Agritourism Conference – Apply for Scholarships by 3/15!

Join farmers, educators, and service providers in Rutland, Vermont for a two-day exploration of open farms!
More information at

Register on-line at by Monday, March 23.

Scholarships are available. Please contact Barbara Noyes Pulling at or 802-775-0871 x207 before you register if you would like to apply for a scholarship. Deadline is Sunday, March 15.


Organic Farmer Educational Grants from UNFI

If you know anyone aspiring to become an organic farmer, be sure to let them know about some exciting news from the UNFI Foundation.

The UNFI Foundation, in partnership with the CCOF Foundation, Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, Bradmer Foods and the National Cooperative Grocers Association, will be making grants to future organic farmers in three educational categories in 2014. The categories are:

  • Kindergarten through Eighth Grade: Grants for in-classroom organic projects in California; $1,000 grants available for 10 schools
  • High School: Grants for individuals to complete organic Supervised Agriculture Experience projects nationally; $1,000 grants available for 10 individuals
  • Vocational and Higher Education: Grants for students to study organic agriculture nationally; $2,500 grants available for at least 10 individuals

The world needs organic farmers and organic leaders now more than ever. Please share this opportunity with your networks, friends and family.

For more information, visit:

Mortgage Lifter for Small Farms

Beekman 1802 is offering four ‘lifts’ for small farms with big ideas sponsored by money they’ve raised in the last year selling their pasta sauces. Pass the opportunity to win $10,000 or other mini-‘lifts’ on to small farmers you know.

Applications are due April 22nd, 2014 and winners will be announced April 29thLearn more or fill out an application profile online. 

SARE/NACAA Applications Due March 15

SARE/NACAA Search for Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture: Applications due March 15


Properly interseeding cover crops into standing corn can help increase yields by 15 percent. But improper application can cause up to 40 percent of the crop to be lost. This is just one of the lessons taking root in Missouri thanks to the effective teamwork of University of Missouri Natural Resource Engineer Charlie Ellis and Agronomy Specialist Rich Hoorman.
Ellis and Hoorman were recently named finalists in the SARE/NACAA Search for Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture program, which recognizes educational programs that advance the adoption of sustainable management practices by farmers and ranchers.



Through on-farm research and strategic partnerships with the Midwest Cover Crop Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) Ellis and Hoorman shared research-based cover cropping strategies that can earn an additional $100 per acre while preventing crop loss. Using a wide range of workshops, webinars and demonstration plots, Ellis and Hoorman have reached over 600 farmers in Missouri and the upper Midwest.


Please encourage innovative NACAA members in your state to submit a Search for Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture entry by March 15, 2013. Individuals or groups named as finalists in each of the four SARE regions receive an honorarium for presenting their innovative educational programs at the NACAA conference.


How to Apply
See the NACAA website for information and application guidelines. NACAA members in good standing can submit applications online.

Scholarships Available for Students Seeking Careers in Dairy

Some great info from this month’s Farm to Plate Newsletter:

By: Julie Smith, DVM, PhD, UVM Ext. dairy specialist and UVM Dept. of Animal Science associate professor

The Vermont Dairy Industry Association (VDIA) announces the availability of the 2014-2015 Memorial Scholarship. Applicants must be Vermont residents and enrolled in any year at an accredited college or university and are seeking a degree in dairy business, dairy science, or a related field. Past recipients may re-apply each year they remain eligible.

Selection is based on academic achievement, letters of recommendation, and an essay portraying commitment to a career path related to the dairy industry. One to six scholarships will be awarded at levels ranging from $500 to $1000.

March 7, 2014 is the Final Postmark Deadline for ALL VSAC-Assisted Scholarships. Only completed applications including all properly labeled required documents postmarked on or before March 7 will be reviewed.

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) administers the application process for the VDIA Memorial Scholarship.  For more information, please contact VDIA scholarship chair Bebe Zabilansky at or contact VSAC at 888-253-4819 or visit

The Vermont Dairy Industry Association works for the mutual benefit of its members, dairy farm families, and the dairy industry; and encourages and promotes close cooperation with educational institutions and other agencies concerned with the dairy industry.  For more information about the VDIA, its events, or the VDIA Memorial Scholarship please
Also of interest to the dairy community are the Annual Dairy Producers Conference on February 25th at the Sheraton in Burlington and the Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference on March 5th at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. 

FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer Project – Call for Applications!

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is now accepting grant applications from livestock farmers for its Fund-a-Farmer Project!   The Fund-a-Farmer Project provides grants to qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals. Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded for projects that (1) help farms transition to pasture-based systems, (2) improve the marketing of their humane products, or (3) more generally enrich the conditions in which farm animals are raised. Working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows and/or beef cattle are eligible to apply for any of the three types of grants.  Projects involving goats and sheep are only eligible for marketing grants.  Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2014 for awards made in August 2014. View guidelines and apply online Contact Lisa at or 773-525-4952 with questions.
FACT will offer two online information sessions on the Fund-a-Farmer grant application process in February. Interested farmers can join us on February 11 @ 1pm CST/ 2pm EST or February 12 @ 6pm CST/ 7pm EST. Farmers can register online for either of these free sessions.
Thank you for helping us promote this unique funding opportunity for family farmers!

Vermont Grass Farmers Association Mini-Grants

Vermont Grass Farmers Association 2013 Member Innovation Mini-Grant

Closing date: March 31, 2013 (postmarked)

The VGFA would like to encourage and support innovative practices to increase the sustainability and vitality of grass-based farming in our region. We are soliciting proposals from members interested in trying new practices to increase profitability, reduce environmental degradation, or test new techniques.

Possible ideas include but are not limited to:
• Extension of the grazing season,
• Innovative grazing practices or infrastructure,
• New forage varieties or cropping systems,
• Evaluation of new or competing products, etc.
Project Requirements

A committee will rank proposals on the following criteria:

• Innovation – the project will bring new ideas to the VGFA community
• General feasibility – the practices will be replicable on other farms
• Measurable outcome – results will be assessed and interpreted
• Accessibility & documentation- results will be presented to VGFA membership.
Possibilities include: pasture walks, posters at the Annual VT Grazing & Livestock Conference,
photos or newsletter reports

The program is also open to non-members. If you are not a current member of VGFA, please enclose an
application fee of $40 with your proposal, which includes a one year membership to the organization.
Send completed application to: VGFA, PO Box 142, Randolph Center VT 05061


Please Find the Application Form by Clicking Here