MARCH news + events
Featured Farmer:
LeAnna Compagna
Scholten Family Farm, Weybridge, Vermont
LeAnna Compagna was raised in farming. 
And if she has anything to say about it, her children and their children will be, too.
To be certain, she’s not trying to coerce her four offspring into leading the agricultural lifestyle she has chosen for herself. 
But she is bound and determined to ensure farming in Vermont is environmentally and economically sustainable for generations to come. 
LeAnna knows the task before her is monumental. 
Growing up, she witnessed her parents, Roger and Patty Scholten, struggle against the economic tides of the dairy industry and then find hard won success after they made the switch from conventional farming practices to organic in 2007.
A year later, Patty launched her artisanal cheese-making operation. She would go on to delight taste buds all over the world with her cave-aged creations. 
LeAnna and her husband Mike joined her parents on their Weybridge-based farm in 2010. They quickly expanded the herd from 60 to more than 100 cows.
That’s how it started. But how’s it going?
New Location!
We've Moved!
The Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition has a new office location! 
7056 US-7
Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
Stop in and say “Hello” to Vijay and Kate and get a tour of the building. Monthly Board meetings will continue to be held at the UVM Extension office in Middlebury. 
Farmers Connect
This month, CVFC hosted the first quarterly Farmers Connect agriculture networking event at our new office location in North Ferrisburgh. The group–consisting of farmers from various backgrounds, Middlebury agriculture students, UVM Extension staff, and board members– enjoyed pizza and refreshments before hearing a few words from CVFC Board President Brian Kemp and Executive Director Vijay Nazareth.
In addition to the networking opportunity for farmers, Vijay outlined additional goals and objectives for the Farmers Connect gatherings: 
  • Presenting a positive, unified voice at the legislative level in Montpelier.
  • Establishing a four-member executive committee to provide ownership and direction of the Farmers Connect group. This committee would develop an agenda of items that are important to the group, and work with CVFC and its resources to bring forward.
  • Engaging in networking as an opportunity to connect with other farmers, including the next generation.
  • Connecting farmers with other Vermont organizations whose interests or missions align with the CVFC vision.
Following a round of introductions, farmers broke into smaller groups to discuss what’s happening on their farms. Tom Eaton, Crop Consultant and Nutrient Management Planner with Agricultural Consulting Services and George Tucker, Soil Conservationist with the USDA NRCS, were in attendance to listen to farmers and to answer any questions. Marin Howell, reporter for the Addison Independent, was also in attendance; a story about our initiative appeared in the March 16 edition of the paper. Click here to read the full story {Please note, the article is behind a paywall}. 
Stay tuned for more information on Farmers Connect meetings!
New & Renewing Members
Thank you to these farms, individuals, and businesses for joining or renewing their membership in the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition over the past month!
Class 1 - Farmers
Border Acres
Bouchard Family Dairy, LLC*
Full Moon Farm
Hall and Breen Farm, LLC
Hamilton Cattle Company, LLC*
Kayhart Brothers
Liberty Hill Farm*
Nea-Tocht Farm
Richville Farms
Russell Tree Farm
* new member
Class 2 - Individuals
Carter Tree Farm*
Middlebury College, Food Studies Program*
Stephanie Walsh*
Class 3 - Businesses
Bourdeau Brothers of Middlebury
Brian’s Farm Supply*
Philo Ridge Farm & Livestock, LLC
Interested in a membership with CVFC? There’s still time!
Upcoming Events
Dairy Financial 
Tri-State Workshop
April 3rd & 4th
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
In this two-day event hosted by UVM Extension, educators Joanna Lidback and Tony Kitsos will help farmers calculate cost of production and breakeven milk price, discuss and learn about diversification options, and explore risk management.
This is a free event with lunch included. Ag service providers are encouraged to register, but priority will be given to dairy producers. Space is limited, and registration is required. Click here to register.
Contact Whitney Hull at with questions.
Grants and Funding
Grants and Funding Opportunities
Dairy Processing Research & Development Innovation Grant
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Dairy Processing Research & Development Innovation Grant program. This grant will provide funds for dairy processors, dairy producer associations, and educational institutions to conduct research and development projects that support innovation for Northeast dairy processors across a variety of scales. Projects funded through this program will support dairy processors in gaining knowledge that will allow them to make informed, long-term business investments with positive environmental and/or economic impacts.
This grant is open to processors in all 11 NE states they serve: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Applications are due March 30th. To learn more and to apply, click here.
Dairy Processor Expansion Grant RFA
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant program to address the significant need for investment in processing infrastructure in the Northeast. This grant will only fund existing dairy processing facilities located in the Northeast region with a focus on expanding utilization of regionally sourced milk, dairy components, and/or dairy mix, and diversifying the supply chain.
Projects funded through this grant will focus primarily on acquiring specialized equipment needed to increase processing capacity through volume expansion and existing product line expansion. Additional activities related to training, marketing, or supply chain logistics that directly support increased production capacity may be included.
Grants are available to applicants in all Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Multiple tiers of grant funding ranges will be available to processors at a variety of sizes. Processors may apply in one of three grant tiers based on their scale. Pre-applications for Tier 1 & 2 are open now and Tier 3 applications will be available in April 2023. To learn more and to apply, click here.
Rural Energy for America Program
Applications are now open for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The program provides loans and grants for producers and small businesses in rural areas with a population of less than 50,000. Agricultural producers and small businesses in eligible rural areas may be eligible for guaranteed loan financing and grant funding for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. To get started on your application, contact Ken Yearman, USDA VT Energy Programs Coordinator, at (802) 828-6070 or The deadline to apply is March 31, 2023. Click here to learn more about this program.
Equity in Conservation Outreach
On Monday, February 27th, the US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) announced the availability of up to $70 million for new Equity in Conservation Outreach cooperative agreements. These agreements will develop community-led conservation projects that create equitable opportunities for underserved producers and communities to receive conservation technical and financial assistance and to promote careers in natural resources. These cooperative agreements are critical to NRCS’s efforts to promote fair and equitable access to NRCS staff and NRCS programs.
Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 27, 2023. To learn more and to apply, click here
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. Click here for more information. 
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. Click here for more information.
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 nonpoint source pollution loads. Applications accepted year-round. Click here for more information.
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. Click here for more information.
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 is now open and will remain open until all funds are allocated. Click here for more information.

Thank You to Our Partners!
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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 
We are also grateful for the kind support of our business members!
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