The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program provides business planning, technical assistance and transfer planning to Vermont farms. Since the program started in 2003, over 400 farms have taken advantage of our services to make their businesses more economically viable. We take care to tailor our program to each farm business by matching them with a consultant, or team of consultants, whose skills are a good fit for the farm's needs. Once matched up, farmers and planning consultants meet and work together on the farm for approximately one year to assess the farm’s strengths and weaknesses. Together, they can also explore possible management and enterprise changes that could increase net profitability. This process produces a written business plan for the farm, and in the second year of participation, farmers are provided with additional technical assistance and help updating their plans.
Occasionally, we announce that additional funds are available to be awarded as implementation grants. At these times, farms that have successfully completed our 2-year business planning program are then eligible to apply for our competitive farm implementation grants.
The services that our program commonly provides to participating Vermont farms include:
- Business Planning
- Enterprise Analysis
- Financial Record-keeping and Management
- Marketing and Sales
- Human Resources Management
- Management Coaching
- Retirement and Ownership Transition Planning
We work closely with UVM Extension, The Intervale Center, NOFA-VT, Land For Good, Center for an Agricultural Economy, and our network of private consultants to provide these services to our participating farms.
Our program is open to all farms of any size and type, but to be eligible for the program, farmers must:
- be year-round Vermont resident, currently farming in Vermont,
- be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the farm,
- have at least two years experience managing the current farm, and
- have grossed at least $15,000 on the farm in the most recent tax year .
In some cases waivers are available for farm businesses that do not meet these eligibility requirements.
Please contact Liz Gleason, Program Coordinator, for further information at 828-3370 or by email, email@example.com.