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Best Management Practice (BMP) Program & Engineering Services

Program Overview 

The Best Management Practice (BMP) Program provides technical and financial assistance to identify & assess farmstead water quality concerns, and to assist farmers in the implementation of structural improvements designed to abate agricultural waste discharges to Vermont waters. Program staff aim to help Vermont farmers achieve and maintain regulatory compliance in a way that is both viable for the operation of the farm and beneficial to water quality.  

The BMP Program provides technical and financial assistance to Vermont farms:    

  • Technical Assistance (TA): Technical assistance is available on a priority basis at no cost to the farmer. TA includes a combination of agricultural, civil, and environmental engineering consultation and design. VAAFM engineers are available to provide water quality compliance consultations, and to assist with state permitting and variances.  

  • Financial Assistance (FA): Financial assistance is available to assist Vermont farms with the costs of implementing structural best management practices designed and/or approved by VAAFM engineers. All designs must meet NRCS or equivalent standards. FA is available to boost payment rates on practices associated with USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contracts, as well as to support state-designed practices/projects. All funding is available according to the BMP Program cost share policy

Download Program Factsheet

Eligibility 

All 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 FA based on a priority ranking and risk assessment.  

The BMP Program largely focuses on structural practices located in the farmstead and/or production areas. Examples of conservation practices eligible for cost share through the BMP Program include: 

  • Barnyard runoff collection
  • Bedded pack facility
  • Composting stack pad
  • Exclusion fencing & watering facilities
  • Gutter / ditch clean water diversion
  • Laneway development & stream crossings
  • Manure storage systems
  • Milk house waste collection & treatment
  • Silage leachate collection

How to Apply

All BMP applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will receive initial follow-up within 10 business days of its receipt. Applications received by April 1st will receive an engineering field visit (as needed) in the same year. Applications received after April 1st may be rolled into the applicant pool for the following year. Please note that, on average, state-designed projects receiving financial assistance typically do not begin construction until the year after a BMP application is received.   

  • Interested parties should apply for BMP as soon as a water quality concern is identified or a need for permitting/variance assistance arises. Apply by April 1st to receive same-year priority.  

  • EQIP-Assist applicants (those wishing to receive financial assistance on practices tied to a NRCS-EQIP contract) are encouraged to apply after they have ranked out for a NRCS-EQIP contract.  

Apply Now

  1. Review the BMP Program Factsheet 

  1. Click the “Online Application” icon below to fill out a short BMP application.  

Online Application

We strongly advise you to submit your application online. However, you can also print or download the BMP Application PDF and submit to AGR.WQBMP@vermont.gov or to send it to BMP Program, 116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620.  

Program Contacts

For questions about the BMP program, contact one of our BMP program coordinators: 

Emma Redel

Email: Emma.Redel@Vermont.gov 

Phone: 802-261-5628 

Ellen Friedrich 

Email: Ellen.Friedrich@Vermont.gov 

Phone: 802-261-5629 

Farmstead BMP Program Documents