September 17, 2019 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program,
, a program of the VT Housing & Conservation Board, has grant funds available for on-farm capital improvement projects that have a positive impact on water quality. Eligible farmers can apply for a Water Quality Grant, which provides $5,000 to $40,000 in funding. Matching funds are required and may include federal or state grants as well as cash, loans, or labor. Application deadlines are November 8, 2019 and February 7, 2020.
November 1, 2019 | Montpelier, VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is now accepting applications for the Vermont Produce Improvement Grant program. Produce Safety Improvement Grants (PSIG) can partially defray the costs of implementing on-farm food safety practices to help vegetable and fruit growers transition to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and/or meet market demands for on-farm food safety. Awards will range from $2,000 to $7,000. PSIG funds can be used for any of the following, but are not limited to: harvest, wash, pack, and storage supplies; wash/pack area construction or renovation; monitoring/control devices; handwashing stations; cleaning/sanitization tools; health and hygiene signage; compost/manure handling improvements; and materials and systems to improve training and record-keeping.
On Oct. 29, the Agriculture Department released the text of its interim final rule for regulations establishing a domestic hemp production program. Since this is an interim final rule, it will be in effect immediately upon being published in the Federal Register. The 2018 farm bill legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity while removing it from the list of controlled substances. Industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L. and required to be below a THC threshold of 0.3%. Hemp production is legal in 46 states and the farm bill allows Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire and South Dakota to continue to ban production of the crop within their borders.