The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program is an umbrella program that sets guidelines, quality of work standards and provides consistent funding for our broad network of organizational partners, whose staff members include many of the advisers who work with business owners through our program. The Viability Program service provider network includes:
University of Vermont Extension
UVM Extension has its own Farm Viability Program that includes several business planners on staff capable of serving farms throughout Vermont. In addition to one-on-one business planning, funded in part though the VHCB Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, UVM Extension's Farm Viability Program conducts online and in-person classes related to farm financials; they conduct maple business benchmark research; and they provide individualized business analysis and support for farms to achieve water quality goals. In 2015, with support from the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, UVM Extension Farm Viability added a Forest Business Program to its suite of services. This sub-program provides 1-on-1 business advising to Vermont forest products businesses, plus workshops and research specific to logging businesses.
Intervale Center is a multifaceted nonprofit that operates a conservation nursery, a food hub, a gleaning program, manages the farmland access portal Vermont Land Link, and incubates new farm businesses in Burlington, Vermont's Intervale. They also provide one-on-one business advising to farms across the state through the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
NOFA-VT is a nonprofit that provides a wide array of food system services from organic certification to market development and food access. They also provide several forms of assistance to organic farms in Vermont, including on-farm workshops, production and marketing technical assistance, organic transition assistance, and a revolving loan fund. With funding from the Viability Program, NOFA-VT's Farmer Services Program uses on-staff advisers and independent consultants to provide in-depth, one-on-one business planning to farms.
Center For An Agricultural Economy (CAE)
CAE is a nonprofit located in Hardwick, VT that operates multiple programs that support the development of a regenerative food system in the Northeast Kingdom. In addition to their education, food access and community organizing programs, CAE has several assistance programs for farms and value-added food producers. They operate the Vermont Food Venture Center, a shared-use kitchen facility and food business incubator space; and they operate a revolving loan fund; and they work to develop farm-to-institution markets. Through they Viability Program, CAE provides one-on-one business advising to both farms and value-added food businesses.
Land For Good
Land For Good is a New England-wide nonprofit that focuses on the future of farming by ensuring more land is available for farming, beginning farmers have the opportunity to access and work the land, and the older generation of farmers are able to secure their life’s legacy by transitioning their farms to a next generation of land stewards. Through the Viability Program's farm business succession work, Land For Good provides one-on-one advising to Vermont farmers — including farmers without identified successors and the junior generation on the farm — to help them prepare for, plan, and navigate the farm transfer process.
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF)
VSJF is a nonprofit organization created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to partner with state government, private sector businesses, and nonprofits to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont. They provide business assistance, value chain facilitation, network development, and strategic planning in agriculture and food systems, forest products, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology. In partnership with the Viability Program, VSJF provides business coaching to growth-stage businesses in the farm, value-added food, forest products sectors.
Vermont Woodlands Association (VWA)
VWA is a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for the management, sustainability, perpetuation, and enjoyment of forests through the practice of excellent forestry that protects and enhances the tangible and intangible values of forests (e.g. clean air and water, forest products, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, recreation, scenic beauty, and other resources) for future generations. VWA educates, trains, and supports private forest landowners in sound management practices concerning wildlife, water, wood, and recreation. Through the Viability Program, VWA also provides in-depth forestland ownership succession planning services.
Vermont Coverts is a nonprofit committed to enabling landowners to make well-informed decisions that meet their forest management goals and enhance diverse wildlife habitat and healthy ecosystems. They offer three-day trainings that include classroom and field studies as well as numerous one day Forest Stewardship workshops on diverse topics. They also facilitate personal contacts among individual landowners, experts, public agencies and private organizations in the conservation arena. Those who complete the three-day training are called “Cooperators." Coverts Cooperators number almost 700 and have influenced the management practices on over 300,000 acres of forestland throughout Vermont.