Working Lands Service Provider Grants

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

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

Anticipated deadline: Nov 17, 2020 8:59pm PST

Applicant type: Organizations

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

Location of project: Vermont

Location of residency: Vermont

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Overview:

Program Purpose

Approximately 20% of Vermont’s working landscape is used for agricultural purposes, and 75% is forested. Vermont prospers and its unique sense of place thrives, in large part, because of intelligent investments 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. 

The mission of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont's working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) 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. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, Act 142, created the Working Lands Enterprise Fund (WLEF) and the WLEB. The WLEB is made up of private sector members throughout the supply chains of agriculture and forestry, and staff from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Vermont Economic Development Authority, and Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. 

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

Eligibility:

  • Eligible Applicants
    • Service provider organizations must be based in Vermont and registered with the Secretary of State at the time of application submission.
    • All structures are eligible (e.g., Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Cooperatives, Corporations, S Corporations, L3Cs, B Corporations, and/or non-profits that are involved in the support of production of agriculture and/or forest products).
    • Applicants must be in compliance with all state regulations (i.e. water quality, taxes, child support) and in good standing with the State of Vermont at the time of submitting an application and must remain so during the entire grant period. 
    • Previous recipients of Working Lands Service Provider Grants in the amount of $20,000 or less are eligible to reapply for funding during Fiscal Year 2020. 
      • Applicants who have received Working Lands grants in the past will be asked to 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 be provided to a new cohort of businesses for each funding period. 
  • Projects eligible for funding will include the provision of direct technical assistance and/or indirect services to support the development of Vermont-based working lands businesses. Services may cover topics such as: 
    • Market development, marketing plans, and sales;
    • Business and financial planning;
    • Succession planning;
    • Access to capital;
    • Manufacturing efficiencies or processflow;
    • Business research and development; and/or
    • Pilot programs.

Preferences:

  • Prequalified Vendors: Priority will be given to applications from organizations that are not prequalified vendors of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI). Prequalified vendors who apply for these grants must demonstrate that the services and/or clients addressed are not redundant with the scope of existing contracts or analogous grant agreements with WLEI. For optional further context about the history of pre-qualified service providers and the Working Lands Enterprise Board, please see the WLEI website. 

Ineligibility:

  • Previous recipients of Working Lands grants for more than $20,000 are not eligible to apply for further Working Lands funding until three years after the start date of their previous grant (i.e., FY16 and earlier grantees are eligible to apply this year).