The VT Farm Viability Program (VFHP) has helped more than 350 farmers to increase profits, improve farm management, develop new, value-added products, and plan for farm transfers. Farmers are matched with consultants to provide individualized business assistance. The next enrollment deadline for the program is November 30th. The Program is also currently enrolling farmers to work on storm recovery plans.
VFVP's Enhancement Program offers business planning and technical assistance services to Vermont farmers, as part of a statewide effort to improve the economic viability of Vermont agriculture. The program is funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and with funding assistance provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Once enrolled, farms work with a farm business planner through one of our cooperating organizations--currently these include the Intervale Center, NOFA-VT, UVM Extension, Working Landscapes, and Land for Good--or directly with an individual consultant. Our staff works with enrolled farmers to identify a good match for the farm. Farmers and planning consultants meet and work together for approximately one year to produce a written business plan, and in the second year farmers are provided with additional technical assistance and help updating their plans.
Farmers that have completed business plans with the program are eligible for grants towards capital expenses or additional technical support needed in implementing the business plan, when funding is available.To qualify for the program, you must be a farmer with at least 3 years experience or a farm business that has been in business more than one full year with over $10,000 in gross income the previous year.
More information can be found online at www.vhcb.org/viability or by calling 802-828-3370.