Farmer Resilience Grants

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A farmer is seen from afar, approaching a small outbuilding.

NOFA-VT has a pool of funds to distribute directly to farmers as grants to fund projects that will improve longer-term resilience on farms.

Our definition of ‘resilience’ is framed broadly around the mission of NOFA-VT: to promote organic practices to build an economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just Vermont agricultural system that benefits all living things.

In this grant application, applicants will define how these funds will be used to improve the resilience on your farm, in your community, and/or for your broader community, with a focus on the social, environmental, and economic impact of the project. 

Applications are reviewed anonymously (names of farms and farmers removed before review) by a committee of Vermont farmers and farmworkers. Grants are awarded with no need for receipt submission. The maximum grant amount is $2,500. 

Applications for Resilience Grants are currently closed.

 

Past Resilience Grant Projects

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Liz Echeverria of Hawthorn Meadow Farmstead standing in front of garden beds
Hawthorn Meadow Farmstead

Liz Echevarria is growing food for her community on a small scale while staying energy neutral.

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Chief Shirly Hook and Doug Bent of the Abenaki Tribal Garden
Abenaki Tribal Garden

Chief Shirly Hook and Doug Bent are saving seeds, growing food for their community, and teaching the next generation about the importance of food sovereignty. 

FAQs
Who qualifies for this grant?

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Located in Vermont and in business for a minimum of one year. 
  • Must be able to meet the timeline for project completion by December 1st, 2021.
  • Cannot have received a Vermont Family Farmer of the Month award in 2020 or 2021.

 

Full rubric for application evaluation is available here: Resilience Grant Application Rubric

What projects can this grant cover?

We are particularly interested in projects that:

  • mitigate against the harmful effects of our changing climate
  • repair harms that have been committed due to the historic and widespread systemic racism embedded in our food system
  • are innovative and will encourage others to adopt new and more promising practices
  • will lead to broader community resilience through enhanced food security, community-based solutions, and connectivity.

 

That said, we are leaving the definition of resilience intentionally broad so that applicants can share their ideas about resilience with us and to not limit our imagination, as we know resilience takes many forms and we do not want to inadvertently disallow exciting, out of the box ideas!

When do applications open?

The last application period closed on March 2nd, 2022.

Applications will open again in early spring 2023–please check back or get on our email list (at the bottom of this page) to be the first to know when applications open!

Meet the Farmer Resilience Grant Review Committee

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Wichie holding a beetroot.

Wichie Artu

Wichie is a farmer at Magnetic Fields Farm in Athens, VT. He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and was raised both there and in Boston, MA. He grew up with a dad who celebrated and taught about Taino (Indigenous) culture, foraging, and agriculture in the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Because of this, Wichie has always been fond of community-based, sustainable food systems. Wichie and his husband, Ike, have seen and experienced how imperialism has forced economic turmoil in other parts of the world, know the importance of food security in community resilience, and understand the implications of wealth accrual–or the lack of it by marginalized communities due to social and political factors. They see that Vermont is a home for hope. Through Magnetic Fields Farm, they seek to create opportunities for a safe, rural farming community for Queer and BIPOC Vermonters. They provide affordable housing, community-driven land access, and culturally meaningful food production

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Aly Martell stands outside, smiling at the camera.

Aly Martell

Aly has been working at the Intervale Community Farm since 2007. She started working there as extra help for weeding and harvesting and continued to work longer each season until the Winter Share program expanded and a full-time year-round farming position became available. Aly enjoys many aspects of farming but focuses on the summer and winter CSA, the propagation greenhouse, wholesale, wash/pack-house, gleaning, donations, fall bulk harvest, and team management. She loves the connection we all make through growing and eating together! Outside of work, Aly enjoys spending time with friends and family and walking, swimming, hiking and kayaking.

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Claudel "Zaka" Chery is looking over his shoulder, smiling at the camera.

Claudel ‘Zaka’ Chery

Zaka, a Haitian poet and film director, moved to Newbury, VT from Jacmel, Haiti in 2011. He was the Assistant to the Director of the Foundation Art Center of Jacmel (FOSAJ). Both Zaka and the Director, Flo McGarrell, ran FOSAJ with great energy and taste. On January 12th, 2010, his beloved country of Haiti entered a nightmare from which there was no hope of waking. 316,000 people died in the 37 seconds as an earthquake moved just under the surface of the island, facilitating his move to Vermont. He is now the President of Calabash Gardens, a progressive, innovative, and sustainably-minded saffron farm in Wells River, Vermont. The farm produces high-quality, organically-grown saffron while striving to uphold the ethics of regenerative agricultural practices. Transparent, passionate, and inspiring, the farm promotes equal opportunity while demonstrating leadership in a blossoming and dynamic US spice industry.

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Henry Harris is smiling, looking away from the camera, in the street at a Milk With Dignity march.

Henry Harris 

Henry grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and now lives at the new Center for Grassroots Organizing in Marshfield. He has worked in social movements and building trades around the US, including volunteer organizing mass actions and supporting racial and economic justice work. Currently, Henry works with the VT National Lawyers Guild, organizes “Just Construction” (a volunteer construction project for a Just Transition), works with the Regeneration Corps in Vermont schools, and sometimes still participates in direct actions and collaborative protest arts projects. He mostly works as a carpenter for a living and is trying to help adapt the rundown dairy farm he lives on into a center for social movement building through agroecology, political education, and fun opportunities to build friendships.

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Seedling watercolor illustration

We are using the ideas brought forth in these Resilience Grants to advocate for innovative farm-based policy solutions at the state and national level. We will also share the needs expressed in the applications with the broader funding community in an effort to draw more interest and funds into supporting farms as a key solution to building a more resilient food system for our collective future.