What farmers affected by flooding and storms should do now
Document damage to your farm due to the July 2023 flooding and severe storms, to the best of your ability. Documentation details may vary depending on program but should include date stamped photos, estimated crop loss, and infrastructure damage. In some circumstances, the damage may need to be observed in person.
Report damage, including any damage to your home, on the Vermont 211 website or call 2-1-1. Note that there are different forms to complete for “personal” and for “business” damage. This information will help the state apply for federal FEMA resources.
Contact your county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center. Reporting damage and losses to FSA will help Vermont receive a USDA disaster designation and unlock federal funding for agriculture. FSA may provide compensation for losses and financial assistance for repair work. Whether or not you have crop insurance, you may qualify for additional federal assistance.
USDA also has a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, which provides information about some of the programs which may be available in the coming weeks. However, local Service Center FSA staff will be the most knowledgeable about federal programs.
Complete the Vermont Agency of Agriculture's impact survey - to help make the case for future access to emergency relief funding here in Vermont. While there is no guarantee of additional federal/state funding, impact data will help demonstrate the magnitude of need within our agricultural community. Click here to complete the survey.
Additional steps that may be helpful and relevant to your business
Contact your insurance company with potential crop loss, yield reductions, or infrastructure damages. They may send an adjuster to document any claims.
Contact your lenders to request a waiver on loan payments during this emergency period.
Connect with a trusted service provider to discuss your business viability questions and concerns. If you are looking for a farm viability advisor, contact the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program. Local conservation districts or UVM Extension staff may also be able to assist you.
Apply for local emergency funds that may be available to your business.
- NOFA-VT'S Farmer Emergency Fund can provide grants of up to $5,000. Contact Bill Cavanaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-7154 to begin.
- The Center for an Agricultural Economy's Vermont Farm Fund (VFF) offers emergency loans. VFF has raised its Emergency Loan amount from $10,000 to $15,000. This is a zero-interest loan payable over 36-48 months, with an option to defer payments for up to 12 months.
Other local emergency funding opportunities may be available through the Vermont Community Foundation:
- VT Flood Response and Recovery Fund 2023
- VSECU is offering Flood Relief Loans for Businesses. Thanks to a partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation, VSECU is able to offer 0% financing on up to $3,000 for Vermont residents with their member emergency loan. They’re also waiving any credit requirements so anyone can get approved for funds.