Trade Show Assistance Grants


The Agriculture Development Division would like to share an update for potential applicants about fiscal year 2021 grant opportunities. Five grant programs which provide critical support to our educational institutions and agriculture and forestry businesses are funded via allocations in the State of Vermont’s annual budget. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious disruptions in the State’s budgeting process, the Governor approved a “skinny” budget in June which only authorized spending for the first quarter of the State’s fiscal calendar (July through September). The Legislature returns on August 25 and a top priority will be to finalize a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, pending the Governor’s approval. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the budget and its impact on these programs, the Agency of Agriculture will be delaying the release of the Trade Show Assistance Grant application. Read more ... 

The application period for the Trade Show Assistance Grant now is closed. All funds have been obligated for 2020.


The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) Trade Show Assistance Grants (TSAG) provide Vermont agriculture and forestry businesses with funds to identify, plan, exhibit and sell their Vermont products at out-of-state trade shows. These matching grants can mitigate the financial risks associated with exhibiting at trade shows, which provide opportunities to network with wholesale buyers.

Grant Description

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative has set aside $30,000 to be distributed on a first come first serve basis to support yearly marketing plans for Vermont businesses with reimbursement directly to Vermont businesses to exhibit at out-of-state trade shows. Applicant may include up to 5 trade shows in their yearly marketing plan for a total of $5,000 in eligible reimbursements.

Funding may be used for the following approved expenses: travel expenses; marketing assets and booth design; registration fees; booth fees; furnishings; utilities; shipping/freight; other marketing costs (samples, printing, etc.). This grant may fund up to 5 years of attendance at a single trade show.

  • Minimum grant amount: $2,000
  • Maximum grant amount: $5,000


Eligible Applicants

Vermont based agricultural and forestry businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible to receive funds through this grant:

  1. Business is registered with the Vermont Secretary of State and has been in business for over one (1) year with an address indicating that they perform substantial functions in Vermont.

  2. Business has three or more wholesale accounts

  3. Business meets one of the following two criteria:

  • 50% or more of their product ingredients/components are from Vermont

  • The product, if substantially transformed, was transformed in Vermont

Eligible Proposals

Trade Show Assistance Grant (TSAG) grants can mitigate the financial risks associated with exhibiting at trade shows and provide an excellent opportunity to network with wholesale buyers. Applicants should outline all marketing activities for the upcoming year for which they seek reimbursement. The following criteria must be met for a successful application.

Eligible proposals must assert that:

  • Proposed trade shows are located outside of Vermont.
  • Applicant has attended trade show no more than 4 times. This grant will fund up to 5 years of attendance at a trade show.
  • The proposed budget demonstrations a minimum of a 1:1 cash match contribution. This grant will reimburse each line item 50%.
  • Funding will be used for the following approved expenses:
    • Travel and accommodation expenses
    • Marketing assets and booth design
    • Registration fees (including booth space and educational sessions)
    • Booth fees including furnishings and utilities
    • Shipping/freight
    • Other marketing costs (samples, printing, etc.)
    • Proposed trade show is in the business to business (wholesale) format. Direct to consumer shows will only be eligible on a case-by-case basis.
Ineligible Proposals
  • Proposals from applicants who are out of compliance with any federal, state or local laws or regulations
  • Proposals from applicants that do not meet the threshold of 50% Vermont agricultural and forest content/ingredients
  • Reimbursement requests that include labor, food, and beverage
  • Proposals from applicants failing to meet requirements for previous VAAFM grants and/or assistance programs or from individuals or groups that were unable to perform or had performance issues with previous grant obligations with the VAAFM
  • Proposals for projects that have already been completed for which the applicant seeks reimbursement
  • Reimbursement for trade shows that are covered by the Food Export Branded program are only eligible for costs not covered under the Branded program, such as domestic travel and accommodations or purchased furnishings

How to Apply

The FY 2020 application period opened December 1, 2019. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis until funding is depleted.

  1. Download the Trade Show Assistance Grants (TSAG) 2020 Request for Applications (RFA).
  2. Review the WebGrants Application Guide
  3. Prepare and submit your application in WebGrants.


Duration of Grants                     

Grant will be awarded for up to 12 months from the date the grant is executed. Grants may be amended if grantee changes their anticipated marketing plan. If the marketing plan has changed and grantee has not sought an amendment, the changes may not be approved and claims may be denied. 

Funding Availability                      

$30,000 to be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

Program Contact

Lauren Masseria
(802) 505-5413

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Melissa Moon
(802) 828-3828

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.461.5128
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431