The Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association
RESEARCH GRANTS

The Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association Research Fund provides grants of up to $750 to support farmers' research projects. Projects may involve any aspect of vegetable or berry growing or marketing which will benefit VVBGA growers and further the association's mission: "To promote the economic, environmental and social sustainability of vegetable and berry farming in Vermont."


Research requirements:

1. the research must take place on the applicant's farm or justify another location
2. the project must address the production of vegetables and/or berries
3. the project must have relevance to production systems with potential for adoption by Vermont growers

Criteria for proposal evaluation:

1. importance of the issue or problem to be addressed
2. innovation of the proposed solution
3. clarity about the approach/methods to be used
4. appropriate plan for measuring results
5. likelihood of potential for adoption of results by other growers
6. realistic and appropriate budget 

To apply for a Research Fund grant:

Write a short proposal that is as clear and specific as you can make it, so the reviewers know what you are trying to do, why, and how. Your proposal should answer these questions:

1. Briefly describe your farm
2. What is the issue you want to address and why is it important?
3. What methods will you use to study or address the issue?
4. How will you measure your results?
5. How will you share the project's results with other growers?
6. How much money are you requesting and what will you use if for?

Send your proposal to at least one of the research committee members by e-mail no later then January 15. It is strongly recommended that you contact a member of the research committee before you submit your proposal, with a brief outline of your idea. They may be able to give you some guidance about the basic question and/or methodology.

Proposals must be submitted by January 15th to be considered for that calendar year.

If the committee has questions, they may contact you for more information.

After initial approval by the committee, funds are allocated by the Board of Directors at their meeting in late January or early February, and you will be notified soon after. If the committee or board does not approve your project they will let you know why.

The following conditions apply:

1. The applicant must be a current full member of the VVBGA.

2. Grants are limited to $750 per applicant, per year, unless special circumstances are explained in the application and approved by the Board.

3. Granted funds may be used for such expenses as materials, hired services, phone calls, printing, and other such costs, and up to $150 for the grantee's own labor. Funds for permanent "hardware", tools and transportation will only be granted at the discretion of the Grant Committee.

4. Half of the granted funds will be paid on approval of the project and the remainder after its completion.

5. Completion of the project includes the submission by the grantee of a written description of the research results, a listing of actual expenses and a presentation describing the project and its results or conclusions at the annual VVBGA meeting.

6. The written results of the project and any other information generated by the project will become the property of both the grantee and the VVBGA and may be used by either as they see fit.

Examples of past or potential projects include:

- The design, construction, and trial of a tractor-mounted flame weeding device.
- A survey at several Vermont vegetable stands to determine what factors positively influence customer buying patterns and preferences.
- Developing a method to use visual assessment of sweet corn growth stage to determine optimal timing of sequential plantings.
- Feasibility study of growing lettuce in plastic gutters above a greenhouse tomato crop while it matures.

revised 12/14/12

Send your research proposal to any (or all) of the following committee members:

Jake Guest                          Hank Bissell                             Andy Jones
(802) 649-2916                      (802) 453-4591                      (802) 658-2919
             jake.guest@wavecomm.com        lcfarm@gmavt.net         Andy@intervalecommunityfarm.com

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