Farmer Resilience Grants

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. We are also accepting multi-farm applications. If you have a team of farms applying, you may request for up to $2,500 per farm. For example, if you have four farms applying together on a collaborative project, you may apply for up to $10,000.

Please contact Eric Boatti, Farm Resilience Specialist, with any questions at [email protected] or (802) 434-7192.

Applications are now closed for 2024! 

Past Resilience Grant Projects

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.

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. 

The People's Farmstand volunteers and organizers pose with vegetables they harvested for their free community farmstand events
The People's Farmstand

The People's Farmstand is collecting local, organic, and culturally important produce from partnering farms and distributing it at free pop-up farmstands.

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 31st, 2024.
  • Cannot have previously received a Vermont Family Farmer of the Month award anytime in 2022 or 2023.
  • Previous Resilience Grant awardees are welcome to apply, but new applicants will receive additional points in the scoring rubric.


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?

Applications are open each winter. This year, applications will open on January 8, 2024, and will close at midnight on March 3, 2024. If you'd like to stay alerted on NOFA-VT news, sign up for our email newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Meet the Farmer Resilience Grant Review Committee

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.

Christopher Helali pictured on his tractor

Christopher Helali

Chris grew up with a love of agriculture nurtured by his yiayia and pappou (grandmother and grandfather) who came from a rural farming area of Greece. He fondly remembers running amongst olive and fig trees with his aunt's goats and chickens in tow. Chris and his partner Amanda started Opera House Farm in 2019 in Vershire. They have since expanded to a much larger farm in Chelsea where they enjoy spending the summer mowing, cutting, tedding, and square baling their certified organic hay. Beyond the farm, Chris is politically active in the anti-imperialist and peace movements with a focus on the liberation of Palestine and Western Sahara.

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.

Laura smiles at the camera, holding a bouquet of flowers

Laura Xiao

Laura got her start farming organic vegetables in Northern California in the Sierra foothills, before relocating to the arid rolling hills of eastern Washington and finally the forested hills of SE Vermont, where she feels like she has landed, for the time being. Apparently she loves hills. She started growing cut flowers in 2022 as By Hand Farm. In her free time you’ll find her cooking, throwing a ball for Birch, her pit bull with an insatiable appetite for fetch, or dabbling in construction and sewing.

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.