The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) developed the Produce Safety Improvement Grant program to help growers improve on-farm produce safety. The purpose of this grant program is to assist Vermont produce growers in making improvements to prevent or reduce known produce safety risks on their farms. Applicants must grow, harvest, pack, or hold “covered produce” as defined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and have average annual produce sales of greater than $25,000 over the past three years.
To date, two rounds of Produce Safety Improvement Grants totaling $148,000 have been allocated to 17 Vermont farms. Each round saw an impressive range of projects and due to high demand, not everyone who applied was able to receive funding.
The Produce Program team expects to announce the request for proposals (RFP) for the next round of grants in fall 2018. Check this page for updates—or enroll in the Vermont Produce Portal to receive an immediate update when the RFP is released.
- Bread & Butter Farm, LLC to make washpack house improvents and increase produce safety hygiene signage around the farm ($8,664)
- Cate Farm to install a concrete slab and drain in the pack-house and replace existing equipment with stainless steel products ($7,156)
- Dutton Berry Farm to upgrade their washpack facility with concrete flooring and drainage and install equipment with easy-to-clean surfaces ($9,407)
- Hoolie Flats, LLC to upgrade their current washpack facility with drainage, easily cleanable wall panels and cleaning and sanitation equipment ($9,650)
- Last Resort Farm to add an additional cold storage cooler and upgrade existing coolers with temperature and humidity monitoring controls ($10,000)
- Old Soul Farm to enclose their washpack facility to reduce risk of pest intrusion and upgrade the facility with conrete flooring and stainless-steel washing tables ($10,000)
- Pete's Greens Organic Farm to integrate a wash water chiller into the wash line and to install temperature and humidity monitoring systems into cold storage bays of the washpack facility ($9,152)
- Sweetland Farm to add floor drains and roofing to the existing washpack facility ($10,000)
Round Two Grantees
- Ananda Gardens to retrofit an existing barn to be adequately equipped to wash and pack produce ($10,000)
- Bear Roots Farm to install a year-round produce washroom and walk-in cooler in a new barn space and add stainless steel washing equipment ($10,000)
- Harlow Farm to update the root vegetable wash and pack line with materials that can be easily cleaned and sanitized ($6,179)
- Chapin Orchard to upgrade storage and processing areas with food-grade plastic panels, a stainless-steel sink, and epoxy-based floor treatments and create effective drainage in the facility ($5,740)
- Naked Acre Farm to build a wash/pack house that will be sealed from outside elements ($6,179)
- New Leaf CSA to upgrade the wash/pack area to a covered facility, add a cold storage unit, and install stainless steel counters and a sink for produce washing and handling ($9,502)
- Shelburne Orchards to add a protective insulation layer to the refrigerated storage room that can be effectively cleaned ($10,000)
- Singing Cedars Farmstead to improve the primary packing shed to exclude outside elements and add cleanable surfaces and storage for packaged produce and supplies ($10,000)
- Red Wagon Plants to improve the produce wash station by adding a covered roof and concrete pad ($6,400)
For all questions about this grant program, contact AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov or (802) 522-3132.