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Local Food Market Development Grants

The purpose of this grant is to foster Vermont producers’ access to wholesale markets and to increase the quantity of local food available in Vermont institutions and other Vermont wholesale markets by addressing barriers in the supply chain. This program encourages local food wholesale market development opportunities with an institutional focus across the state from Vermont farmers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators. Proposed projects must improve quality, efficiency, or food safety; address distribution challenges; or mitigate the financial risks associated with scaling up to meet new market demands. 

The 2022 application period is closed. This funding opportunity will reopen in 2023. 

    Eligibility

    Proposals addressing market access in Vermont institutions, defined as colleges and universities, early childcare and pre-k-12 schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, and wholesale market access, including grocery stores, independent retail, and food co-ops, will be considered. Grants will be distributed through a competitive application review process to agricultural producers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators. To qualify for funding consideration, applicants must either be a Vermont producer or producer group in pursuit of institutional or in-state wholesale market development, or a value-chain facilitator that will directly support Vermont producers’ access to institutional or wholesale market expansion in Vermont.

    Grants ranging from 2k – 15k will be targeted towards:

    • Infrastructure Development: on-farm capital improvements, equipment purchases
    • Technology: accounting, tracking, and/or sales software, website, or app development
    • Market Access and Development: innovative solutions to logistics and/or distribution

    Ineligible Applications

    • Applications that fail to demonstrate how wholesale market access will be improved.
    • Applications for vehicles or land.
    • Applicants out of compliance with any federal, state or local laws or regulations.
    • Applicants not engaged in commercial agriculture.
    • Applicants producing value-added products with less than 51% Vermont grown ingredients.
    • Applicants who failed to meet requirements for previous Agency grants and/or assistance programs, or from individuals or groups unable to perform or currently experiencing performance issues with previous Agency grant obligations.
    • Applications for already completed projects for which the applicant seeks reimbursement.

    Grants are distributed, through a competitive application review process, to agricultural producers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators that are addressing market access in Vermont institutions, defined as colleges and universities, early childcare and pre-k-12 schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, and wholesale market access, including grocery stores, independent retail, and food co-ops. All applicants must demonstrate 25% of the total grant award in matching funds. Grant funds must be obligated, and project work must be completed, within one year from the time the grant agreement is finalized. 

     

    How to Apply

    The 2022 application period is closed.

    Review the WebGrants Application Guide to learn how to submit an application.

    1. Download the Local Food Market Development Grant Program 2022 Request for Applications (RFA).
    2. Sign up for an account in WebGrants, the Agricultural Development Division's online Grants Management System (GMS)
    3. Submit your application in WebGrants starting April 12. Application closes May 10, 2022.  

    Program History

    Over the past 8 years 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.

    Program Contact

    Trevor Lowell
    trevor.lowell@vermont.gov
    (802) 585-9186

    WebGrants Technical Assistance

    Diana Ferguson
    diana.ferguson@vermont.gov
    (802) 622-4094