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
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.
- Farm to School and Early Childhood Capacity Building Grant provides financial and technical assistance to schools or early childhood education organizations looking to develop or expand their farm to school programs. Applications closed November 2023. Applications will re-open in October 2025!
- Farm to School and Early Childhood Community Supported Agriculture Grant supports Vermont registered or licensed childcare providers by reimbursing successful applicants eighty percent of the cost of CSA shares purchased from Vermont farms. Application Opens in February 8, 2024. Application Deadline March 8, 2024.
- Farm to School and Early Childhood 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 February 29, 2024. Application Deadline April 11, 2024.
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.
- Farm to Institution Market Development Grant supports market development opportunities for local food producers and processors, with a focus on Vermont institutional markets. Application opens October 18, 2023. Application Deadline: November 29, 2023.
Reports & Resources
- FY23 Farm to School and Early Childhood Program Impact Report
- FY22 Farm to School and Early Childhood Program Impact Report
- FY21 Farm to School and Early Childhood Program Impact Report
- FY20 Farm to School and Childcare Program Impact 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