October 16, 2020 | Montpelier, VT — Today, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) launched two new Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP) applications to address COVID-19 pandemic impacts on our agricultural communities. One makes up to $140,000 available to Vermont’s Farmers’ Market organizations, and the other creates an avenue for schools and licensed childcare providers to access $100,000 in assistance for their Farm to School programs.
- The new VCAAP Farmers’ Market Application deadline is Friday, November 6. The application is open to farmers' markets with less than $10,000 in annual gross sales. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $2,000.
- The new VCAAP Farm to School Application deadline is Monday, November 2. The application is open to schools and licensed or registered child care providers. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $10,000.
- Details of all VCAAP applications can be found on the Agency of Agriculture website at agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program.
Earlier this summer, Governor Phil Scott and Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts announced the opening of the first three economic relief programs for the agriculture community under VCAAP. Originally comprised of the Dairy Application, the Agriculture & Working Lands Application, and the Agricultural Fairs Application, these two new applications provide assistance to areas of Vermont’s agricultural community that have experienced significant impacts from the ongoing pandemic. The Vermont State Legislature appropriated $34 million Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for agricultural applicants who have experienced income loss, additional expenses, and market disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The VCAAP Dairy Assistance Application and the Agriculture & Working Lands Application will also both re-open for new applicants early next week. A few legislative changes surrounding eligibility will be included in these updated applications.
Other important VCAAP items of note:
- Eligible applicants with a net business profit between March 1 and August 1, 2020 are not disqualified from the Agriculture & Working Lands Application.
- Eligible sole proprietors are no longer disqualified from the Agriculture & Working Lands Application because they did not file a W-2 form for themselves or an employee in the 2018 or 2019 taxable year.
- A business may now apply for more than one State grant funded by Coronavirus Relief Funds, but not for the same purpose as another grant or to cover the same losses or costs.
**Please Note: An updated Farmers’ Market Guidance document was recently published to guide these events going into the winter months and indoor venues. Please visit https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/covid-19-general-information-news/sector-guidance-farmers-markets to see all the available coronavirus information for farmers’ market organizations.