Custom Manure Applicator Certification

The Vermont Legislature passed Vermont’s Clean Water Act (Act 64) and it was signed into law in the summer of 2015.  Act 64 directed the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) to revise the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) to include required training and certification of custom manure applicators that operate within the State of Vermont. 

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 custom applicators must be certified with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to operate within the stat of Vermont. 

Upcoming Events

Custom Manure Applicator Make-Up Exam Sessions:

March 9, 2018

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

St. Albans Extension Office

278 South Main Street, Suite 2


March 16, 2018

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Middlebury Extension Office

23 Pond Lane, Suite 300


March 23, 2018

2:00 – 3:00

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

116 State Street

Montpelier, VT


Please Register with Lindsey Ruhl at UVM Extension: 802-524-6501 or e-mail:

The exam is free, however for those seeking certification for the 2018 season, there will be a $30 Certification Fee.

Requirements for Custom Applicators:

Required Agricultural Practices (RAP) Rule requires that:

  • Custom applicators be certified by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
  • Certification lasts for 5 years
  • Certified applicators must receive 8 hours of training each five-year period of certification 
  • Applicators have to demonstrate knowledge of RAPs and all other applicable agricultural rules and permits
  • Custom applicators have to train all of their employees and seasonal workers in methods or techniques to minimize runoff to surface water 

Training Credits

To maintain your certification, you will need to receive a total of 8 credit hours over the course of the 5 years of your ceritifcation. 

For example, if you attended the 2017 Winter Certification Class #1 and the 2017/2018 Final Certification & Exam Class, you will have a total of seven credit hours and will need to receive one more credit hour over the next four years to maintain your certification.

Credits can be given through VAAFM approved meetings or events.


Vermont Custom Applicator Online Training: This course can provide a custom applicator with educational credits and it can also be used a tool for training seasonal employees. In order to receive credit, the certificate of completion must be shared with VAAFM. 


Mail: Agricultural Resource Managment Division 

116 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05620

To access the e-course go to to enroll. For more information on how to enroll please see the e-course instructions.


If you have any questions about the Required Agricultural Practices, or how the new Rules pertain to custom manure applicators, please contact either:

Laura DiPietro

Deputy Director

Agency of Resource Management

c: 802-595-1990


Ryan Patch

Senior Agriculture Development Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

c: 802-272-0323



You can also contact Extension staff (listed below) with any questions.

Heather Darby

Agronomist and Nutrient Management Specialist

UVM Extension

278 S. Main Street Ste. 2

St. Albans, VT 05478

w: 802-524-6501



Nathaniel Severy

Agronomy Outreach Professional

UVM Extension

23 Pond Lane, Ste. 300 Middlebury, VT 05753

w: 802-388-4969 ext. 348


Lindsey Ruhl

Crops and Soils Coordinator

UVM Extension

278 S. Main Street Suite 2

St. Albans, VT 05478

w: 802-524-6501




Updated Water Quality Laws:

H. 35 (Act 64) Legislative Law for Improving Water Quality, Section 16:

  • Requires VAAFM to adopt, as part of the revisions of the RAPs, requirements for the certification of custom applicators. 
  • Custom applicator means a person engaged in the business of applying manure or nutrients to land for compensation. 
  • Custom applicators shall be required to complete 8 hours of training over each 5 year period. 
  • The training shall address application methods to minimize runoff and identification of weather or soil conditions that increase risk of runoff.

Law Implementation Deadlines:

  • VAAM must adopt rules for certification of custom applicators by July 1, 2016.
  • VAAFM must adopt rule for agricultural water quality training for LFOs, MFOs, and SFOs by July 1, 2016
  • VAAFM must establish a schedule for LFO, MFO, and SFO water quality training by January 1, 2017