VHCB’s Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program Awards $507,000 to Fourteen Dairy and Livestock Farms for Water Quality Improvements

The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, a program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, awarded a total of $507,000 to fourteen farms in Addison, Orleans, and Rutland counties. These grants leveraged an additional $4.9 million for capital improvement projects and are matched by the farmers’ funds, bank loans, and grant funding from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

Anson Tebbetts, Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, said, “The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program’s Water Quality Grants are helping farms make lasting investments in environmental stewardship by reducing runoff and improving manure management, soil health and the long-term viability of these businesses.”

One of these farms is Spring Brook Dairy, an organic operation owned and operated by Kitty and Lyle Edwards on conserved land in Westfield. The Edwards will build new manure storage capacity to eliminate potential overflow from their manure storage into the Missisquoi River.  The project will result in long-term infrastructure improvements that will help them pass their farm on to a successor in the coming years. They have worked closely with their regional conservation district and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to design additional manure storage. VHCB’s $40,000 Water Quality Grant will be matched with funds from the farm and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

“Right now, we have occasional manure overflows in the spring that get into the river, but on our own we can’t afford fix it the right way,” says Lyle. “This project is going to prevent overflow from getting into Lake Champlain.”

Since 2017, with funding from the State of Vermont’s Capital Construction and Bonding Act, VHCB’s Viability Program has awarded over $1.4 million in Water Quality Grants. For information about grants and upcoming deadlines, visit www.vhcb.org/viability.

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Water Quality Grant Awards:

Joseph, Claudia & Rebecca Allen; Allendale Farm; Panton, VT
$40,000 for equipment to manage manure

Jennifer & Andy Andrews; JASA Family Farm; Newport and Coventry, VT
$40,000 for a new manure pit

Ernest, Eugene & Earl Audet; Blue Spruce Farm Inc.; Bridport, VT
$40,000 for a feed bunker runoff collection and containment system

Jill & Amerigo Balzano; Walnut Hill Farm; Pawlet, VT
$20,000 for manure management equipment and barn drainage improvements

Tina Durrance & Peter Decker; New Venture Farm; Morgan, VT
$40,000 for a concrete barnyard to capture waste, reduce erosion, and provide animals with outdoor access in winter

Kitty & Lyle Edwards and Sebastian Latraverse; Spring Brook Farm; Westfield, VT
$40,000 for new manure storage capacity

Logan, Bradley & Gigi Judd; Judd Dairy, LLC; Derby, VT
$40,000 for manure management & barn infrastructure improvements  

Misty-Anne Koloski; Misty Meadows Farm; Brownington, VT
$40,000 for new manure storage infrastructure 

Cynthia & Rich Larson; Larson Farm & Creamery; Wells, VT
$40,000 for a covered manure storage system

Seth & Brian Leach; Woodlawn Holsteins; Pawlet, VT
$25,000 for infrastructure related to transitioning to more grass-based production

Joanna & Adam Lidback; The Farm at Wheeler Mountain; Westmore, VT
$22,000 for purchase of a manure spreader to complement manure management infrastructure improvements

Pat Saltis; Saltis Farm Inc.; Poultney, VT
$40,000 for purchase of a round bale wrapper and silage baler to eliminate nutrient runoff from feed

Joe & Nate Severy; Severy Farm LLC; Cornwall, VT
$40,000 for improved cow facilities and manure storage infrastructure

Dave Seward; Seward Farm; East Wallingford, VT
$40,000 for construction of a covered barnyard

 

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The Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program provides business planning, technical assistance, and ownership transfer planning to farm, food and forest products businesses. For more information about the Viability Program, please visit www.vhcb.org/viability.

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