The Agricultural Engineering Section assist farmers with on-farm improvements designed to abate non-point source agricultural waste discharges into the waters of the state of Vermont. It is our mission to assist Vermont farmers to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance in a way that is viable for the operation of the farm and of benefit to water quality by providing technical assistance, project management and financial assistance. The section administers three programs to assist farmers:
- The EQIP-Assist Program is an opportunity for farmers with NRCS EQIP contracts to receive additional cost share on the practices installed as part of the EQIP contract.
- The Technical Assistance Program is available to provide water quality compliance consultations, state permitting assistance or variance assistance.
- The Farmstead Best Management Practices (BMP) Program provides engineering services on a priority basis for the design of BMPs at no cost to the farmer and can cost share on the construction of eligible practices.
The Agricultural Engineering Section provides Technical and Financial Assistance (TA & FA) pursuant to 6 V.S.A. §§ 4820 -4826. Farms required to comply with the Required Agricultural Practices are eligible to apply. Applications are evaluated according to the funding priorities established in statute and receive priority based on a priority ranking and risk assessment. Funding is available according to the cost share policy.
Examples of conservation practices eligible for cost share through the Farmstead BMP Program
- Manure storage
- Composting stack pad
- Barnyard runoff collection
- Gutter / ditch clean water diversion
- Laneway development & stream crossings
- Exclusion fencing & watering facilities
- Milk house waste collection & treatment
- Silage leachate collection
How to Apply
- Apply for EQIP-Assist when the farmer has ranked out for an EQIP Contract.
- Apply for Technical Assistance as soon as a water quality concern is identified or a need for permitting or variance assistance arises.
- Apply to the Farmstead Best Management Practices (BMP) Program annually by April 1st for design services and funding of conservation practice.
All applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications for the Farmstead BMP Program received after April 1st will be rolled into the next year's applicant pool.
Prior to applying please read the important information below:
- BMP projects are only eligible for State cost share dollars if the they meet the design standards and specifications established by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or are designed and certified by a professional engineer licensed in the State of Vermont and are equivalent to the federal performance standards and specifications.
- Applying does not ensure an award.
- Grant agreements must be in place prior to the start of construction.
- Farmer is responsible for financing the project during construction and receives reimbursement upon certified project completion.
- Final cost share payment is determined by actual project costs as documented by itemized invoices.
- Farmer’s equipment and labor costs are eligible for reimbursement.
Farmstead BMP Program Documents
- BMP Construction Log Booklet
- NRCS VAAFM Release Form
- BMP Planning Checklist
- BMP Pre-Construction Form
Regional Agricultural Engineer Contacts
Contact the engineer working in your county, or find out who is assigned to your area.