The UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Youth Agriculture Individual Development Account (Youth Ag IDA) program is accepting applications for its next program round. They are seeking youth who are involved with or interested in agriculture to participate in a one-year program that will both provide learning opportunities to help acquire important business management skills and help each participant save money towards the purchase of a business-related asset. Young farmers will exit the program possessing both seed capital and financial literacy skills: key components in establishing an independent enterprise or assuming more of a management role in the family farm operation.

Upon successful completion of the program, the participant’s savings will be matched at a rate of 2:1 (up to a total of $1,000 in match funding), giving young farmers two program dollars for every dollar they save toward the purchase of a productive farm asset.

What does this look like?

* Participants attend a year (approximately 10-20 hours depending on preference) of hands-on learning experiences (these classes have an estimated $1,500 value)
* Participants complete approximately ten hours of online coursework
* Participants complete a business plan
* Each young farmer saves $500
* The program matches the young farmer’s savings with $1,000
* The young farmer participant will then have that $1,500 to use for
an asset purchase

The program will provide structured financial literacy training, business management coaching and mentoring from qualified farm business management specialists and established farmers. Participants will
develop basic skills necessary to leverage their equity, manage capital productively and be a successful entrepreneur.

The deadline for applications is May 15, with the program kicking off in June.