Food System Businesses



The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program (VFFVP) provides business planning and technical assistance to businesses in the Vermont food system, with the aim of strengthening the business management skills of enterprises throughout the local food value chain. We provide a range of services, from in-depth business planning to short-term, specialized technical assistance by matching participating enterprises with the best consultant, or team of consultants, who have the specific skills to meet their needs.


Through our network of partner organizations and private consultants, we provide business planning and targeted technical assistance including:

  • Business Planning

  • Enterprise Analysis

  • Financial Record-keeping and Management

  • Marketing and Sales Consulting

  • Human Resources Management

  • Management Coaching

  • Retirement and Ownership Transition Planning

Advanced venture coaching is also available for businesses that require assistance managing their growth. For this assistance, select businesses that meet additional criteria will be matched with the Vermont Agricultural Development Program, a program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.


Eligible businesses include slaughterhouses and meat processors, grain/legume/vegetable processors, on and off-farm value-added producers, co-packers, and storage/distribution businesses that source locally produced food. We also enroll key regional food systems organizations that are actively engaged in increasing farm to school and farm to institution activities in their areas of the state. While businesses of any size will are eligible to enroll, we consider the following three criteria:

  • Your business must be based in Vermont,

  • You must have at least 2 years of experience managing this or another related business, and

  • Your business must be primarily involved in adding value to Vermont's agricultural products.

Applications will be selected based on clarity of the proposal, how well the proposal meets the program’s objectives, and the readiness of the project. In some cases waivers are available for businesses that don’t meet these eligibility requirements.


There is a $75 fee to enroll in the Vermont Farm and Forest Viability Program. Please submit the $75 enrollment fee check with your application. We will return your check if we are not able to enroll you in the program.
Farms or businesses that are owned by a non-profit organization or foundation, or are supported by a non-profit or foundation are required to pay a larger fee. If your farm meets this definition, please contact program staff.

The Vermont Farm Viability Program is a program
of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.