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Fairs & Field Days: Capital Grants and Operational Stipends

The Agricultural Fairs and Field Days Capital Projects Competitive Grants Program (24 V.S.A. § 5608) and the Stipend Fund provide grants for 20-year capital improvements and operational stipends to Vermont's agricultural fairs and field days.

Vermont fairs and field days draw over 300,000 visitors each year, and many of the fairgrounds are utilized for other events, drawing many more visitors into Vermont communities throughout the year. Fairs and events offer opportunities for the agricultural community to highlight their practices, products, skills, and livelihoods that are part of the success of maintaining Vermont’s working landscape. 

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has administered the Agricultural Fairs & Field Days Capital Projects Competitive Grants Program and the Stipend Fund for over a decade. The Vermont Legislature appropriates funds annually to Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations as defined in H.472 to assist fairs and field days with capital improvements and operational costs.

For more information about these funding opportunities, review the state statute for the Capital Projects Competitve Grants Program and the Stipend Fund Distribution Formula.

Funding Availability (Fiscal Year 2024)              

Funding Availability Amount
Total Funds Available $410,000
Capital Grants $300,000
Maximum Amount per Applicant for Capital Grants $35,000
Stipends $110,000

 Stipend Distribution Fund Formula.  

How to Apply

The Fiscal Year 2024 Agricultural Fairs & Field Days Capital Projects Competitive Grants Program and the Stipend Fund application are closed. Funding decisions will be announced in the first quarter of 2024. Please contact with any questions. 

Awarded Projects (Fiscal Year 2023)

Fair Association Project Description Funding Amount
Addison County Fairs and Field Days New line of 32 camper sites $30,000
Connecticut Valley Fair (DBA The Bradford Fair) New concession building for the Livestock Arena and Barn Area $30,000
Caledonia County Fair Association Completing the final phase of rebuilding all cattle barns $30,000
Champlain Valley Exposition Upgrading campground infrastructure $30,000
Lamoille County Field Days Second drilled well on fairgrounds and updating horse arena surface $30,000
Orleans County Fair Association New barn for shows and winter storage $30,000
Vermont State Fair Replacing main water distribution line and improving public bathrooms $30,000
Tunbridge World's Fair Upgrading power supply on the South end of the fairgrounds $30,000
Bondville Fairgrounds (DBA Winhall Industrial Society) Upgrading electrical infrastructure and lighting on the event track and rear parking area $30,000


Eligibility for Capital Projects Competitive Grant Program

Grants shall be competitively awarded to Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations to support fairs or field days events operating a minimum of three consecutive, eight-hour days per year.

Eligible Proposals

  • A project with a minimum useful life of 20 years that can be completed within two years.
  • A grant recipient shall contribute matching funds or in-kind services in an amount equal to 15 percent or more of the value of the grant.
  • Applicants must show all quotes as proof of project costs.
  • Project timeline is reasonable and must be completed in 24 months.

Ineligible Proposals

  • Proposals from applicants that do not meet the definition of an eligible fair as outlined by the Vermont statute.
  • Proposals from applicants who are out of compliance with any federal, state or local laws or regulations.
  • Proposals for projects which will not have a useful 20-year lifespan. 
  • Proposals for projects that have already been completed for which the applicant seeks reimbursement.
  • Proposals from applicants failing to meet requirements for previous Agency grants and/or assistance programs, or from individuals or groups unable to perform or having performance issues with previous Agency grant obligations.

Duration of Grants                        

Maximum of 24 months from grant start date. Should the project change, grants may be amended once the grant application has been approved.

Eligibility for Stipend Funds

Funds shall be distributed annually to Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations as defined in H.472 to support operating costs, plant improvements, and premiums for agricultural fairs or field days events held at least annually at which premiums are offered for competitive exhibits in at least five competitive categories. New applicants must operate their fair or field day for a minimum of three consecutive days, with a minimum of eight hours operating per day. Each stipend application shall be accompanied by both narrative and financial data and indicate the nature of the award sought for the fund, broken down by plant improvement and general operation, with premiums identified as a separate part of general operations.

Program Contact

Drew Watson

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Melissa Moon