Funding Now Available to Support Vermont Farmers Impacted by Storms and Flooding
The Vermont Community Foundation announced today that a new grant program will provide up to $10,000 directly to farmers affected by the devastating flooding this summer. The Farm Disaster Relief Grant Program will be funded with up to $1 million from the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023, which has raised more than $6.1 million and awarded more than $2 million since it was created by the Vermont Community Foundation last month.
The Farm Disaster Relief Program is designed to help farms that sustained damage stay in production or return to production. More than 18,000 acres of farmland was affected by flooding that washed away soil, spoiled crops, and damaged greenhouses, barns, and equipment. The disaster threatened a way of life and an economic sector that is the backbone of many rural communities.
“We know that many farmers are struggling, and some lost an entire season,” said Kate Neubauer, program officer for Climate & Environment at the Vermont Community Foundation. “Immediate relief is critical not only to support the livelihoods of farmers but to avoid long-term impacts on Vermont’s farms and food systems.”
The farm grant program is made possible by the many individuals and businesses that have contributed generously to the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023. While the fund has already made grant awards to a range of nonprofit organizations that are supporting farms and food production in the wake of the disaster, the new grant program recognizes the need to build on those efforts and provide direct aid at an extremely precarious time for many farms.
To be eligible, Vermont farms must be committed to staying in business and must have been affected by the storms and flooding that took place between July 7 and July 18, 2023. Farms must be located in Vermont and be owned or leased by a Vermont resident or residents, among other criteria. The grant program will prioritize applications from farmers who identify as part of a vulnerable or marginalized population, and farms that will not be receiving any other flood assistance.
Applications will be accepted starting today, August 23, through September 6, 2023. Applications and supporting documentation must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 6 to be considered. Grant decisions will be made in consultation with a diverse, volunteer review committee made up of organizational partners, community members, and stakeholders who represent different farm and food sectors and geographic areas of the state.
The review committee will include representatives from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Intervale Center, The ReLeaf Collective, the Center for Agricultural Economy, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by the end of September 2023.
For more information and to submit an application visit vermontcf.org/farmgrants.
To give to the VT Flood Recovery and Response Fund and learn more about grant awards so far, visit vtfloodresponse.org.
Another opportunity to give: On September 7, the Flynn Theatre in Burlington will host Hug Your Farmer: Hard Rain, with presenting partner Select Design, an all-star lineup of Vermont performers celebrating the music of Bob Dylan led by local musician Bob Wagner. Hug Your Farmer began in 2010 to raise money for Pete’s Greens, whose barn had been destroyed by a fire, and has since played five benefit shows raising over $120,000 for Vermont farmers. All of this year's proceeds, 100 percent, will go to the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund at the VCF, up to $100,000 of which will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous VCF donor.