Best Management Practices Program

Downloadable Documents & Helpful Links


The Best Management Practice (BMP) program is a voluntary program to assist farmers with on-farm improvements designed to abate non-point source agricultural waste discharges into the waters of the state of Vermont. The program was created to provide state technical and financial assistance to Vermont farmers. Technical assistance which includes a combination of agricultural, civil, and environmental engineering consultation and design is available on a priority basis at no cost to the farmer. The BMP program identifies and assists in resolving water quality resource concerns. Financial Assistance is available to help assist the farmer with the construction costs of the designed practice(s). 

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance which includes a combination of Agricultural, Civil, and Environmental Engineering and design is available free of charge to help the farmer:

  • Protect and improve water quality
  • Maintain and improve lands and their management
  • Improve productivity of lands through planning
  • Identify and solve water quality concerns
  • Develop and apply sustainable agricultural practices.

There are various programs and specialized staff that work at or in conjunction with the Agency of Agriculture to ensure that technical assistance needs are being met for farms across the state regardless of size or location.

Examples of conservation practices where Technical Assistance may be available:

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

Financial Assistance

All applications are evaluated by the Agency's BMP Cost Share Program according to the funding priorities established in statute and the BMP Rules.

Priority Due Date for BMP Applications: April 1st 
  • BMP projects are only eligible for State cost share dollars if the they meet the design standards and specifications established by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or are designed and certified by a professional engineer licensed in the State of Vermont and are equivalent to the federal performance standards and specifications.
  • Applying does not ensure an award.
  • Grant agreements must be in place prior to the start of construction.
  • Farmer receives reimbursement upon certified project completion.
  • Final payment is determined by actual project costs as documented by itemized invoices.
  • Farmer’s equipment and labor costs are eligible for reimbursement.

BMP State Financial Assistance

Non-production area conservation practices are eligible to receive 50% to 75% cost share in high priority areas. Production area and livestock exclusion practices are eligible to receive 85% to 90% cost share in high priority areas. The State's BMP program maximum cost share in a calendar year is $75,000 per farm, not to exceed $150,000 in a 3 year timeframe.

NRCS EQIP - State BMP Financial Assist

The BMP program can be coupled with the USDA NRCS program to increase funding on approved conservation practices. The combined state and federal cost share can cover up to 90% of total project costs. The state's BMP program cost-share is limited to a maximum of $200,000 per EQIP contract. The State's BMP program cost share cannot exceed the federal contribution per conservation practice.

Engineer Territory Zones

Contact the engineer working in your county, or find out who is assigned to your area. 

Annual Reports

FY17  Report on Agricultural Water Quality Financial and Technical Assistance

FY18  Report on Agricultural Water Quality Financial and Technical Assistance

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.2431
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory               802.522.3502
  • Food Safety & Consumer Protection                        802.828.2426
    • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
    • Dairy                              802.828.2433
    • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures        802.828.2433
    • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Farmer Assistance                    802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431