Burlington, Vt. – Eighteen Vermont working lands businesses and service providers were recognized today at an event celebrating the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI), created by the Legislature in 2012 to stimulate economic development in the agricultural and forestry sectors. Governor Phil Scott and Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts recognized each grantee on the grounds of the Intervale Center in Burlington, also a grantee, to emphasize the importance of working lands businesses to Vermont’s economy and heritage.  
Full Article HERE

House Committee Passes Farmer Bankruptcy Bill

The House Judiciary Committee on July 11 passed a bill that will help more family farmers avoid liquidation or foreclosure, allowing them to stay in operation. The Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336) would raise the Chapter 12 operating debt cap from $4.1 million to $10 million.

“Our farmer members have experienced several consecutive years of weak commodity prices and the low profitability and poor farm income that follow. As a result, farmers and ranchers are watching their equity erode as their debt-to-asset ratios climb and debt financing reaches a 30-year high,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall and NFU President Roger Johnson wrote in a joint letter to Congress in May.

Full Article Here

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  Regarding Water Quality Funding Grants.

The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, a program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, has Water Quality grant funds available for farmers to complete capital improvement projects. We will have two application rounds in the coming year, with deadlines of:

Friday, November 8, 2019
Friday, February 7, 2020 

Eligible farmers can apply for $5,000 to $40,000 in water quality grant funds for projects which help farmers improve water quality, and are open to any Vermont farm who meets our eligibility criteria. Matching funds are required and may include federal or state grants as well as farmer cash, loans, and labor. 

 Application materials will be available on our website by late summer at  

Farm Service Agency in Vermont extends prevented plant crop reporting deadline to July 15

Colchester, VT, June 28, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the prevented plant crop reporting deadline for Vermont producers affected by spring flooding and excessive moisture.

Producers in Vermont now have until July 15, 2019, to report acres they intended to plant this spring but could not due to weather conditions. The new deadline coincides with the July 15, 2019, FSA crop acreage reporting deadline that is already in place.

“Producers need to report prevented plant acres to retain eligibility for FSA program benefits,” Wendy Wilton, State Executive Director said. “In many areas of the state, excessive moisture has made it challenging for producers to get into their fields to plant and this deadline extension provides reporting flexibility.”

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