The Vermont Farm Viability Program (VFVP) offers business planning and technical assistance to Vermont farmers. We also provide services to agricultural infrastructure businesses (those processing, storing, marketing, or distributing local farm products) and other working landscape enterprises such as forestry and wood products businesses. The Vermont Farm Viability Program started in 2003, and has worked with over 400 farmers and ag infrastructure businesses across the state. Businesses enrolled in the Program work with a business planner provided through cooperating organizations, listed below, or directly with an individual consultant. Our staff works with enrollees to identify a good match for the business.
The business planning process is tailored to each enrollee, and involves the business owner in an assessment of the farm operation’s strengths and weaknesses and in an exploration of possible management changes that could increase profitability. Examples include consultations on keeping better production or financial records, financial benchmark analysis, meetings with production specialists, new enterprise analysis, estate and transfer planning, labor management, and value-added processing.
Those who 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.
Eligibility requirements: Vermont farmers who own or lease farmland are eligible to apply. Applicants should also have at least 3 years prior farm experience and $10,000 or more of gross farm income in the previous year. These criteria may be waived in special cases.