Press Release

Vermont Delegation Announces $1 Million Investment to Expand Opportunity for Vermont’s Organic Producers

Jan 22, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Vermont Congressional Delegation, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Representative Becca Balint (VT-AL) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) over $1 million through USDA’s Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG) Program.  

“Vermont is one of the places where organic farming got its start, and organics continue to be a vital part of our agricultural economy. As demand for organic food continues to grow, this grant will help NOFA-VT and its partners make sure consumers are aware of the benefits of buying organic dairy and maple from Vermont and that the supply chains exist to get those products to consumers throughout the Northeast. This funding will particularly benefit organic dairy farmers who continue to see prices for their milk that are at or below the cost of production,” said the Vermont Congressional Delegation. “We thank NOFA-VT and its partners, Vermont Way Foods and Food Connects, for the work they are doing to strengthen Vermont’s agricultural sector and support our farmers.  We look forward to seeing more Vermont products in stores around the Northeast and the United States.” 

“We are so thankful for the critical support that will enable us to work collaboratively with Food Connects, Vermont Organic Farmers, Vermont Way Foods, and Migrant Justice to increase the markets for organic, local, and just food, and champion the best of our state. Together we are nurturing a food system that heals land and nourishes people,” said Grace Oedel, Executive Director of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont. 

The $1 million grant from USDA will be matched locally for a total of $2 million to expand the market for organic maple and dairy. NOFA-VT, in partnership with Vermont Way Foods (VWF) and Food Connects (FC), will use the funding to expand market access for Vermont’s organic producers by developing wholesale markets, new dairy, maple, and other Vermont organic products to be marketed under the Vermont Way Foods brand, and by increasing consumer awareness of the value of buying Vermont organic agricultural products.   

The grant, administered through USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, is one of ten projects to receive funding through USDA’s Organic Market Development Grant Program, which is providing $9.75 million to support growth in organic agricultural markets nationwide. 

Read more about the grants here