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Vermont Agricultural Water Quality Partnership (VAWQP) Highlights Gains for Clean Water

As National Water Quality Month comes to an end, the Vermont Agricultural Water Quality Partnership (VAWQP) celebrates the progress that has been made in protecting Vermont’s water quality, while looking forward to water quality improvements yet to be accomplished. The leadership of the VAWQP is encouraged by data indicating measurable results in water quality improvement, thanks to farmer efforts and a strong conservation commitment from the partnership.

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Vermont USDA Stands Up New Team to Better Serve Beginning Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is standing up a new team that will lead a department-wide effort focused on serving beginning farmers and ranchers.To institutionalize support for beginning farmers and ranchers and to build upon prior agency work, the 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to create a national coordinator position in the agency and state-level coordinators for four of its agencies – Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Rural Development (RD).

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Farmacy Project, the food-as-medicine program of the Vermont Farmers Food Center, expands to six distribution sites in Rutland county.

VFFC’s Farmacy Project, now in its sixth year, has added four new sites in the further areas of the county for pick-up this summer for a total of 6 distribution sites. The Farmacy Project focuses on the intersection of community health and local agriculture with fresh produce grown exclusively by
Rutland farmers given to individuals as “medicine” for chronic diet-related conditions by their healthcare providers.

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Vermont Entity Receives $300,000 USDA Urban Agriculture Grant to Support New Americans

Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) to provide nearly 70 households with garden plots for New Americans

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Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Announces $8.5 Million VCAAP Relief Grants for Eligible Agriculture and Working Lands Businesses and Organizations

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets announces relief funding totaling $8.5 million for farmers, meat and poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farmers markets, value-added food product businesses, forest products businesses, and producer associations to cover losses and expenses caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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Vermont Law School Launches New Farm and Energy Initiative Website

A collaboration between the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and the Institute for Energy and the Environment, the website includes free resources on solar siting policies, biogas and waste management, and healthy soil laws.

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Vermont Farm and Food Business During COVID-19 Survey

The University of Vermont, along with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, are conducting a research survey of farm and food businesses to better understand their experiences with COVID-19 and future resource and technical assistance needs. The survey is approximately 20 minutes in length, confidential, and can help inform future funding priorities with COVID-19 relief and other funding sources. Participants will be eligible for a drawing for one of 40, $99 cash incentives. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

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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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