Agency of Agriculture Announces New Technical Assistance Funding to Support Water Quality Planning and Projects on Farms

Contact:

Ryan Patch

Sr. Ag Development Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets

802-272-0323

Ryan.Patch@Vermont.Gov

Grassed Buffers and Stream Fencing for Livestock Focus of New Outreach and Implementation Programs

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) is pleased to announce a second round of Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Ag Clean Water Initiative Program (Ag-CWIP).  This grant program is made possible and supported, in part, by the Clean Water Fund – a fund created by Act 64 of 2015, Vermont’s Clean Water Act.  This second round of Ag-CWIP RFPs will fund organizations assisting farmers throughout the state to support planning and installation of vegetative buffers adjacent to streams, grassed waterways to prevent gully erosion in crop fields, and grazing systems to exclude livestock from surface waters.  Please visit: Agriculture.Vermont.gov/WQ-RFP for the complete RFP documents.

“We’re excited to offer this expansion of technical assistance resources to support our hardworking farmers in their continued effort to identify, plan and install conservation practices to improve water quality throughout the state,” said Anson Tebbetts, Secretary of Agriculture.  Tebbetts continued, “We’ve seen a real uptick in the number of farmers interested in implementing projects, but technical assistance capacity to serve them is currently under-resourced.  We are hoping to expand technical assistance for farmers with these grant opportunities.”

The first RFP is seeking a contractor for the implementation of the Pasture and Stream Fencing Program. The Program’s objective is the delivery of technical assistance that provides on-farm grazing management planning and installs fencing to exclude livestock from surface water statewide.

The second RFP is seeking a contractor for the implementation of the Grassed Waterway and Filter Strip Program.  The Program’s objective is the establishment of perennially vegetated grassed waterways and filter strips on agricultural cropland adjacent to waters of the State, including surface waters and ditches.

For each RFP, the Agency is providing up to $150,000 over two years to eligible contractors for technical assistance, design, and implementation services.  Incentive payments and implementation funds for the cost to install the conservation projects developed by the contractor will be covered separately under grants directly between the landowners and VAAFM through the Best Management Practice Program.

If a potential applicant requires clarification of any portion of the RFPs, specific questions can be submitted in writing no later than Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  Questions about the RFPs may be e-mailed to Raymond.Doherty@Vermont.gov.

At the close of the question period, a copy of all questions or comments and the Agency of Agriculture’s responses will be posted on the Agency’s web site: Agriculture.Vermont.gov/WQ-RFP.  The Agency expects to post responses to questions received by Monday, August 21, 2016.

Applications for this program are due by 4PM on Monday, August 28, 2017.

All applications must be submitted electronically to: Raymond.Doherty@Vermont.gov.