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Water Quality Grants Program

Grants to Vermont Farmers for
Water Quality Improvement Projects

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Funding Source:

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Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB)

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 to Vermont farmers for projects to improve water quality. Funding is intended for farm infrastructure that will have a measurable and positive impact on the local water quality. Priority is given to livestock and dairy farms and to long-term investments.

Eligible projects include: construction projects, renovation projects, long-term infrastructure improvements, and in some cases equipment. All projects must directly impact water quality, and must be for long-term investments rather than annual practices or improvements with a short life span.

The following types of projects have been funded in the past:

- Construction, renovation, or upgrades to farm infrastructure
- Purchase of equipment that will be used frequently; is essential to the business; cannot be rented; and leads to innovative farm practices

Examples of eligible costs:
- Concrete
- Building supplies
- Permanent fencing and laneways for grazing system establishment
- Equipment that is a long-lived capital asset, will be used frequently, be essential to the business, can’t be easily rented, or possibly leads to new, innovative farm practices
- Consulting fees are eligible if they are part of a larger request for a construction project

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184111

Estimated Size of Grant:

Ranging from $5,000 to $40,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any Vermont farm that is required to meet the Required Agricultural Practices and has gross sales of $15,000 per year or more is eligible to apply. Funds are awarded to commercial businesses; early stage or small-scale farm businesses on a growth trajectory may be funded if not yet commercially viable.

Dairy and livestock farms are likely to be more competitive applicants. Produce farms will be eligible provided they can demonstrate that their project will have significant, positive impacts on water quality.

In order to be eligible for grants, your farm is expected in most circumstances to be in compliance with all labor laws, taxes, water quality regulations, and other applicable regulations.

Any size farm is welcome to apply.

Examples of non-eligible costs:
- Annual practices or infrastructure that is short-lived
- Equipment that is used infrequently, or that could very feasibly be rented or contracted
- Grant writing
- Soil or water quality analysis

Projects to build or repair farm vehicle or access roads are typically not successful in this grant program, because their impact on water quality is relatively lower than other proposals.

Pre-Application Information:

If you need assistance writing or reviewing your application, we may be able to provide you with help from a Viability Program service provider or farm business adviser. These advisers are only available for business and financial planning (not helping to prepare other parts of the grant application). If you would like support, please get in touch as soon as soon as possible, as these services are limited.

Applications submitted in advance of the following dates will be reviewed for funding:

- Monday, August 13, 2018 / decisions made November 2018
- Wednesday, November 7, 2018 / decisions made December 2018
- Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / decisions made March 2019

A minimum of one-to-one match funding is required.

Eligible match sources include:
- Farm cash or savings
- Loans
- Grants from federal sources, such as USDA NRCS
- Grants from state sources, such as the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
- Farm Labor or other in-kind donations
- Other

Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs):

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

When you are ready to submit online, go to the following site to upload the application materials:
Password: farmers

If you run into trouble with this system, you may email your application and attachments to:
Katie Michels, Viability Program Assistant

Or mail the application to:
Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program
Attn.: Katie Michels
58 E. State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Ph: 802.828.3250
TTY: 1.800.253.0191
Fax: 802.828.3203

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont