June 13, 2018


Nearly 2 million Gallons of Vermont Maple Syrup Produced

June 13, 2018 / Montpelier VT – The 2018 sugaring season was a long and productive season for Vermont’s sugar makers. Once again Vermont led the nation in making maple syrup, producing nearly 2 million gallons of the sweet product. It means about half of the maple syrup produced in the United States is made in the Green Mountains.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Vermont maple syrup producers set 5.67 million maple taps in 2018, 5 percent more than during the 2017 season, and the largest number of taps since 1928 according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. It was also a long season with sugar makers in the woods on average 52 days. That’s nearly one week longer than in 2017.

Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said, “Vermont sugar makers continue to lead the nation. Their commitment to quality stands alone producing a natural product that’s beloved around the world.” 

Vermont maple syrup production in 2018 totaled 1.94 million gallons, down 2 percent from 2017.  Vermont has led the nation in maple taps since 1916, highlighting the depth and importance of the industry to Vermont’s economy and culture. 

“Basketball might consume the nation’s attention during March Madness, but here in Vermont its Maple Madness, a much tastier option,” said Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing Wendy Knight. “Our top standing in maple production makes Vermont a delicious destination to sample maple products and sip inspired beverages.”

Other maple statistics released by USDA:

  • Yield per tap is estimated to be 0.342 gallon, down 7 percent from the previous season.
  • The earliest 2018 Vermont sap flow reported was January 12. 
  • On average, the 2018 season lasted 52 days, compared with 46 days in 2017. 
  • Vermont typically tapped between 5.5 and 6 million trees prior to 1935 but declined to around 1.5 million in the 1960’s.
  • In 2003 Vermont tapped 2.12 million trees and has been steadily increasing that number to the 5.67 million in 2018.
  • Since 2003 Vermont’s maple syrup production has increased from around 500,000 gallons to almost 2 million gallons.



June 13, 2018
            Re-enrollment Continues Through June 22, Dairy Producers Urged To Act Now

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the re-enrollment deadline for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy will be extended until June 22, 2018.  The new and improved program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant.  USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margins triggered in February, March, and April, and USDA offices are continuing to process remaining payments daily.

“Last week we re-opened enrollment to offer producers preoccupied with field work an additional opportunity to come into their local office to sign-up. We did get more than 500 new operations enrolled but want to continue to provide an opportunity for folks to participate before the next margin is announced,” said Secretary Perdue. “More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA offices to sign-up for 2018 MPP coverage but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half.” 

The re-enrollment deadline was previously extended through June 8, 2018.  The deadline is being extended a second time to ensure that dairy producers are given every opportunity to make a calculated decision and enroll in the program if they choose. This will be the last opportunity for producers to take advantage of key adjustments Congress made to provisions of the MPP program under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to strengthen its support of dairy producers.  USDA encourages producers contemplating enrollment to use the online web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.

The next margin under MPP, for May 2018, will be published on June 28, 2018.  Therefore, all coverage elections on form CCC-782 and the $100 administrative fee, unless exempt, must be submitted to the County FSA Office no later than June 22, 2018.  No registers will be utilized, so producers are encouraged to have their enrollment for 2018 completed by COB June 22, 2018.  

All dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018 during the re-enrollment period, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup.  Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018.  MPP payments will be sequestered at a rate of 6.6 percent.

To learn more about the Margin Protection Program for dairy, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency county office at or visit us on the Web at


Governor Phil Scott, Vermont Congressional Delegation, State Ag Leaders Call On Dairy Farmers To Sign Up For Revised Margin Protection Program



June 12, 2018

Revised Medium Farm Operation General Permit issued on June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018 / Montpelier VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM, the Agency) has issued a revised Medium Farm Operation (MFO) General Permit (GP), following a lengthy information gathering and revision process. The MFO GP sets standards for MFOs in the State of Vermont generating animal waste to ensure they do not have a discharge of waste to the waters of the State and operate in accordance with their Nutrient Management Plan. Unless otherwise given notice by the Agency, all farms meeting the definition of a MFO in the State of Vermont are required to operate under the coverage of this GP.

All MFOs must follow the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) in addition to requirements outlined in the MFO GP. The revision process focused on streamlining the MFO GP with the RAPs, removing duplicative language, and increasing the focus on nutrient management plan recordkeeping for MFOs. All MFOs currently covered, or farms seeking coverage under the MFO GP, must submit a new Notice of Intent to Comply (NOIC) within 180 calendar days from the issuance of a new MFO GP.

Hence, MFOs should submit a new NOIC by December 12, 2018. All forms referenced in the MFO GP, including the NOIC, can be found on the Agency’s website ( or by contacting the Agency Water Quality Division. These forms are subject to revision so the applicant, prior to use of a form referenced in this MFO GP, should always consult the website listed above or the Agency Water Quality Division to make sure that they are using the current version.

The Agency is required to update the MFO GP every five years as outlined in MFO program rules. The current MFO GP was issued in 2012 and was therefore due for updating; the 2012 MFO GP continued in force and effect until the new MFO GP was issued. The MFO GP was established in 2007 and underwent revision for the first time in 2012. The newly revised MFO GP will be effective from 2018 to 2023.

For more information about the MFO GP revision process, to find the associated MFO GP Forms, or to read the newly revised MFO GP in full, please visit:

For questions, please contact:

Kaitlin Hayes

Agricultural Water Quality Specialist

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

(802) 622-4112




About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets: VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. www.Agriculture.Vermont.Gov

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June 9, 2018

Thanks to funding from the VAAFM Clear Water Fund, the Champlain Valley Crops, Soil and Pasture Team was able to purchase a brand-new grassland injector from Holland designed to truly inject liquid dairy manure in grass and legume crops. The innovative technology is exciting for dairy farmers.

Watch the new grassland manure injector in action and hear from Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional at UVM Extension and a local farmer about what this new piece of equipment might mean for farmers and water quality.


To learn more visit,

June 7, 2018

Working Lands Enterprise Initiative supports Farm and Forest Organizations

June 7, 2018 / Montpelier, VT – The Working Lands Enterprise Board awarded over $750,000 in grants to 25 Vermont agriculture and forest sector businesses and service providers at the statehouse today, in support of businesses and organizations that support Vermont’s working landscape. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative has distributed over $3.8 million in grants since its inception in 2012, leading to an additional 428 jobs and $18.1 million in sales.

This year, the Working Lands Enterprise Fund received a donation of $16,000 from Ski Vermont. The annual Ski Vermont Grant went to Fairmont Farm from East Montpelier and will be used to fund the dairy farm’s Life on the Farm Camp. Every summer, this camp brings many non-farm families to the dairy farm to enjoy a firsthand farming experience.

Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbetts; Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Alyson Eastman; Special Projects for Commerce & Community Development, Tim Tierney; Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Michael Snyder all participated in the presentations to the grantees, a list of which is included below:

Business Investment Grantees, (12) Agriculture and (3) Forestry Grant Recipients:

Addison County

  • Champlain Valley Creamery, Moira Cook, $14,266 Champlain Valley Creamery small-scale bulk milk tankering to increase production capacity, Middlebury
  • Full Belly Farm, Sarah Park, $5869, Cold Storage capacity and Low Tunnel Infrastructure, Hinesburg

Caledonia County

  • Stannard Farm Vermont Maple Syrup, Riva Reynolds, $19,000 Increasing Capacity for Maple Retail marketing in The Northeast Kingdom, Starksboro
  • Small Axe Farm, Heidi Choate, $9,000, Solar Installation/New Washroom, Barnet

Chittenden County

  • Vermont Land Trust, Chuda Dhaurali, $35,000 Improving Slaughter Capacity at Pine Island Community Farm, Colchester

Rutland County

  • Rico Balzano, Walnut Hill Farm, $9,750 Freezer Storage in Pawlet, VT, Pawlet
  • Northeastern Vine Supply, Inc, Andrew Farmer, $19,700 Increasing Market Competitiveness through Transition to Virus-Certified Grapevine Nursery Stock,

Washington County

  • Fairmont, LLC, Clara Ayer, $16,000 Life on the Farm Camp, East Montpelier
  • Burtts Apple Orchard, Gregory and Stef Burtt, $10,000 Burtts Apple Orchard Pick your own and retail operation, Cabot
  • Sawyer Made, George Sawyer, $20,000, Sawyer Made Facilities Upgrade
  • Vermont Salumi, Pete Coleman, $50,000– Improving Market Access with an automatic Meat Slicer, Plainfield
  • Rhapsody Natural Foods, Sjon and Elysha Welters, $20,000 Rhapsody Natural Foods Annex and Walk-In Cooler/Freezer, Calais

Windham County

  • Food Connects, Richard Berkfield, $50,000 - Building a Southeast VT Multi-use Hub for New Regional Partnerships and Increased Local Food Sales, Brattleboro
  • Sustainable Timber Investment Exchange, Eli Gould, $16,000, Vermont Mass Timber Ceiling Prototype

Windsor County

  • Clear Lake Furniture, Brent Karner, $19,978 Genuine Vermont Made showroom, Ludlow


Service Provider Grantees (Statewide impact) (6) Agriculture, (1) Forestry:


Chittenden County

  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Jen Miller, $19,525 Vermont Organic Dairy: Improving Farm Efficiencies and Cash Flow in a Stagnant Milk Market, Richmond
  • Vermont Grass Farmers Association, Meghan Sheridan $11,337 Education and marketing program development supporting grass-fed livestock production, Burlington
  • Intervale Center, Amanda Fischer, $18,659 Direct Service to New Farmers in Vermont, Burlington

Orleans County

  • Dairy Vison Vermont, Louise Calderwood $5,000 Dairy Vison Vermont Service Provider Grant, Craftsbury

Washington County

  • Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association, Amanda Voyer, $9,900 Food safety in the Sugarhouse: Creating Additional Resources for Sugar Makers Waterbury

Windsor County

  • Vital Communities, Beth Roy $20,000 Upper Valley Farmer Cooperative, White River Junction

Rutland County

  • Vermont Woodworks Council, Kathleen Wanner, $20,000 Strengthening Vermont's Wood Manufacturing Industry, Rutland


Service Provider Pilot Contracts (Statewide Impact) (3) Forestry:


Washington County

  • VT Housing and Conservation Board Ela Chapin, $130,000 Succession Planning and Business Assistance for Working Lands Businesses, Montpelier
  • VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, Christine McGowan, $70,000 Vermont Forest Products Value Chain Investment Strategy Phase II – A Networked Approach to Sustain our Forest Economy, Montpelier

Concord, NH

  • Northern Forest Center, Joe Short, $50,000, Connect businesses to resources, assist with strategic planning, provide technical assistance with research and design

Visit the Agency of Agriculture Facebook page for a photo album of the event.

Visit for more information.