grants provide financial and technical assistance to schools or early childhood education organizations looking to develop or expand their farm to school programs. Applications closed in November 2022. Application Opens October 2023.

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