$1 million Working Lands ARPA-funded Primary Producer grant opportunity now open

Producers of major agricultural and forest products can now apply for $50 to $250K Vermont Working Lands grants

Vermont Business Magazine Primary producers of farm and forest products can now apply now for the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer grant opportunity!  The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) has released a request for applications (RFA) totaling $1,000,000. This grant opportunity is possible due to federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds appropriated by the Vermont legislature to the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative anticipates releasing a second ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Grant opportunity in 2023, with available funds of up to $1,000,000. Examples of eligible primary production activities are farming, livestock rearing, maple sugaring, dairy, and logging.

Deadline to apply is December 16, 2022.

The goal of the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer grant is to support primary producers in continuing to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their business experienced a negative economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even if that impact was not sustained (e.g., experienced an increased operational cost, decreased revenue or gross receipts, increased costs, challenges covering payroll, or other harm that can be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic). Primary producers can use grant funds to invest in market development, infrastructure, processing, and workforce development initiatives that advance their use of the primary products they have produced.

Grant requests for the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Grant can be from $50,000 to $250,000. Please read the request for applications (link below) to learn about eligibility, the application process, and review the application questions. The pre-application opens for submission on November 9, 2022. The pre-application deadline is December 16, 2022. Notification of pre-application decisions will occur in early February 2023. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full application.  

To review the ARPA Funded Primary Producer Grant request for applications, click here: ARPA Funded Primary Producer Grant RFA

Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • Request for Applications released: October 28, 2022 
  • Webinar with Q&A: November 3, 2022 from 12:00-1:00 PM – register here.
  • Pre-Application opens for submission: November 9, 2022 at 12:00 PM (noon) 
  • Pre-Application deadline: December 16, 2022 at 11:59 PM 
  • Applicants notified of funding decisions: Early February 2023 
  • Full application deadline: March 17, 2023 
  • Estimated project start date: May 2023 

Please visit https://workinglands.vermont.gov/ and https://www.facebook.com/VTWorkingLands, as well as sign up for the Agriculture Development Newsletter and Working Lands Mailing List for WLEI updates. 

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) and governing board (WLEB) were created by the legislature in 2012 to stimulate economic development in the agricultural and forestry sectors. WLEI is a collaborative effort between the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. 

November 1, 2022 | Montpelier, VT – Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets