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 ten years. Funding is appropriated yearly to Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations as defined in Rule 91-31 to assist our fairs and field days throughout the state with capital improvements and operational costs. 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. The fairs and events offer opportunities for the agricultural community to highlight their practices, products, skills, and livelihood that are part of the success of maintaining Vermont’s working landscape.
For more information regarding the two funding opportunities, please take a moment to review the state statutes regarding Capital Projects Competitve Grant Program and the Stipend Fund Distribution Formula.
A total of $407,299; $297,299 available for Capital Grants and $110,000 for Stipends for FY 2022. Up to $35,000 to be distributed per applicant for Capital Grants. Stipends are distributed according to the Stipend Distribution Fund Formula.
How to Apply
The Agricultural Fairs & Field Days Capital Projects Competitive Grants program and the Stipend Fund have been combined into one application, which can be accessed using our online grants portal, Webgrants. Due to the cancellation of Vermont Fairs & Field Days events over the past 2 years, VAAFM will use both current and 2019 data to determine awards in 2022. The 2022 Fairs and Field Days grant application will be open from November 1, 2021 through December 16, 2021 at noon.
Eligibility for Stipend Funds
Funds shall be distributed annually to Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations as defined in Rule 91-31 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.
Vermont Agricultural Fairs Associations which received supplemental funds from the Special Stipend allocated by the Vermont Legislature in FY2022 must also provide details on how those special funds are planned to be spent or were expended when applying for this current round of FY2022 Stipends.
Eligibility for Capital 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.
- 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.
- 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.