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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

What's Growin' On

An online community of farmers in the Rutland region hosted by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Youth Ag IDA Program - Application Deadline June 22!

Jen Miller

Know of a young and hard-working person age 14-21, who isn't afraid to work independently and is  ready to prepare for a future in agriculture? If so, you're in luck- Vermont's new and innovative young farmer business training program still has a few spots left for the next program round! The UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture's Youth Agriculture Individual Development Account (Youth Ag IDA) program (found online at http://www.uvm.edu/extension/youth/vtyouthagida/) is accepting applications for its next program round. We are seeking youth who are involved with or interested in agriculture to participate in a one-year program that will both provide learning opportunities to help acquire important business management skills, and help each participant save money towards the purchase of a business-related asset. Young farmers will exit the program possessing both seed capital and financial literacy skills: key components in establishing an independent enterprise or assuming more of a management role in the family farm operation.

Upon successful completion of the program, the participant's savings will be matched at a rate of 2:1 (up to a total of $1,000 in match funding), giving young farmers two program dollars for every dollar they save toward the purchase of a productive farm asset.

What does this look like?

  • Participants attend a year (approximately 10-20 hours- depending on preference) of fun, informative, hands-on learning experiences
  • Participants complete approximately ten hours of online coursework
  • Participants develop a business plan
  • Each young farmer saves up to $500 that will be matched with program dollars
  • The program matches the young farmer's savings 2:1 ($1,000 if she or he saves the maximum, $500)
  • The young farmer participant will then have that $1,500 to use for an asset purchase

The program will provide structured financial literacy training, business management coaching and mentoring from qualified farm business management specialists and established farmers. Participants will develop basic skills necessary to leverage their equity, manage capital productively and be a successful entrepreneur.

Even more importantly, participants will leave the program armed with increased confidence, their business plan and the skills that can help them put that plan into successful action, as they join the vibrant agriculture and food systems community that makes Vermont such a great place to live, grow, and appreciate the local bounty.

Applications and more information can be found on the program’s website at

http://www.uvm.edu/extension/youth/vtyouthagida/. The deadline for applications is June 22, with the program kicking off in late-June. Please email Program Coordinator Ali Zipparo with questions:azipparo@uvm.edu

Individuals requesting a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program should contact Ali Zipparo at 802-656-9139 by June 22, 2014.