Clean Water Initiative Program
The Agricultural Clean Water Initiative Program is the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Water Quality Program's grant funding program made possible by the Clean Water Fund. Funding is awarded to a wide variety of partner organizations through various grant opportunities such as Education and Outreach, Organizational Development, Innovative Nutrient Reduction, Pasture and Stream Fencing or Grassed Waterways and Filter Strips. This funding develops and supports the continual improvement of water quality across the state of Vermont by supporting farmers with education and outreach, technical assistance, identifying and implementing best management practices, planning, and more.
Apply for Water Quality Training Credit- If you/your organization is holding an educational training or event, water quality credits for farm owners or operators can be awarded to attendees. Please complete the application at least 30 days prior to the event and a committee will evaluate its applicability for water quality training credits and determine the number of hours awarded.
To be considered as Water Quality Training Credit, four hours of which is required by Certified Small, Medium, and Large Farm Operations every 5 years pursuant the Required Agricultural Practices (6 V.S.A. Chapter 215 § 4981), Training shall provide information regarding:
(1) The prevention of discharges;
(2) The mitigation and management of stormwater runoff;
(3) Statutory and regulatory requirements of the operation of a large, medium, or small farm and financial resources available to assist in compliance
(4) The mechanical application of manure or nutrient and methods or techniques used to minimize the runoff od applied manure or nutrients to waters of the state;
(5) Weather and soil conditions that increase the risk of runoff of manure or nutrients to waters of the State; and
(6) Standards for nutrient management including nutrient management planning.
Complete the Educational and Instructional Activities Application to apply for grant funding for your education event through the Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) program.
Click on the links below for outreach and educational materials related to water quality and the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs).
Summary of the Required Agricultural Practices- This is a guidance document that summarizes the RAPs, but the full rule should be referenced for siting requirements, setbacks, as well as exemptions and variances.
Complete Summary Booklet of the Required Agricultural Practices- This is a complete 12 page booklet which summarizes the RAPs.
RAP Summary for Small Farm Operations (SFO)- This one page handout summarizes what it means to be an SFO and what is required by SFOs to comply with the RAPs.
What Farm Size Am I? - This document can assist farmers in determining whether they are a Small Farm Operation, a Certified Small Farm Operation, or if their farm does not meet the definition of farming operations who must follow the RAPs.
Farm Size Classification- This document outlines the thresholds for all farm sizes that are required to follow the RAPs; Small Farm Operations (SFO), Certified Small Farm Operations (CSFO), Medium Farm Operations (MFO), and Large Farming Operations (LFO).
Stream versus Ditch Factsheet- This factsheet discusses geomorphic determinations of surface water and ditches so farmers can determine whether they are required to establish a 25 or 10 foot buffer on annual crop fields as required by the RAPs.
Technical and Financial Assistance- This document summarizes technical and financial assistance for farmers implementing water quality conservation practices and provides contact information for various programs offering technical and financial assistance.