Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants

Program Purpose

Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants help Vermont produce growers implement on-farm food safety practices, transition to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, and meet market demands for on-farm food safety.

Eligibility

This grant is available to farms that are subject to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. To be eligible, farms must—
  • Grow, harvest, pack or hold “covered produce” as defined by the Produce Safety Rule;
  • Have annual produce sales, averaged over the past three years, of greater than $26,999 [1]; and
  • Have enrolled in the Vermont Produce Portal.

How to Apply

  1. Download the Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP) and review the WebGrants Application Guide
  2. Enroll in the Vermont Produce Portal
  3. Submit your application in WebGrants from January 7, 2019 – January 31, 2019.  

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Program History

To date, the Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant program has awarded $148,000 in grants to 17 Vermont farms. Each round saw an impressive range of applications and, due to high demand, not everyone who applied was able to receive funding.

Round One Grantees (2018)
  • Bread & Butter Farm, LLC to make wash/pack house improvements and increase produce safety hygiene signage around the farm ($8,664)
  • Cate Farm to install a concrete slab and drain in the pack-house and replace existing equipment with stainless steel products ($7,156)
  • Dutton Berry Farm to upgrade their wash/pack facility with concrete flooring and drainage and install equipment with easy-to-clean surfaces ($9,407)
  • Hoolie Flats, LLC to upgrade their current wash/pack facility with drainage, easily cleanable wall panels and cleaning and sanitation equipment ($9,650)
  • Last Resort Farm to add an additional cold storage cooler and upgrade existing coolers with temperature and humidity monitoring controls ($10,000)
  • Old Soul Farm to enclose their wash/pack facility to reduce risk of pest intrusion and upgrade the facility with concrete flooring and stainless-steel washing tables ($10,000)
  • Pete's Greens Organic Farm to integrate a wash water chiller into the wash line and to install temperature and humidity monitoring systems into cold storage bays of the wash/pack facility ($9,152)
  • Sweetland Farm to add floor drains and roofing to the existing wash/pack facility ($10,000)
Round Two Grantees (2018)
  • Ananda Gardens to retrofit an existing barn to be adequately equipped to wash and pack produce ($10,000)
  • Bear Roots Farm to install a year-round produce washroom and walk-in cooler in a new barn space and add stainless steel washing equipment ($10,000)
  • Harlow Farm to update the root vegetable wash and pack line with materials that can be easily cleaned and sanitized ($6,179)
  • Chapin Orchard to upgrade storage and processing areas with food-grade plastic panels, a stainless-steel sink, and epoxy-based floor treatments and create effective drainage in the facility ($5,740)
  • Naked Acre Farm to build a wash/pack house that will be sealed from outside elements ($6,179)
  • New Leaf CSA to upgrade the wash/pack area to a covered facility, add a cold storage unit, and install stainless steel counters and a sink for produce washing and handling ($9,502)
  • Shelburne Orchards to add a protective insulation layer to the refrigerated storage room that can be effectively cleaned ($10,000)
  • Singing Cedars Farmstead to improve the primary packing shed to exclude outside elements and add cleanable surfaces and storage for packaged produce and supplies ($10,000)
  • Red Wagon Plants to improve the produce wash station by adding a covered roof and concrete pad ($6,400)  

[1] A farm with an average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous 3-year period of less than $25,000, adjusted for inflation using 2011 as the baseline year for calculating the adjustment, is not covered by the Produce Safety Rule. The average 3-year value for 2015–2017 is $26,999. See FSMA Inflation Adjusted Cut Offs for additional information.

Program Contact

Kathryn Donovan
AGR.SpecialtyCrops@vermont.gov
(802) 585-4571

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Diana Ferguson
diana.ferguson@vermont.gov
(802) 622-4094

Melissa Moon
melissa.moon@vermont.gov
(802) 828-3828

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

Vermont Produce Program

AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov
(802) 828-2433

Funding for development of this program was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.