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Farm to Institution Market Development Grants

Program Overview

The Farm to Institution Market Development Grant (formerly Local Food Market Development Grant) is intended to support market development opportunities for local food producers and processors, with a focus on Vermont institutional markets. Funding is provided to help improve local producer access to, and engagement with, schools, hospitals, colleges, correctional facilities, and other local institutions.

Application must clearly demonstrate improvements in local farmer access to Vermont institutional markets to be considered for this grant. Examples of institutional markets:

  • Colleges and universities  
  • Schools  
  • Early childhood education facilities
  • Correctional facilities  
  • Nursing homes  
  • Hospitals and healthcare providers

A total of $30,000 is available through this competitive funding opportunity. The minimum award for this grant program is $10,000 and the maximum award is $30,000.  Each successful grantee will have two years from the signing of their grant agreement to expend their grant funds and submit all required deliverables. All applicants must demonstrate 25% of the total grant award in matching funds; the matching funds requirement can be met with cash, in-kind, or a combination of both.


Proposals that address institutional market development, or that will directly support Vermont producers’ access to institutional market expansion in Vermont, will be considered. The following entities are eligible to apply for this competitive grant:

  • Vermont farm or food businesses
  • Vermont producer groups or associations
  • Supply chain facilitators (non-profits, economic development authorities, food hubs, etc.)  

How to Apply

  1. Read the Farm to Institution Market Development Grant Request for Applications
  2. Register for the optional applicant webinar on Thursday October 26, 2023 at 10 AM-11 AM
  3. Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days).
  4. Complete your application in WebGrants using our Application Guide. Application deadline is November 29, 2023.

Program History

In 2011 the Vermont Legislature provided funding to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) for the creation of the Vermont Local Food Market Development Grant Program. Each year subsequently, the Vermont State Legislature has annually appropriated funds to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to support market opportunities with an institutional or other wholesale focus in Vermont. In 2023, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is focusing this grant on institutional market development and removing wholesale market access as a funding priority, due to overlap with existing VAAFM grant programs supporting wholesale market access.

Farms seeking grant funding to support wholesale market access might funding opportunities through the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. VAAFM offers a menu of funding opportunities as well as business planning and assistance resources available to the Vermont agricultural community.

Applicant Webinar

VAAFM hosted an informational webinar for FY2023 prospective applicants in April 2023. The webinar was recorded and is available below. For FY2024 - the applicant webinar will be held on October 26, 2023 10 AM - 11 AM. Register for the FY2024 webinar to learn more.

Program Contact

Gina Clithero

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Diana Ferguson