Through the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, NOFA-VT offers on-farm technical assistance in production and business planning to vegetable, dairy, and livestock farms in Vermont to enhance the economic viability of Vermont farms. NOFA-VT is part of a network of service providors that work one-on-one with farm businesses. Others in this network in include the Intervale Center, University of Vermont Extension, Center for an Agricultural Economy, and Land for Good.
The Viability Program provides a range of services, from in-depth long-term business planning to short-term specialized assistance, including:
- Business Planning
- Enterprise Analysis
- Financial Record-keeping and Management
- Marketing and Sales
- Human Resources Management
- Management Coaching
- Retirement & Ownership Succession Planning
The Viability Program matches participants with advisers who have the specific skills to meet their needs. The Viability Program contracts these advisers to provide on-site, one-on-one, custom-tailored assistance for participants. Services are provided free of charge, following a $75 enrollment fee for first-time clients and a $300 enrollment fee for return clients. In some cases, if the scope of work is larger than what the program can cover, participants will need to contribute to the consultancy fees.
Minimum eligibility requirements of the Farm Viability Enhancement Program:
- the owner(s) is year-round Vermont resident, currently operating the business in Vermont,
- the owner(s) is actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business,
- the owner(s) has at least two years' experience managing the current business,
- the business has grossed at least $15,000 in the most recent tax year.
To to learn more and apply to the Vermont Farm Viability Program, visit the program page on VHCB's website.
“The NOFA-VT technical assistance provider was the catalyst for us to do some important business planning for our farm. Having an experienced set of eyes is really valuable – there are things you miss when you are in the thick of it. Just having an outside voice and eyes to view a farm operation can be the motivation for incredible internal change that drastically changes the bottom line for the better.”
- Organic vegetable farmer participant in the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program
“The most helpful service NOFA-VT provided was when the farm advisor came over and sat down with us for a series of work periods where he showed us how to do a year of financial planning and cash flow projections. He showed us that in order for us to meet our bills and have a little money left over for family living expenses, our herd of 40 cows must achieve and maintain an average of 50 lbs of milk production per cow per day. He also helped us realize what our short and long-term goals are and what it will take to get there. ”
- Organic dairy farmer participant in the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program