October is National Farm to School Month and one of the ways we celebrate here at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is with the launch of our annual Farm to School and Early Childhood (FTSEC) grants. The FTSEC grant program has been around since 2007 and has helped grow farm to school and farm to early childhood into a thriving movement throughout the state. In the fifteen-year history of the program, thousands of children, teachers, students and farmers have benefited, and Vermont has established itself as a national leader in farm to school.
This year, we’re more excited than ever to kick off a new round of funding. In a huge win for farm to school, the governor and legislature have authorized a significant increase in the program’s budget. This means we’ll be able to help even more schools, early childhood education providers and non-profits develop and enhance farm to school and farm to early childhood programs throughout the state.
The first of three grant opportunities, the Farm to School and Early Childhood Grant, opens for applications on Monday October 3rd, with a deadline to apply of November 3rd. This grant provides financial and technical assistance to schools and early childhood education providers to help develop or grow their farm to school programs. The second grant, the Community Supported Agriculture Grant, will open in early January of 2023. This grant helps subsidize the cost of CSA or farm share subscriptions for early childhood education providers and afterschool programs looking to serve more local food in their operations. And finally, the Farm to School Vision Grant will open for applications in early February of 2023. This grant funds innovative farm to school projects led by schools, early childhood education providers and/or non-profits.
Visit our website for more information about any of these funding opportunities, or reach out to program manager Gina Clithero, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.