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June 12, 2018

Revised Medium Farm Operation General Permit issued on June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018 / Montpelier VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM, the Agency) has issued a revised Medium Farm Operation (MFO) General Permit (GP), following a lengthy information gathering and revision process. The MFO GP sets standards for MFOs in the State of Vermont generating animal waste to ensure they do not have a discharge of waste to the waters of the State and operate in accordance with their Nutrient Management Plan. Unless otherwise given notice by the Agency, all farms meeting the definition of a MFO in the State of Vermont are required to operate under the coverage of this GP.

All MFOs must follow the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) in addition to requirements outlined in the MFO GP. The revision process focused on streamlining the MFO GP with the RAPs, removing duplicative language, and increasing the focus on nutrient management plan recordkeeping for MFOs. All MFOs currently covered, or farms seeking coverage under the MFO GP, must submit a new Notice of Intent to Comply (NOIC) within 180 calendar days from the issuance of a new MFO GP.

Hence, MFOs should submit a new NOIC by December 12, 2018. All forms referenced in the MFO GP, including the NOIC, can be found on the Agency’s website (http://agriculture.vermont.gov/mfo) or by contacting the Agency Water Quality Division. These forms are subject to revision so the applicant, prior to use of a form referenced in this MFO GP, should always consult the website listed above or the Agency Water Quality Division to make sure that they are using the current version.

The Agency is required to update the MFO GP every five years as outlined in MFO program rules. The current MFO GP was issued in 2012 and was therefore due for updating; the 2012 MFO GP continued in force and effect until the new MFO GP was issued. The MFO GP was established in 2007 and underwent revision for the first time in 2012. The newly revised MFO GP will be effective from 2018 to 2023.

For more information about the MFO GP revision process, to find the associated MFO GP Forms, or to read the newly revised MFO GP in full, please visit: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/mfo

For questions, please contact:

Kaitlin Hayes

Agricultural Water Quality Specialist

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

(802) 622-4112

Kaitlin.hayes@vermont.gov

 

 

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About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets: VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. www.Agriculture.Vermont.Gov

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June 9, 2018

Thanks to funding from the VAAFM Clear Water Fund, the Champlain Valley Crops, Soil and Pasture Team was able to purchase a brand-new grassland injector from Holland designed to truly inject liquid dairy manure in grass and legume crops. The innovative technology is exciting for dairy farmers.

Watch the new grassland manure injector in action and hear from Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional at UVM Extension and a local farmer about what this new piece of equipment might mean for farmers and water quality.

 

To learn more visit, https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/Agriculture/cv-crops-newsletter-...

June 7, 2018

Working Lands Enterprise Initiative supports Farm and Forest Organizations

June 7, 2018 / Montpelier, VT – The Working Lands Enterprise Board awarded over $750,000 in grants to 25 Vermont agriculture and forest sector businesses and service providers at the statehouse today, in support of businesses and organizations that support Vermont’s working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative has distributed over $3.8 million in grants since its inception in 2012, leading to an additional 428 jobs and $18.1 million in sales.

This year, the Working Lands Enterprise Fund received a donation of $16,000 from Ski Vermont. The annual Ski Vermont Grant went to Fairmont Farm from East Montpelier and will be used to fund the dairy farm’s Life on the Farm Camp. Every summer, this camp brings many non-farm families to the dairy farm to enjoy a firsthand farming experience.

Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbetts; Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Alyson Eastman; Special Projects for Commerce & Community Development, Tim Tierney; Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Michael Snyder all participated in the presentations to the grantees, a list of which is included below:

Business Investment Grantees, (12) Agriculture and (3) Forestry Grant Recipients:

Addison County

  • Champlain Valley Creamery, Moira Cook, $14,266 Champlain Valley Creamery small-scale bulk milk tankering to increase production capacity, Middlebury
  • Full Belly Farm, Sarah Park, $5869, Cold Storage capacity and Low Tunnel Infrastructure, Hinesburg

Caledonia County

  • Stannard Farm Vermont Maple Syrup, Riva Reynolds, $19,000 Increasing Capacity for Maple Retail marketing in The Northeast Kingdom, Starksboro
  • Small Axe Farm, Heidi Choate, $9,000, Solar Installation/New Washroom, Barnet

Chittenden County

  • Vermont Land Trust, Chuda Dhaurali, $35,000 Improving Slaughter Capacity at Pine Island Community Farm, Colchester

Rutland County

  • Rico Balzano, Walnut Hill Farm, $9,750 Freezer Storage in Pawlet, VT, Pawlet
  • Northeastern Vine Supply, Inc, Andrew Farmer, $19,700 Increasing Market Competitiveness through Transition to Virus-Certified Grapevine Nursery Stock,

Washington County

  • Fairmont, LLC, Clara Ayer, $16,000 Life on the Farm Camp, East Montpelier
  • Burtts Apple Orchard, Gregory and Stef Burtt, $10,000 Burtts Apple Orchard Pick your own and retail operation, Cabot
  • Sawyer Made, George Sawyer, $20,000, Sawyer Made Facilities Upgrade
  • Vermont Salumi, Pete Coleman, $50,000– Improving Market Access with an automatic Meat Slicer, Plainfield
  • Rhapsody Natural Foods, Sjon and Elysha Welters, $20,000 Rhapsody Natural Foods Annex and Walk-In Cooler/Freezer, Calais

Windham County

  • Food Connects, Richard Berkfield, $50,000 - Building a Southeast VT Multi-use Hub for New Regional Partnerships and Increased Local Food Sales, Brattleboro
  • Sustainable Timber Investment Exchange, Eli Gould, $16,000, Vermont Mass Timber Ceiling Prototype

Windsor County

  • Clear Lake Furniture, Brent Karner, $19,978 Genuine Vermont Made showroom, Ludlow

 

Service Provider Grantees (Statewide impact) (6) Agriculture, (1) Forestry:

 

Chittenden County

  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Jen Miller, $19,525 Vermont Organic Dairy: Improving Farm Efficiencies and Cash Flow in a Stagnant Milk Market, Richmond
  • Vermont Grass Farmers Association, Meghan Sheridan $11,337 Education and marketing program development supporting grass-fed livestock production, Burlington
  • Intervale Center, Amanda Fischer, $18,659 Direct Service to New Farmers in Vermont, Burlington

Orleans County

  • Dairy Vison Vermont, Louise Calderwood $5,000 Dairy Vison Vermont Service Provider Grant, Craftsbury

Washington County

  • Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association, Amanda Voyer, $9,900 Food safety in the Sugarhouse: Creating Additional Resources for Sugar Makers Waterbury

Windsor County

  • Vital Communities, Beth Roy $20,000 Upper Valley Farmer Cooperative, White River Junction

Rutland County

  • Vermont Woodworks Council, Kathleen Wanner, $20,000 Strengthening Vermont's Wood Manufacturing Industry, Rutland

 

Service Provider Pilot Contracts (Statewide Impact) (3) Forestry:

 

Washington County

  • VT Housing and Conservation Board Ela Chapin, $130,000 Succession Planning and Business Assistance for Working Lands Businesses, Montpelier
  • VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, Christine McGowan, $70,000 Vermont Forest Products Value Chain Investment Strategy Phase II – A Networked Approach to Sustain our Forest Economy, Montpelier

Concord, NH

  • Northern Forest Center, Joe Short, $50,000, Connect businesses to resources, assist with strategic planning, provide technical assistance with research and design

Visit the Agency of Agriculture Facebook page for a photo album of the event.

Visit http://workinglands.vermont.gov/ for more information.

June 6, 2018

Weights and Measures field staff test the new propane prover this morning in Berlin. The new propane tester is on the right.

June 6, 2018 / Berlin VT - Today was the first run of Weights and Measures new propane prover. This piece of equipment is used to measure the output of propane trucks. This is to ensure that Vermonters are getting the correct volume of product when they purchase propane to heat their homes and businesses. There are over 200 propane trucks that bring Vermont homes.

Propane delivery trucks are tested by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Weights and Measures Department. The propane prover is filled with a set amount of propane to test the accuracy of the trucks meter.  If needed, the truck mounted meter is adjusted and the test repeated. The annual testing accounts for seasonal temperature variations and its effects on the volume of propane needed for a succesful test.

This new prover will help ensure consumers are getting the propane they pay for. Thanks to Weights and Measures field staff Hugh Lund and Mike Larose and Supervisor Marc Paquette for their hard work in ushering this new piece of equipment for the Consumer Protection Section. 

June 5, 2018

June 6, 2018 / Montpelier VT - Agriculture Secretary and Working Lands Enterprise Board Chair Anson Tebbetts will announce the 2018 recipients of over $750,000 in grants to Agriculture and Forestry businesses and service providers this year.  The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and the Working Lands Enterprise Board will host this annual event to showcase the small businesses and service providers that are dedicated to growing the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont’s working landscape. 

 

Where:              State House Lawn, 115 State Street, Montpelier, VT

When:                Thursday, June 7th from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Who:                  Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts

                           Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Alyson Eastman

                           Commissioner of Forest, Parks, and Recreation Michael Snyder

                           Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Ted Brady

                           Working Lands Enterprise Board members

                           Working Lands Grantees

 

In total, there are 25 Working Lands grants or contracts to be announced on Thursday.   All are invited to hear forestry and agriculture grantee success stories, meet new grantees, and enjoy a menu of light fare that features 2018 grantee’s products.

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative is administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in partnership with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The initiative is led by the Working Lands Enterprise Board, made up of public and private sector members involved in agriculture, food, forestry, and wood products. 

Please visit  http://workinglands.vermont.gov/ for more information.   

 

 

 

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