(Caterpillar tunnel damaged at 1000 Stone Farm, Brookfield Vermont)
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets urges farmers seeking financial recovery assistance to apply for emergency loans as soon as possible.
By Tuesday afternoon, more than a dozen Vermont farms reported damage or problems caused by wind storms Sunday night and Monday morning. This storm is a multi-day event and it’s likely more farms will be impacted as energy crews work to restore power. In many cases, agricultural structures like greenhouses, high tunnels, hoop barns and other mobile field shelters were significantly damaged. Several dairy farms continue to use generators to power milking operations, presenting additional logistical challenges. As Vermont sugarmakers begin to survey the woods, damages to trees, pipelines and facilities are being reported. In some areas, full restoration could take until the weekend. Any farms requiring emergency assistance are getting help through the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The Vermont Farm Fund (VFF), a program of the Center for an Agricultural Economy, offers an emergency loan program to help farmers recover from natural disasters. The program currently has around $70,000 in available funding. The maximum loan amount is $10,000 with 0% interest, payable over 24 months.
Once an application is submitted, most emergency loan requests are approved within 14 business days. To apply, download an application here. For additional information about the Vermont Farm Fund program visit www.VermontFarmFund.org, or contact the VFF Program Manager, Kate Stephenson, at Kate@vermontfarmfund.org.
The Agency of Agriculture continues to encourage farmers to document any losses from the recent storm. It’s helpful to take pictures and keep detailed records. This information could be valuable for farmers, state and federal officials as they calculate the economic impact of this wind storm.
Vermonters are encouraged to heed the below advice during power outages:
- Never use a generator indoors.
- Never touch a downed power line.
- Check on your neighbors.
- If you have damage to your home call your insurance company then report the damage to your town.
If you need immediate assistance, want to report damage or have any questions please call the Agency’s emergency line at 802-241-5497, or the state assistance line 2-1-1. You can also email agr.Helpdesk.Vermont.gov or contact the Agency at 802-828-2430.