Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program: Dairy Assistance

REGISTER NOW        LOG IN

Overview

The Vermont State Legislature appropriated $25 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) to establish the Dairy Assistance Application. Of these funds, $21.2 million is available for grant awards to milk producers, and $3.8 million is available for awards to dairy processors. These funds will be used to stabilize milk producers and dairy processors based on their lost revenues related to business interruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will issue grant payments under this program on a first-come, first-served basis. All compensable losses and costs must have been incurred since March 1, 2020 and be related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The initial deadline for the Dairy Assistance Application was October 1, 2020. At this time, all applications submitted by October 1 are under review.

The deadline for new applications is Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates!

Contents


Eligibility

Dairy farmers and dairy processors operating as of March 1, 2020 are eligible to apply for dairy assistance. A business that is both a milk producer and a dairy processor may submit one application as a milk producer and one as a dairy processor regardless of whether each business is organized as a separate business entity. A milk producer or dairy processor is eligible to qualify for assistance if:

(A) (i) the milk producer or dairy processor is currently producing milk or dairy products; or

(ii) the milk producer was producing milk on March 1, 2020, and subsequently ceased production, but has a good faith plan to restart milk production or to produce another agricultural commodity;

(B) the milk producer or dairy processor is in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (AAFM) and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR); and

(C) the milk producer or dairy processor can demonstrate economic harm that occurred or accrued between March 1 and December 30, 2020 by providing evidence of lost revenues or expenses related to business interruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Award Information

Milk producers, if qualified, are eligible for grants to reimburse for demonstrated economic harm up to the following maximum amounts:

  • Small farms shall receive up to $18,300.00.
  • Certified small farms shall receive up to $34,300.00.
  • Medium farms shall receive up to $56,000.00.
  • Large farms shall receive up to $100,000.00.

Dairy processors, if qualified, are eligible for grants to reimburse for demonstrated economic harm up to the following maximum amounts:

  • Dairy processors that process less than 500 pounds of milk per day shall receive up to $31,000.00. 
  • Dairy processors that process from 500 to 9,999 pounds of milk per day shall receive up to $40,000.00. 
  • Dairy processors that process from 10,000 to 49,999 pounds of milk per day shall receive up to $50,000.00. 
  • Dairy processors that process 50,000 pounds or more of milk per day shall receive up to $60,000.00. 

How to Apply

  1. To begin your application, register now

Unique Dairy Identification Number
You will need a Unique Dairy ID (Farmer/Processor ID Number) number to register. VAAFM sent each registered dairy producer and processor a letter via email and/or postal mail during the week of July 13, 2020. You can find your unique ID at the end of first paragraph of this letter. If you cannot find your Unique ID number, contact us.

  1. Gather documentation of milk and revenue losses, such as milk checks and sales receipts.
  2. Complete and submit your application by Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM. 

REGISTER NOW        LOG IN


September Milk & Revenue Losses

If you submitted an application with a preliminary estimate for September milk or revenue losses, you must finalize your application with your September milk check or documented September losses.

Dairy Farmers

To finalize September milk losses, follow these instructions:

  1. In the Milk Production Information table (Farm Detail), select the September production line.
  2. Enter your September milk price in the Federal Blend/Pay Price field.
  3. Enter your total production pounds in the Total Pounds of Milk field.
  4. For the Milk Check or Invoice upload, delete the Preliminary Estimate for Producers and upload your September milk check.

If this step is not completed, estimated September milk losses will be removed from your application.

Dairy Processors

To claim September losses, follow these instructions:

  1. Upload an income statement or profit and Loss statement for September 2020.
  2. Enter your actual September sales into the September 2020 Covid Sales field. 
  3. Delete the Preliminary Estimate for Processors document and attach documentation of actual sales/losses. 
If this step is not completed, the September loss of revenue and sales line item losses will be removed from your application.

October Milk Losses

Dairy farmers who are in the process of applying but have not yet submitted their application, are correcting a submitted application, or have received a supplemental application, can claim October milk revenue losses using these instructions:

  1. In the Milk Production Information table (Farm Detail), select the October production line.
  2. Enter $1.00 in the Federal Blend/Pay Price field.
  3. Enter your estimated production pounds in the Total Pounds of Milk field.
  4. For the Milk Check or Invoice upload, download this Preliminary Estimate for Producers and upload the file as a placeholder for your October milk check.

You will be required to finalize your application with your October milk check by the end of November. If this step is not completed, the estimated October milk losses will be removed from your application.

If your application does not include a line for October milk production in the Milk Production Information table (Farm Detail), you may include your estimated October milk losses in the Other Economic Harm section using these instructions: 

  1. Select Additional Loss/Expense
  2. Enter $1.00 in the Price field.
  3. For the Documentation upload, download this Preliminary Estimate for Producers and upload the file as a placeholder for your October milk check.
  4. Select "Loss of market or consumer segment" under the Reason for Incurred Loss or Expense drop down list.
  5. In the Reason for Incurred Loss or Expense text field, enter October Milk Estimate.

You will be required to finalize your application with your October milk check by the end of November. If this step is not completed, the estimated October milk losses will be removed from your application.


Application Assistance

For assistance with preparing financial documents and navigating the online application, Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program business advisors are available to help!

Please complete this INTAKE FORM to connect with an advisor. For more information, contact Mariah Noth at mariah@vhcb.org or 802-828-1098. Note: You will need to share your unique identification number with a business advisor and ensure that you have all required documentation available for submission.

For questions about the grant application, including business eligibility, covered costs/losses, required documentation, and the application system, please visit the VCAAP Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us


Applicant Resources

Webinars


VCAAP Question & Answer Session

Looking for more information about changes to the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP)? Watch the recording of our Q&A Session on October 13, 2020. 

Please note that as a result of recent legislation, some information presented in the webinars below may be out of date. For a summary of changes, review our October 1, 2020 press release

Dairy Application Tip Sessions

Each session includes discussion of commonly seen application errors and tips for successful application submission. These sessions were designed to be an exchange of information and an opportunity for applicants to ask specific questions or about areas of confusion.

Dairy Processor Application Tip Sessions

Dairy Producer Application Tip Session

Dairy Assistance Application Webinar for Producers and Processors

Held the week of July 20, 2020


Contact Us

(802) 828-2430 select #9
AGR.CovidResponse@vermont.gov

Agency personnel will be monitoring the voicemail and email inboxes Monday – Friday, 8am to 4:30pm and will respond to your inquiry in that time period.

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

 

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.522.7811
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  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