Farm to School Mini-Grants

Funds to Support your Farm To School Project

We are thrilled to offer our 2018 mini-grants of up to $500 to support farm to school projects in the Upper Valley. These grants will help your school, afterschool program, or school-related wellness program launch (or continue) projects related to farms, our agricultural heritage, farm products, food production, or local food consumption at the school.

All schools in the Vital Communities service area are welcome to apply! Reach out to Beth Roy with any questions or for assistance. We are excited to support your farm to school projects.

New for 2018

The maximum mini-grant award is now $500. Both New Hampshire and Vermont schools are eligible to apply for funds. Recipients in both states are required to present their project at Trek to Taste in Woodstock, Vermont, on June 2 (in addition to other grant requirements, below). We encourage schools to include costs related to project presentations and attending Trek to Taste in their grant budget.

Eligible Schools

All public and private schools in the Vital Communities service area are eligible to apply. Lead applicants must be directly affiliated with school programs. School staff, including teachers, administrators, food service, facilities, and/or garden/farm to school coordinators, are ideal candidates. Only one grant will be provided per project, but schools can propose multiple projects for funding. We encourage collaborative projects with multiple grades.

How to Apply

Applicants must fill out a simple application (and submit it electronically to Beth Roy at Download the application here, or apply on-line.

We strongly encourage you to call Beth at 802.291.9100 x105 and discuss your project if you have any questions. Applications received by March 28 will get first consideration, and thereafter applications will be considered on a rolling basis. We have 10 grants of $500 to distribute, and eligible applications will be awarded on merit and geographical representation around the Upper Valley.

New Farmer

Learn More

Valley Food & Farm staff are able help with your specific situation or question. We work with farmers who are in the dreaming/planning stage, just starting out, and/or growing their farm business.

Nancy LaRowe, our Valley Food & Farm Coordinator, is our farmer-in-residence.
Give her a call at 802.291.9100 x106 or email, she is happy to help with:

  • Individual consultation, focused on making an action plan to start or enhance your farm business
  • Directing you to resources if you are having trouble figuring out who to call for help in a specific area
  • Linking you to technical assistance within our New Farmer Network for business planning, production assistance, land access, access to capital, legal concerns, and many other topics.

Join our Farmer Discussion

Learn More

Link in to the Upper Valley’s farming community with The Upper Valley Farmer Community Discussion List. To subscribe send a blank message to Subscribers can post a message to this list by simply emailing a message to


Valley Food & Farm News

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May 2018

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Vital Communities Program News


Becka Warren

Valley Food & Farm Communications Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 112

Food & Farm

— Becka Warren, Valley Food & Farm Communications Coordinator

Part of Vital Communities' Valley Food & Farm team since 2012, Becka fosters relationships that keep agriculture a daily part of community life in the Upper Valley. She works with current and future farmers, businesses, schools, and partners across Vermont and New Hampshire to build connections that support farm viability and keep our landscapes working. Becka lived in Seattle for many years, where she worked for the Washington State University Small Farms Program, Cascade Harvest Coalition, Seattle Tilth, and area vegetable farms. Becka is also a writer, founding and writing Ask Umbra at until 2009. She holds a BA from Brown University and lives in Hartland, Vermont, with her family.

Beth Roy

Valley Food & Farm Manager

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 105

Food & Farm

— Beth Roy, Valley Food & Farm Manager

Before joining Vital Communities, Beth Roy worked in the environmental and place-based education fields for 17 years in various positions around New England including at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and as the Director of Education at the Nature Museum in Grafton, Vt. Beth is also on the boards of the Vermont Science Teacher Association (VSTA) and the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP), a coalition of dozens of individuals and organizations promoting sustainability and environmental education in Vermont. Beth is a New Hampshire native and lives in Hartland, Vt., with her husband and two children. When Beth is not working you will find her exploring the woods around her home with her family or cooking up a new taste test (made of local foods, of course!) for her children.

Lauren Griswold

Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 107

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

— Lauren Griswold, Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Lauren Griswold joined Vital Communities in May 2017 to coordinate Power of Produce (POP) clubs at Upper Valley farmers' markets and farmstands. In August 2017 she became our Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, in addition to her role as the Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant. Lauren grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies. Her passion for sustainable agriculture took her out West, where she served as a garden educator in Bend, Oregon. After an enriching chapter in the high desert, Lauren is thrilled to be back in central Vermont. She is passionate about the rich communities and natural beauty of the Upper Valley, and enjoys engaging the next generation with wonder and enthusiasm about this special place. In her free time, Lauren can be found mountain biking, cross country skiing, gardening, knitting, and savoring meals with friends and family.

Nancy LaRowe

Local First Manager and Valley Food & Farm Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 106

Food & Farm

— Nancy LaRowe, Local First Manager and Valley Food & Farm Coordinator

Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Valley Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.

Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich, Vt. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market, and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.