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USDA to Invest up to $360 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation (RCPP)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invites potential conservation partners to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding. Partners are expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal or greater to the NRCS investment. A new Critical Conservation Area (CCA) encompasses Vermont and seeks to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Proposals due Nov. 4, 2020.

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Deadline for $5,000 Farmer Award Extended: This year’s award will recognize Covid-19 response and community engagement

The deadline for the 2020 Eric Rozendaal Memorial Award has been extended to September 18, the Vermont Land Trust Announced today. The $5,000 award is granted each year to a farmer who exemplifies service to community and innovation in honor of Eric Rozendaal who passed away in 2018. This year’s prize will seek to recognize a farmer who has been serving people most affected by the pandemic.

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Bread & Butter Farm is Founding Farm for the Vermont Agrarian Commons

In partnership with national non-profit Agrarian Trust, Bread & Butter Farm announces its role as the founding farm of the newly launched Vermont Agrarian Commons. On May 1st, 2020, Vermont joined ten states across the country in launching an Agrarian Commons. This is a first of its kind model that aims to address land access and tenure for next-generation farmers by holding land in a community centered trust and conveying 99-year affordable and equity-building leasehold interest to farmers.

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Crop Cash Triples Money Spent at Farmers Markets

August through October, NOFA-VT’s Crop Cash Program offers $3 in spending power for every $1 of 3SquaresVT/SNAP spent at qualifying Farmers Markets in Vermont

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Center for an Agricultural Economy(CAE) Announces COVID-19 Response Micro-Grants for Farmers: Market Development & Sales Innovation

Center for an Agricultural Economy(CAE) announces COVID-19 Response Micro-Grants for Farmers. Grants of $500 maximum per farm business are available for projects that demonstrate sales and marketing innovation in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 disruptions.

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Vermont Fresh Network Presents The Great Vermont Picnic

Celebrate the farmer-chef connection across the state this August with a picnic.

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Apply for the Vermont Family Farmer of the Month Award! Applications Due September 11th

Applications for the Vermont Family Farmer of the Month Award are now open.

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Green Mountain Farm-to-School Launches New Initiatives to Fight COVID-19 Food Insecurity in the Northeast Kingdom

Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), a small nonprofit organization seeks to mitigate COVID-related food insecurity and promote the use of local food in the Northeast Kingdom through various new and emerging initiatives. This includes running a free summer meal site for children 18 and under all summer long, facilitating a “Market Basket” produce give away featuring crops grown in GMFTS’s own school gardens, and distributing fresh, local food to area food pantries through Green Mountain Farm Direct (GMFD), a local food hub run by GMFTS.

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USDA grants Food Connects Funds for local food system development

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $99,990 in funding to Food Connects in its latest round of awards. One of two Vermont grantees, Food Connects will leverage these funds to develop new supply chains focused on meeting the needs of school nutrition programs.

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Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms: VCLF Borrower Cultivates Health & Wellness Vermont Community Loan Fund Lends $1,371,936 So Far in 2020

Karen and Brian Wiseman carefully cultivated their careers. Both spent years at Boston-area bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies, dedicated to the advance of health, wellness and medicine. “I was a chemical engineer, working on the early development of protease inhibitors, now used to treat HIV,” Karen recalls. At another point, she managed multi-million-dollar projects for the pharmaceutical giant where she met fellow employee Brian. But, as the Wisemans’ Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms website explains it: “…we wanted to weave the fabric of our lives back together in a different way; one that was truly in line with our values.” So it was that in 2010, Karen recounts, that they left their big jobs and home in southern New Hampshire to become mushroom farmers in central Vermont. “Our friends thought we were crazy.”

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