What’s Growin’ On Blog has Moved

RAFFL recently updated our website and moved the farmer blog. Update your bookmarks to the new page!

Check out the new blog here.


RAFFL staff


VT Rebates for Roll Bars Program Needs Your Support

UVM Extension’s “Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program” helps farmers to obtain a 70% rebate on the installation of roll bar kits on their tractors -offering them 99% protection from their leading cause of death and serious injury -the tractor rollover.

The program has been incredibly successful and has installed so many roll bars (over 125) that they now have a wait list of 35 farmers in Vermont, ready to install roll bars when more funding comes in for the rebates.
They have now launched an online “crowdfunding” campaign to raise $23,100 that will provide rebates for these 35 VT farm families.

People wishing to support this important cause can go towww.indiegogo.com/vtfarmer to see a 3 minute video about a farm family, make a donation, claim some fun perks available on the site.

Webinar Tonight! “Where are the Grants?”

This webinar will be held tonight, Tuesday, November 27th from 7-8 pm. Plan to join the webinar about 15 minutes before it begins.

As a new farmer, accessing the money you need to get your farm started and to keep it operating can be a big challenge. The idea of finding a grant to help fund your farm operation is an alluring proposition. However, while opportunities for grant funding do exist, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as free money. Mary Peabody, director of the UVM Ext New Farmer Project, will talk about some common grants available to farmers, the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing grant funding for your farm, and how to think strategically about using conventional and alternative financing to support your operation through the start-up phase. Where are the Grants? Funding Strategies for the New Farm with Mary Peabody, Community Resources & Economic Development Specialist, UVM Extension. 

Visit www.uvm.edu/newfarmer/?Page=webinars/upcoming_webinars.php&SM=webinars/sub-menu.html and click on the webinar title to join.

On the last Tuesday of each month, at 7 pm, the UVM Extension New Farmer Project offers an online webinar on topics of interest to new farmers. You can find the latest listing of upcoming webinars at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer/?Page=webinars/upcoming_webinars.php&SM=webinars/sub-menu.html

Delivery Truck Driver Wanted Immediately

Champlain Orchards is hiring a delivery truck driver, starting immediately. Truck drivers are critical to our business of delivering our apples and apple products to stores, supermarkets, food coops, schools, etc., throughout Vermont.

Drivers MUST have CDL license, excellent driving record, and ability to interact respectfully and thoughtfully with all customers and other drivers. Drivers must be physically fit and able to lift 40+ pounds comfortably.

Hopefully you’d also enjoy apples!

To apply, contact Bill at 802-897-2777 or bill@champlainorchards.com

Land Leasing

On November 10th RAFFL hosted a workshop on leasing land to farmers as part of its first step in a new
partnership with Land for Good to help provide farmers and landowners in the Rutland region with
the technical assistance and resources critical to help more farmers find land. The workshop was for
landowners interested in leasing land to farmers and had a fantastic line up of specialists from Land for
Good, UVM extension, and the Vermont Land Trust.

I attended this workshop as a RAFFL staff member and walked away with some key insights and tools
that are worth spreading the word about. Here are the top three take a ways for you.

#1- The most important thing you can do is create a lease with the person you are going to be leasing
land to no matter how well you already know them or how little the amount of land is. The process of
creating a lease will help the land owner and the farmer match their expectations and help iron out any
potential problems that might come up in the future, not to mention preserve a good relationship if
there ever is a problem.

#2- The farmer and land owner should take some time to come up with their own set of goals and
expectations for what this partnership will look like. It is dangerous to assume that both parties have the
same goals or vision of what it will mean to farm a piece of land. The land owner might not themselves
be a farmer and their idea of what it means to have a farm on their land might not be entirely realistic or
the same as the farmer.

#3- Build a Relationship! The farmer and land owner need to build a good working relationship and
make sure to communicate throughout the leasing term so that everyone feels in the picture about
what is happening on the land and everyone stays happy!

If you are interested in learning more about leasing land to a farmer Land for Good just released a
new handbook “A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming” which you can find here: http://

RAFFL is committed to continuing to work in conjunction with Land for Good to help farmers find
land, if you are a land owner or farmer please contact us with any questions you might have at
info@rutlandfarmandfood.org or call 417-1528 and keep an eye out for more upcoming workshops!

Vermont Farm Viability Program

The Farm Viability Program has worked with 400 farmers and ag-related businesses to increase profits, improve farm management, develop new, value-added products, and plan for farm transfers.  Farmers are matched with consultants to provide individualized business assistance. 

A farmer who recently completed the program stated that “the program has already changed my whole farm plan and has made me way more organized in ways I never thought possible. I now have a great insight into the future of my farm and my potential income, expenses, and overall production plan, not only this year, but in years to come!”

More information can be found online at www.vhcb.org/viability or by calling 802-828-3370

Upcoming deadline for applications is November 30th.

2nd Annual Vermont Buy Local Market at the VT Farm Show

January 30, 2013 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. is “Consumer Night” at the Vermont Farm Show at the Blue Ribbon Pavilion Building, Champlain Valley Exhibition, Essex Jct., Vermont.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in conjunction with the Vermont Farm Show, is pleased to announce the second annual “Buy Local Market” which will be held during Consumer Night on January 30, 2013.

The Buy Local Market will present consumers with an ideal opportunity to “taste, learn and buy Vermont agricultural products” from across our state in one convenient place.



  • FREE Booth Space for vendors of agricultural products, with a goal of every corner of Vermont being represented.
    Limited tables & space! Express your interest in participating by December 15, 2012.
  • Variety of agricultural products from across the state – vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats, grains, fiber, etc.
  • Vendors can sell product, provide samples and information to visitors.
  • All products must meet all regulatory requirements.
  • Consider donating local agricultural products to be used during the Capital Cook Off event, a cooking competition occurring as part of Consumer Night activities



  • Feature the best agricultural products that Vermont communities have to offer, during the Farm Show.
  • Expansion of market opportunity for your products.
  • Additional exposure of your products if featured in Capital Cook Off event activities.
  • Local radio and television coverage.


Email faith.raymond@state.vt.us to express your interest in participating in the Buy Local Market. The application is due by December 15, 2012


Only limited tables will be available; tables are 3’X8’, with two folding chairs per table.


Representation from across Vermont’s communities & agricultural products are desired, so some prioritization may be necessary.


For questions or for further information, please contact Abbey Willard at 802-828-3829 or Koi Boynton at 802-828-2084.