On Tuesday, July 14, Governor Phil Scott and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) Secretary Anson Tebbetts announced the opening of the first of three economic relief applications for the agriculture community under the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP). The VCAAP Dairy Assistance Application is now open. The Vermont State Legislature appropriated $25 million in State Coronavirus Relief Funds for assistance to eligible dairy producers and processors who have experienced income loss, additional expenses, and market disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the press release or learn more about the Dairy Assistance Application below.
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. Although applications will be processed in the order they are received, VAAFM expects to have adequate funding for all eligible dairy producers and processors to take advantage of this assistance. All applications must be received by October 1, 2020, and all funds will be expended by December 20, 2020.
Live webinars for dairy producers, processors, and industry members were held the week of July 20, 2020. Below is a recording of the webinar presentation for viewing purposes.
Dairy Assistance Application Webinar Recording for Dairy Producers and Dairy Processors
Dairy farmers and dairy processors who were operating as of March 1, 2020 are eligible to apply for dairy assistance. A person who 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 shall be 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 submits to the Secretary a good faith plan to restart production of milk or a plan to restart operation through production of another commodity;
(B) the milk producer or dairy processor is in good standing; and
(C) the milk producer or dairy processor accurately demonstrates to the Secretary economic harm that occurred or accrued on or after March 1, 2020 and before December 1, 2020 by providing evidence of lost revenues or expenses related to business interruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In general, a single business—as defined by a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)—is eligible to receive one state grant funded by Coronavirus Relief Funds. Please research your grant options carefully before applying.
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.
The Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program application will allow you to partially complete an application, save it, and return at a later time to continue working on and/or submit your application.
Please be careful and take your time when completing your application to ensure that your information is complete and accurate. Incomplete applications may result in denials or the need to reapply, which may impact or delay your potential payments.
To begin your application, register online 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 are having trouble finding your Unique ID number, please contact us.
The username you create during registration can be your email address or a username you create in the format of an email address.
Problems adding a username? Our application platform, Salesforce, only allows a username to be registered once. If you applied for another other state program using Salesforce (such as Unemployment Insurance or another economic recovery grant) you may have already used your email address as your username. If so, try using another email address as your username. Your username does NOT need to be a valid email address but DOES need to be formatted as an email address (for example, email@example.com). We recommend that you create an email address you are likely to remember if you are not using your actual address. The username itself will not receive any email notifications; notifications will be sent to the email address associated with the application.
We recognize that an online application may be challenging. Therefore, a select group of Vermont Farm & Forest Viability business advisors are prepared to assist dairy farmers and processors in completing applications. To request assistance from a Farm Viability advisor in submitting your application, pleased complete this intake form, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (802) 828-1098. You will need to share your unique identification number with a selected business advisor and ensure that you have all required documentation available to upload and submit.
- Dairy Application Summary Sheet – Updated July 17, 2020
- Dairy Application Guide
- W-9 Form – If you have not sent a correctly completed W-9 form to the Agency before beginning your application, you will need to complete and upload a W-9 form as part of your application. More information or assistance on filling out a W-9 could be provided by your accountant and/or entity that prepares your taxes.
- W-9 Instructions
Find answers to your questions about the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program in the FAQ or ask a question below.
Ask a Question: Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program Chatbot
(802) 828-2430 select #9
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.