Making the Winter Conference More Affordable

Interested in volunteering at the Winter Conference? Contact Kayla for more information: [email protected].

Farmers, homesteaders, and students all tend to be frugal folks, and we work hard to keep the NOFA Vermont Winter Conference accessible to as many people as possible – while still paying our great presenters for their time and managing all the logistical costs of a three-day conference attended by 1,500 people.


A giant NOFA puppet parades through the Winter Conference crowd. Scholarships and volunteering make the learning and celebration of the Winter Conference more accessible to everyone. Photo by Elizabeth Ferry


One of the ways that attendees can reduce their cost of attendance is by volunteering. Volunteers are critical to making the conference run, from stuffing registration folders on Friday night to slicing bread at the hospitality table, directing people to their workshops,  and cleaning up after the ice cream social. Volunteers receive a $15 discount off their registration for each 2-hour shift (max two shifts per person). You must confirm your volunteer role before registering to receive the discount; please contact the NOFA-VT office to volunteer!


The other way to reduce costs for some attendees is through scholarships. There are three scholarship opportunities available from NOFA-VT. The application deadline for our Beginning Farmer Scholarship has been extended to 1/31; the other two have an application deadline of this Friday, 1/24.

1) General Winter Conference Scholarship

This scholarhship is made possible by donations from members, friends, and conference sponsors. The general scholarship fund can cover up to 50% of registration costs (does not include meals or social events). NOFA Vermont members needing financial assistance to attend the conference may apply for this scholarship. Deadline is January 24. There is no online application for this scholarship. To request an application, please contact the NOFA office at 802-434-4122 or e-mail our office (title your e-mail "WC Scholarship"). donate-button-altIf you are able, please support our scholarship program with a donation when you register. You can also donate through our general donation page by choosing a General Donation in the amount you'd like to donate, and entering "Winter Conference Scholarship" as the gift designation.

2) Beginning Farmer Scholarship

This scholarship is available specifically for beginning farmers (defined as those who have been farming for ten years or fewer). This scholarship covers a single-day registration fee (does not include meals or social events), and is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2010-49400-2184. **Application deadline has been extended to 1/31!** Click here to apply for the Beginning Farmer Scholarship.

3) Farm Share Participant Scholarship

New this year, we have a limited number of scholarships to cover the cost of registration for one day (including lunch) for individuals who participated in the NOFA Vermont Farm Share program in Summer 2013 or Fall/Winter 2013-2014. There is no online application for this scholarship. To confirm your eligibility or inquire about the scholarship, please contact Michael Good. All inquiries must be made by January 24, 2014.

Additional Scholarships

There are also scholarship opportunities from the Vermont Women's Farm Fund and the University of Vermont. Visit the NOFA-VT website for more information about these opportunities.