Introduction to the Custom Applicator Certification Program:
As part of Act 64 signed into law of June 2015, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) was directed to require training and certification of custom manure applicators that operate within the State of Vermont. The Custom Applicator Certification Program was formalized with the passing of the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) in December 2016, which include training and certification requirements for custom applicators that operate within the State of Vermont.
Custom Applicator Definition:
A custom applicator is a person who is engaged in the business of applying manure or nutrients to land and who charges or collects other consideration for the service. All owner/operators or full-time custom applicators must be certified with VAAFM to operate within the state of Vermont. Seasonal, part time, or other employees of custom applicators must receive training on the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) and management practices to reduce risk of runoff when spreading manure.
The RAP Rule requires Custom Applicators:
- Be certified by VAAFM, certification lasts for 5 years but must be renewed annually
- Receive 8 hours of training each five-year period of certification
- Demonstrate knowledge of RAPs and all other applicable agricultural rules
- Train all their seasonal, part time, or other employees in methods or techniques to minimize runoff to surface water
- Maintain records of the amount of manure or agricultural waste applied by farm and field
To learn more about if you need to certify or how to become certified, please contact the Agency at 802-828-2431.
Custom applicators certified by VAAFM are required to receive 8 hours of training every five-year period of certification. Seasonal, part time, and other types of employees are also required to receive training that address application methods to minimize runoff and identification of weather or soil conditions that increase risk of runoff.
VAAFM has partnered with UVM Extension to provide educational and training opportunities for custom applicators. For more information about manure management, training and educational opportunities, please contact Lindsey Ruhl from UVM Extension at (802)524-6501 or check out our events page for upcoming training opportunities.
There is also an online E-Course available. This course can provide a custom applicator with educational credits and it can also be used as a tool for training employees. In order to receive credit, the certificate of completion must be shared with VAAFM. To access the e-course go to https://campus.extension.org/ to enroll. For more information on how to enroll please see the e-course instructions.
Contact and Questions:
For questions about the Custom Applicator Certification Program and how to become a certified applicator in Vermont, please contact VAAFM:
Mary Montour, Agricultural Water Quality Specialist
Phone: (802)461-6087 Email: Mary.Montour@vermont.gov
Jenn LaValley, PHARM, WQ & Enforcement
Phone: (802)828-2431 Email: Jenn.LaValley@vermont.gov
For questions or more information about education and training opportunities, please contact UVM Extension:
Lindsey Ruhl, Crops and Soils Coordinator, UVM Extension
Phone:(802)524-6501 Email: email@example.com
For questions about the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), or how the rules pertain to custom applicators please contact VAAFM:
Laura Dipietro, Deputy Director Water Quality Division
Phone: (802)-595-1990 Email: Laura.Dipietro@vermont.gov
Ryan Patch, Assistant Director Water Quality Division
Phone: (802)272-0323 Email: Ryan.Patch@vermont.gov