Berlin–Scholarships are currently available through the Vermont Farm Women’s Fund (VFWF) Scholarship Initiative for Vermont farm women interested in participating in any agricultural and business management course, workshop, or educational conference offered through May 31, 2011.
VFWF, which is administered by the Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN), will provide up to $150 or 75 percent of the tuition or registration fee, whichever is less. WagN is a collaborative effort of University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture that provides education and technical assistance geared to the needs of women farmers.
Priority will be given to women farmers who own or are employed on an operating farm in Vermont and who earn a majority of their income from farm-related activities. Requests for scholarships may be made at any time and will be reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis with decisions typically made within five days.
Applicants are expected to use the skills, information, and knowledge gained to implement changes in their farming practices and/or share what they have learned with other farmers. They also will be asked to submit a written report outlining what they learned within six weeks of the conference or training and to respond to follow-up surveys from VFWF.
Some upcoming conferences and courses that are eligible for scholarship support are the 2010 Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference (Nov. 1-3) and “Building a Sustainable Business” (Dec, 1, 8, 15 and Jan. 5, 12, and 19), both sponsored by WAgN, and “Marketing that Sells” (Nov. 16, 30 and Dec. 7), offered through Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont. However, applicants may request scholarship help for any course or training that will help them improve or change their farming practices for a more productive and efficient operation.
In addition to the Scholarship Initiative Award Program, VFWF also offers two other scholarship awards that may be used to cover travel, lodging, replacement labor, child care, and other costs associated with obtaining professional development. These awards, granted under VFWF’s Business Development Fund or Leadership Development Fund, are capped at $750.
Applications for all three scholarship awards are available on-line at www.uvm.edu/~vfwf. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 223-2389 for information. These scholarships are made possible with grant support from The John Merck Fund.
VFWF was established by Peter Miller, a Vermont photographer and author, who donates a percentage of the sales of his book Vermont Farm Women, to VFWF. The program also has received generous support from the Key Bank Foundation, Vermont Country Store, National Life of Vermont, Washington Electric Cooperative, TD Charitable Foundation, and Northfield Savings Bank. In-kind support is provided by UVM Extension and WagN.