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Maple Funding Resources

Welcome to your guide for funding resources!

There is a tremendous opportunity for the Vermont Maple Industry to access funding through state agencies, the USDA, as well as non-profits committed to improving Vermont’s working landscape. We will continually share information and resources with you through how to tips, articles, grant links and partner webinars. Visit us often, bookmark key grant pages, and stay in touch!

USDA Grants:

Rural Energy for American Programs (REAP) - Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants

What does this program do? The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers can also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.

Who can apply? Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations. Small businesses in eligible rural areas.

How do I start?
Get in touch with Farm Credit to make them aware you’re interested in applying. Discuss your needs and timeline. (see below for contact information)
2. Contact an Energy Auditor (a requirement of the REAP grant) - they’ll audit your operation and give you a report showing a snapshot of your business today and a snapshot of the energy you’ll save with your intended upgrades. Let them know you intend to apply for a REAP grant!
3. Follow the intake form and document needs form as you partner with Farm Credit on the next steps

For all documents related to this grant please visit the following link: REAP Grant PDF

Farm Credit East Contact
Heather LaPierre, Grant Coordinator
394 State Route 29, Greenwich, NY 12834-2650

For even MORE grant opportunities through REAP, visit:

REAP Value Added Producer Grants


Efficiency Vermont Rebates:

Efficiency Vermont wants to help reduce sugar maker energy usage and/or fuel consumption - resulting in benefits for the land and for your operation. 

They currently have rebates for maple equipment including Reverse Osmosis systems, Variable Frequency Drives (with Vacuum Pumps) and Efficient Sap Preheating. These rebates can be accessed through the Efficiency Vermont website or give them a call at (888) 921-5990 to receive one on one assistance. 


Agency of Agriculture and State Grants:

First things first, if you have never applied for a grant with VAAFM, you will want to register for access to their web grants portal. You can find their online form here: Registration can take a few days, so it’s best to register ahead of time, in anticipation of future applications. 

Each grant program is generally announced with a “Request for Applications” (RFA). While usually a lengthy document, it’s always an important read to understand who is eligible for each program, the associated timelines and the purpose of the funding. These RFAs are shared well in advance of the application deadlines in order to give you time to review them and ask any questions you might have, and still submit your application on time. You can find the annual calendar of funding opportunities on VAAFM’s website:

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG)
Annually, the Agency offers a competitive grant program to disburse SCBG funds. Where do these funds come from? The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). AMS offers programs and services that create marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber and specialty crops (maple is considered a specialty crop). AMS awards Specialty Crop Block Grants to Vermont (and the other 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia) and VAAFM administers the funding. Any business, organization, or individual can apply to the Vermont SCBG Program, but projects must benefit more than one specialty crop business, organization or individual to be eligible. You can find more about these grants here:

Business Enhancement Grants
The Business Enhancement Grants program will open in the fall. Award amounts are generally $20,000 - $35,000 for successful applicants with project areas in market development, research and development, infrastructure development, energy, and workforce training and development. Individual businesses with a variety of structures (sole proprietorship, corporations, LLCs, etc) are eligible to apply. In the last round of Business Enhancement Grants, eligible projects included market development, research and development, infrastructure development, energy-focused projects, and workforce training and development with $450,000 in available funding. You can find more about these grants here:

Trade Show Assistance Grants
Are you a sugar maker who sells wholesale and is looking to grow your out-of-state business through trade show exhibits? VAAFM offers 50% matching grants between $2,000 and $5,000 to assist with travel and accommodation expenses, booth design and marketing assets, registration fees, booth fees, and other costs. You can find more details on the VAAFM website:

Other Grants and Assistance through Vermont Agencies
There are a whole host of other funding opportunities that are not specific to maple, but might fit your operation - including barn preservation (for barns older than 50 years) and diesel emissions reduction. You can find information on those opportunities through links on VAAFM’s website here:

Agency Contacts:

Madison Berry
Specialty Crop Program Coordinator
Contact for Specialty Crop & Maple ADG

Clare Salerno
Working Lands Program Coordinator
Contact for all Working Lands Grants

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program

The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program will offer over $3.2 million in grants to Vermont businesses and organizations to strengthen local and regional food systems. The purpose of these grants, funded through the USDA Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program, is to:

-Build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain,
-Support market development and new market opportunities for Vermont farms and food businesses,
-Promote development of Vermont value-added products, and
-Support fair prices, fair wages, and new and safe job opportunities

Watch the Applicant Webinar:

-The Agency of Agriculture will award RFSI grants to improve the aggregation, distribution, manufacturing, processing, storing, transporting, and wholesaling of Vermont food products including specialty crops, dairy, grains, aquaculture, and value-added products.

There will be two grant tracks: an initial, larger infrastructure grant track and a simplified equipment-only grant track. Businesses can only receive one RFSI grant. Grants that benefit underserved community members, such as limited resource farmers, new and beginning farmers, and veteran producers will receive some prioritization in scoring.

Eligible Applicants
Farmers, food aggregators and distributors, food hubs, food processors and manufacturers, food retail operations, institutions such as schools or hospitals, nonprofit organizations, producer associations and cooperatives, local government entities, and universities are eligible to apply.

How to Apply (Infrastructure Track)
Download the Request for Applications
Review the? WebGrants Application Guide. If you have not previously registered in WebGrants, complete the registration form. User registrations are approved in 1–2 business days.

Interested in help to apply for this grant application? visit HERE

Submit your application in WebGrants by June 5, 2024 at 1:59 PM.

Visit for more!


2023 Flood Resources

Many of us, our friends and neighbors have been impacted by the recent flooding in Vermont. See below for some resources that might be of use to you as you prepare for future weather events, assess damage and request assistance, and look to help others in Vermont who have been affected. The state has a list of frequently asked questions here

If you have other resources that you'd like us to share on this page, please get in touch with Allison (802-777-2667) or Heather (802-917-2032).

Federal Major Disaster Declaration

President Biden has approved Governor Phil Scott’s request for a major disaster declaration for Vermont to assist individuals and communities recover from historic flooding from July 7-12, 2023. After the declaration was signed the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a fact sheet for Vermont disaster loans for businesses, that details what may be available and at what interest rates. While the fact sheet includes a lot of information, we know there will be many questions.

The SBA Disaster Team will be opening offices in Vermont to work with businesses through the application process. Businesses should engage with the SBA team PRIOR to submitting an application. It is imperative that applications are fully accurate prior submission, or they will be kicked back.

Vermont's Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will share more on the location of these in person offices and how people can access them once it is determined next week. General information on how these loans work can be found on the SBA website.

The Governor today also requested that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue a disaster designation for the State of Vermont to open the availability of low-interest USDA Farm Service Agency emergency loans to farms and farmers.


Assessment & Assistance

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