The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking for public input through a Federal Register request for information on implementation of more than $19 billion provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will use the investments provided through IRA-funded conservation programs to support farmers and ranchers in adopting and expanding climate-smart activities and systems. NRCS asks for comments on how to target program benefits, quantify impact, and improve program delivery and outreach, especially for underserved producers. Public comments can be submitted to NRCS.IRA.Input@usda.gov until December 22, 2022. For more information visit USDA.gov.
Farm Agronomic Practice (FAP) Program: Utilizes state funding to help Vermont farms implement soil-based agronomic practices that improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and agricultural waste discharges. Eligible fall practices include manure injection and no-till renovation: apply >30 days before implementation.
ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Impact Grant: Are you a farmer, sugarmaker, or logger looking for grant funds to support your business? The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative ARPA Funded Primary Producer Grant application is now open! The goal of this grant is to support primary producers as they continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers of major agricultural and forest products can apply for $50k to $250K. This grant opportunity is possible due to federal ARPA funds appropriated by the legislature to the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative who will be awarding $1,000,000 this year (FY23) and $1 million next year (FY24). Pre-applications are now open with a submission deadline of December 16, 2022.
Lake Champlain Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): The VT DEC Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant (RCPP) is now accepting applications for landowners to apply for practices related to water quality improvement. RCPP has $10M over the next 5 years to increase implementation of ag and forestry best management practices, wetland restoration, and easements. RCPP applications will be accepted through January 13, 2023. To apply, contact Kait Jones, RCPP project coordinator at email@example.com, or connect with a local RCPP planner who will help with the application process.
Pasture and Surface Water Fencing (PSWF) Program: Provides pasture management technical assistance and financial assistance to Vermont farmers to improve water quality and on-farm livestock exclusion from surface waters statewide. Applications accepted year-round.
Grassed Waterway and Filter Strip (GWFS) Program: Provides technical and financial assistance to Vermont farmers for in-field agronomic best practices to address critical source areas, erosion, and surface runoff. The Program’s goal is to reduce soil erosion and improve soil and water quality on cropland that contributes a disproportionately high level of nutrients in runoff. Such areas of cropland are considered “Critical Source Areas” (CSAs), representing a small proportion of the landscape yet a high proportion of non-point source pollution loads. Applications accepted year-round.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP): A voluntary program designed to reduce sediment runoff and improve water quality by removing land from agricultural production and establishing vegetative buffers. State and federal funds are used to compensate landowners for the loss of productive agricultural land through upfront incentive payments and annual rental payments based on the total acreage dedicated to vegetated filter strips, forested buffers, or grassed waterways. Applications accepted year-round.
Community Recovery and Revitalization Program: The CRRP will provide funding for projects that make capital improvements or capital expansions that were delayed due to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. Eligible uses for these funds include the development of affordable housing, improvements to or new construction of childcare facilities, projects for nonprofits and small businesses in impacted industries*, and municipal water supply and wastewater projects. These recovery funds are intended to retain and expand existing businesses and nonprofit organizations with a preference for projects located in regions and communities with declining or stagnant grand list values. The application opens soon.
Thank you to Co-operative Insurance Agencies, a supporting business member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition! Their roots are in farming, but as times and customers' needs have changed, so have they. These days, they offer protection for farms, homes, autos, businesses, and more in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Our mission to assist all farmers in implementing innovative agricultural practices that enhance water quality, soil health, climate smart farming, and their economic resiliency in the Champlain Valley is generously supported by the