Farm Disaster Relief
The Farm Disaster Relief Grant Program addresses the critical needs of Vermont farms that sustained damage from the historic storms and flooding in July and August. The program is designed to meet unmet need, and help farms and farmers continue or return to production. This opportunity is made possible by many organizations and individuals who contributed generously to the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023.
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in Vermont's economy, cultural heritage, and resident well-being. Our farmers are the backbone of rural communities. Recent storms and flooding have devastated our agricultural community. Rising waters resulted in loss of crops, greenhouses, barns, livestock, equipment, and soil. Some farmers saw rivers carry away pieces of land, while others watched water strip away soil and expose the gravel beds below. Unharvested crops were destroyed and/or contaminated due to sewage and hazardous microorganisms in flood waters. Many farmers are struggling to recover and continue their vital operations. Many farms are in danger of losing not only their livelihoods, but also their way of life. Immediate relief is not only critical to support the livelihoods of these farmers, but also to avoid longer term impacts on Vermont’s agricultural land base and food resiliency.
What We Fund
The Vermont Community Foundation will award up to $1 million from the Vermont Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023 to support Vermont farms. Farms directly impacted by storms and flooding in July and August 2023 may seek funding though the Farm Disaster Relief Grant Program. For those losses not otherwise covered by insurance or able to be covered by sources of income, grant awards can support:
- Replacement of seed, feed, livestock, supplies or equipment.
- Infrastructure and/or capital repairs.
- Loss of revenue due to closure or damages, including loss of value of crops at the time of flooding and/or storms.
- Outstanding bills including farm mortgage costs, land lease payments, utility payments, or animal feed bills.
- Unexpected expenses related to storm and flood impacts.
What We Don't Fund
Damage or expenses that occurred prior to the July 2023 storms and flooding are ineligible. Grants cannot be applied to any logging, forestry, hemp, or cannabis related activities. Grants cannot be used to recover projected income from crops lost in storms and/or flooding (cannot cover estimated damage to future harvest). For example, projected income from produce to be harvested in fall 2023 is not eligible. Grants cannot be used for expenses or losses that have already been covered through insurance and/or another flood response/recovery funding source.
Who May Apply
A farm will be considered eligible if:
- It is located in Vermont and the land is owned or leased by a Vermont resident(s).
- It is committed to remaining in business.
- It sustained damage in July and/or August 2023.
- It has at least 20 percent of income coming from agricultural activities (supported by appropriate tax documentation).
- Farms that began operations in 2023 (new or startup farms) are eligible so long as they can demonstrate investment and potential for growth.
- Nonprofits managing farm operations are eligible to apply so long as they can demonstrate investment and potential for growth.
This grant program will prioritize:
- Farmers who identify or self-identify as part of a vulnerable or marginalized population.
- Farms that will not be receiving any other flood assistance.
With questions related to applicant eligibility and/or the Farm Disaster Relief Program guidelines, please contact Kate Neubauer at 802-388-3355 ext. 250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to farms that have applied and are eligible, as available funds allow.
Round 1 Deadline: Applications will be accepted between August 23 and September 6, 2023. Applications and supporting documentation must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6 to be considered. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by September 6, 2023.
Round 2 Deadline: Applications will be accepted between September 6 and September 27, 2023. Applications and supporting documentation must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27 to be considered. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by September 27, 2023.
This is not a first come, first serve grant program. 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.
We are working quickly to notify applicants of funding decisions as soon as possible. Due to the volume of applications, notification from the time of application may take 4-8 weeks. We anticipate notifying all Round 1 applicants of funding decisions by October 27; Round 2 applicants will be notified by November 10.
Please know that grant payment may be delayed if details and/or documentation provided in the application need clarification or require additional information.
Applications will be accepted electronically through the Foundation’s Online Grants Manager (OGM). Instructions to register for an account in the Online Grants Manager may be downloaded here. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by the deadline, September 6 or September 27, 2023. To discuss completing a written application, contact Evelyn Gearty at 802-552-3224 or email@example.com.
If you have limited access to a computer, need translation services, would prefer to complete a written application, and/or would like to work directly with a VCF staff member to complete an application over the phone, please contact Evelyn Gearty at 802-552-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Evelyn is also available to offer technical assistance to help applicants navigate the Online Grants Manager (OGM).
To help you prepare, click here to sample a preview of the application. Please note that this is a PDF sample and not the actual application. To view and begin working on the application, login to the Online Grants Manager (OGM), which can be accessed at www.vermontcf.org/OGM. The required supporting documentation will include:
- a copy of your most recent schedule F, Form 1065, Form 1120-S, or Form 990;
- a current P&L statement for applicants whose operations began in 2023;
- and a completed Form W-9.