Working Lands Service Provider Grants

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets


Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $20,000

Next anticipated deadline: Dec 8, 2018 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Mar 7, 2019 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research, Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Vermont

Location of residency: Vermont

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Overview:

About the Initiative

The backbone of Vermont’s heritage and economic viability is our working landscape. Over 97 percent of Vermonters value the “working landscape” which consists of agriculture, food systems, forestry, and forest products based businesses. Approximately 20 percent of Vermont’s working land is used for agricultural purposes and 75 percent is forested. The Findings section of Act 142 outlines nine goals of the Working Lands initiative.

Mission

The mission of the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont's working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Board achieves this by making essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy, and facilitating policy development to optimize the agricultural and forest use of Vermont lands.

Vision for Future Success

Vermont prospers and its unique sense of place thrives in large part because of intelligent investment in the people and enterprises that comprise its farm, food, and forest based systems. Strong community engagement and support for the farm and forest sectors leads to enhanced quality of life for Vermont citizens and working lands business owners.

Approach

(our change theory about what systemic factors will create progress towards our mission and vision)

  • Access to capital: Ability of an enterprise to secure the right match of capital to meet its financing needs for its stage of growth and scale.
  • Technical assistance: Availability of services to develop business plans, identify risk management strategies, and implement financial management systems, as well as provide topic, product, and process expertise.
  • Workforce development: Access to training that allows Vermonters who want to work in the working lands sector – and by extension, the employers they choose – to be at a worldclass level.
  • Smart policy: Rules and statutes that optimize the agricultural and forest use of Vermont lands, while protecting human, environmental and animal health.
  • Value chain and sector collaboration: Relationships between different actors along the chain, as well as across industry sectors, that strengthen the system as a whole.
  • Public awareness: Communities’ understanding of and support for the businesses and organizations that contribute to our working landscape.

Service Provider Grants

Projects should demonstrate direct impacts on Vermont Working Lands businesses. Types of technical assistance provided may include:

  • Market development, marketing plans, and sales
  • Business and financial planning
  • Succession planning
  • Access to capital and financial literacy
  • Manufacturing efficiencies or process flow
  • Developing sector benchmarks

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Applicant Eligibility:
    • The applicant must be in compliance with state regulations (i.e. land, water, unemployment compensation, taxation, child support) and in good standing with the state of Vermont at the time of application and must remain so during the entire grant period.
    • Primary applicant must be headquartered in Vermont and must be registered with the Secretary of State at the time of application submission.
    • Working lands Service Provider grantees are eligible to apply for multiple years.
      • Applicants who have received Working Lands grants in the past must measure and report on the results of previously funded projects, and demonstrate how continued funding will be used to grow or improve the program.
      • Services must go to a new cohort of businesses each year.
  • Project Criteria: 
    • Provides 100% (1-to-1) cash or in-kind match of total requested WLEB funds.
    • Indirect or overhead costs are allowed for up to 10% of requested WLEB funds (additional indirect or overhead may be used as match).
    • Under limited circumstances, match requirements may be reduced or waived for projects that can justify the need for a reduced match.

Preferences:

  • Projects that provide direct technical assistance to working lands businesses will be prioritized over those that are solely focused on research. 

Ineligibility:

  • Nonprofit projects that compete with for-profit working lands businesses are ineligible.