VAAFM: Governor Scott proposes major investments in agriculture

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets Governor Phil Scott proposed ground-breaking investments in food and farming in his budget address on Friday, January 20th. The Governor’s budget leverages innovative investments and programs to grow Vermont’s food, farm, and forest economy.

“This budget is thoughtful, deliberate, disciplined, and carefully built to make the most of the historic resources available to us. It’s focused on investing, not just spending, to get the best results and grow revenue, so we can move families and communities ahead. It prioritizes the regions and people who need our help most, to deliver an increasingly healthy and vibrant economy in each of your communities, “ said Governor Phil Scott.

One of the recommendations is grounded in the recently released report of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture. Among the conclusions, the plan states: “All Vermonters benefit from healthy, nutritious foods and a robust local food system.”

To help address this finding, the Governor has proposed investing $10 million in “grant funding for small and mid-sized agricultural producers and value-added processors in the meat, vegetable and maple sectors.” These areas of our food system have been under resourced, or ineligible, for available funding. This support will help them grow and become more efficient, while producing more food for Vermont and the region.

The Governor also proposes investing in the work of people who make their living off the land. Under the Governor’s proposed budget $4 million would be dedicated to the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. This proven program allows food and forestry businesses to expand. This investment was also recommended by the Governor’s Commission of Agriculture. You can read their full report.

These proposed investments will now be presented to the Legislature. The Agency of Agriculture advocates for these investments because they support our farmers and producers, who are feeding us and farming the land.

The Governor’s proposal comes at a time when the region is making critical investments in dairy. Those in the dairy industry have identified local processing as a strategy to help businesses prosper. The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center, located at the Agency, is preparing to launch a $13 million program to help dairy processors expand and process their own Vermont milk. This could mean more local milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream. Click to learn more about the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center

This is a vulnerable, but exciting, time for Agriculture. The Governor has proposed making long and short-term investments to support our farmers, producers and those who feed us. Agriculture in the Green Mountain State is transforming and emerging as a cornerstone of Vermont’s future. Please join us and invest in Vermont.

Anson Tebbetts

Read the Governor's Full Budget Address
Farm surface water withdrawal reporting program
Surface Water Withdrawal
Reporting Program
A reminder that beginning January 15th, Act 135 says any Vermont Farm which withdrew 10,000 gallons or more of surface water within a 24-hour period, or 150,000 gallons over any 30-day period in 2022, shall file a report with VAAFM by January 31st.

The goal of Act 135 is to better understand the current demand for surface waters in Vermont and take any necessary steps to ensure resilience and future availability of surface waters in the face of a changing climate.

VAAFM has prepared forms for farm surface water users to report withdrawals from July 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022. Reporting forms are available online and can be submitted to [email protected].

Reporting Deadline: January 31st

Grant Application Bootcamp for Towns
To assist undeserved local governments with populations of 150,000 or fewer, the National League of Cities and the Local Infrastructure Hub are offering a series of bootcamps.

The bootcamps are designed to help local governments take advantage of the more than $9.5 billion in grant opportunities available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

There will be 30 bootcamps over the next two years, focused on grants available for energy efficiency and conservation, charging and fueling infrastructure, safe streets and roads, and Brownfields.

Registration will open soon for the spring bootcamps; bookmark the website and be on the lookout.

Explore more resources

Vermont Farm Bureau's YF&R Winter Workshop series

Join the Vermont Farm Bureau for a session on Grant Writing and Availability for farmers in Vermont with presentations by Maria Noth of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.

Join this free workshop at the UVM Extension Building in Berlin from 1-3pm. Pre-registration is recommended, you do not need to be a Farm Bureau member to attend.

Workshop: February 2nd

A Peek Into Digital Marketing

There are more ways today than ever before to connect with consumers; but it’s also more difficult than ever to stand out and get their attention.

An effective digital marketing strategy is multi-faceted and automated so you can do more and reach more potential customers with less time. This week on the blog, we share some best practices for getting started with your digital marketing strategy.

Read the full blog!

Trade Show Assistance Grants
View the VAAFM Grants Calendar
Copyright © 2022, All rights reserved.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State St. Montpelier, VT 05620