University of Vermont

Vermont Farm Women's Fund (VFWF)

Vermont Farm Women Fund Application Instructions

Vermont Farm Women's Fund Criteria and Application Instructions

Who can apply?

The mission of the Vermont Farm Women’s Fund (VFWF) is to sustain and assist women pursuing a secure farming future with innovative agricultural businesses and stewardship of the land. The first priority for funding will be women farmers on a currently operating farm located in Vermont who make a majority of their income from farm-related activities.

How much should I ask for?

Awards from the Vermont Farm Women’s Fund (VFWF) are capped at $750 per request. You may request a lower amount but the amount of the request cannot exceed the amount needed. You are encouraged to seek additional funds to supplement the VFWF award.

What can the money be used for?

VFWF offers types of awards:

  • The Farm Business Development Fund is intended to provide funds for education and travel related to helping recipients improve some aspect of their business. The fund will pay up to 75% of the total cost (up to $750) of registration, travel, lodging and other costs associated with attending business classes, conferences, workshops, trainings or other professional development opportunities. Funds may also be requested for costs associated with hiring replacement help when this assistance is essential to taking part in professional development.
  • The Leadership Development Fund is provided to ensure that women have the skills, access and opportunity to become leaders in agricultural policy development. Funds are awarded to help defray the costs of tuition for leadership training, travel expenses, and/or other related costs associated with participation in agricultural policy work that addresses barriers encountered by women in agriculture. Funds may also be requested for costs associated with hiring replacement help when this assistance is essential to taking part in professional development.

Note: The Vermont Farm Women’s Fund (VFWF) reserves the right to make an award contingent on the applicant’s ability to secure additional funds if the amount of the grant is insufficient to fully meet the needs of the applicant.The VFWF reserves the right to limit the number of grants provided based on fund availability.

How often are applications accepted?

Applications are accepted on a continuing basis. The award committee will review applications up to three times per year (February, May, and November) and return a decision within 10 days of the award committee meeting. The award committee reserves the right to reject incomplete applications and return incomplete or unclear applications for additional information.

Do I have to repay this money?

The Vermont Farm Women’s Fund (VFWF) is making awards to individuals. While this means that there is no repayment requirement there are a few considerations that applicants should take into account before submitting the application. Award recipients will be required to sign a letter of intent stating that the funds will be used for the purpose indicated or they will forfeit the award. Award recipients will be tracked through follow-up communications 6-18 months after receiving funds to assess the effectiveness of the grant and to improve future VFWF funding decisions

While no repayment is required, recipients will be encouraged to make future donations to the Fund as they are financially able to do so. This will help to ensure that the Fund will remain able to assist other women.

Can I reapply if I am unsuccessful?

If your proposal is not selected, you can resubmit it for a future round of funding. Rather than simply resubmit the original proposal however you might consider ways to revise and strengthen your proposal.

Can I reapply if I receive an award?

If you receive an award from the VFWF you will need to wait 2 years before applying again. This is to ensure that the funds are spread out and help as many individuals as possible.

How will proposals be judged?

The proposals are reviewed by the advisory board of the VFWF. Each proposal is ranked according to the following criteria.

  • Does the farmer have the experience to make the project a success? (Both years farming and the specifics of their farming experience)......10 points
  • Is the proposed project a good fit with the VFWF mission?......20 points
  • Is the proposal clear and focused......25 points
  • Is there a clear connection between the proposal and the change the farmer(s) want to achieve?.....25 points
  • Is there evidence of ability to fully fund the project?......10 points
  • How critical are these funds to getting the proposed activity completed?......10 points

How can I get an application form?

Please use the new web-based online VFWF Application Form to submit your proposal. If you would like to have a paper version mailed to you, please send your request to or call 802-223-2389x15.

Last modified November 04 2012 07:40 AM