Injecting manure into a hayfield or other perennial crop is a terrifying prospect for many farmers.
“Farmers work so hard to create grass ground to be smooth, level, and minimally compacted,” Ryan Carabeau of Conant’s Riverside Farm in Richmond said. “To even consider going in with a tool that is lifting, cutting, and moving stuff around…it would make the people who follow that system with the mowers just shake in their boots thinking, ‘What rocks am I going to hit? What issues am I going to have?’”
For years farmers have been increasingly using manure injection equipment solely on their annual corn fields to reap the benefits of increased nutrient retention for cost savings and better yields. There are benefits to the environment, like reduced risk of odor and runoff into waterways.
At a recent Farmers Connect event hosted by the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, we brought together farmers, scientists, and state funders to discuss manure injection’s environmental and economic benefits, challenges of implementation, and opportunities for funding. In case you missed it, you can read our full recap of the conversation!
The Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC), based in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont, seeks a part-time Office Administrator.
The position is a 1-year grant funded position at $20/hour for 20 hours per week. There is the potential for extension subject to grant renewal. The position is not benefits eligible. Some in-state travel will be required for farm visits, workshops, and meetings. Must provide own transportation.
The ideal candidate is someone who is detail-oriented, effective at multitasking, has excellent communication skills, works independently, and is a team-player.
A hybrid work schedule can be accommodated.
For more information regarding the role, click here or visit our website.
To apply, email a letter of interest and resumé to Executive Director Vijay Nazareth at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15.
It’s a centralized location where they’re gathering information important to farmers and the agricultural community at-large.
Among many things, it includes details about:
Obtaining recovery funding
Managing flood damaged crops and forage
Reopening meat and poultry processing
Caring for your mental health
The Agency of Agriculture will continue to update this website with information, resources, and messages in the days and weeks to come.
Our thoughts are with all of you who are facing losses and challenges in the wake of the flooding. We invite you to reach out if there’s anything more we can do to support you.
As Secretary Tebbetts recently said, “Our little state is hurting but we are going to figure this out. Vermonters have a history of getting things done during difficult times. I am confident we can again, but it will take hard work, creativity, and good will from all of us pulling in the same direction.”
On Thursday, July 20, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets hosted a Q&A Session focused on what to do with flooded produce, corn and other forage crops, and pasture.
To view a recording of the session, click here or visit VAAFM’s website.
UVM Extension is offering soil testing, including heavy metals, at no-charge to Vermont farms for flooded fields until August 15, 2023. Make a note on the yellow soil questionnaire submitted with the sample that the soil is from a flooded field. The UVM Agricultural and Environmental Testing Lab web site provides submission forms and price information for soil tests, or call 802-656-3030.
To assess whether fossil fuel contamination is present in flooded soil, growers can contact Endyne Labs in Williston, Vermont about the “TPH” petroleum screen. The test costs $90 per sample and requires special containers for samples. Their phone number is (802) 879-4333.
Do you enjoy talking with people about agriculture and how food is made? Then our friends at Vermont Breakfast on the Farm could use your help!
They're in search of 100 volunteers to pitch in and make this wildly fun, delicious, and educational community event happen.
The event takes place on August 5th at Sunderland Farm in Bridport.
If you're interested in lending a hand, click here to register!
Wednesday, August 23 | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm | Soil health at Corse Family Farm in Whitingham, VT
Thursday, September 7 | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm | Success transitioning and maintaining grass-fed dairy production at Kiss the Cow Farm in South Royalton, VT
Wednesday, September 20 | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm | Forage quality improvement for the grass-fed dairy at North Country Creamery in Keeseville, NY
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund's business management coaching program just launched Business Sense, a six-module training series for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The series provides essential tools and informational resources in areas such as financials, operations, sales and marketing, human resources, leadership, and governance.
Business Sense aims to help businesses thrive. The first two modules, Financial Literacy and Business Operations, have been released and the remaining four modules will be launching soon.
The series is designed to accelerate the growth of Vermont-based enterprises and expand the leadership capacity of entrepreneurs.
Click here to view the first two modules and to learn more!
Dairy Packaging Innovation Grant
This program provides funding to support modernized, climate-forward dairy packaging initiatives that prioritize sustainability, scalability, and marketability. Grant funds are available to dairy packaging projects along the spectrum of research, development, and implementation and for projects at a variety of scales.
The Pre-application window is June 29 – August 24, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET
Following the review of pre-applications, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application beginning in mid-September to mid-November. Awards will range from $75,000 to $350,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required.
Click here for the RFA for the first round of this two-step application process.
Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) is accepting applications for Tier 3 funding 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.
Tier 3 applications close August 24, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. EST. To learn more and to apply, click here.
Farm Agronomic Practice (FAP) Program
The VAAFM Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) Program invests state funds in soil-based agronomic practices to improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and surface runoff from agricultural fields.
Grant applications are currently open for conservation practices planned to be installed July 1st of each year to June 30th of the following calendar year. These practices include manure injection, conservation tillage, no-till pasture and hayland renovation, and rotation of cropland into hay.
Funding is limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis, so apply now! Applications are due at least 30 days prior to implementation for all conservation practices. We recommend that farmers plan as far ahead as possible for implementation of agronomic practices, especially when seeking financial assistance. There is a maximum annual funding cap of $10,000 per farm operation and application deadlines for each practice. The next deadline is June 15th, 2023 for Rotational Grazing.
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 (CRRP)
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.
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing. Applications accepted year-round. Click here for more information. Contact Tracy Rexford with any questions regarding REAP at email@example.com.
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