VERMONT- There are many different types of farms in Vermont, some in which raise and butcher cattle, others produce dairy products and some that strictly grow vegetables and herbs. When it comes to farming there are many rules and regulations that need to be put into place to ensure safety and quality of the products.
Some of these rules include, making sure the soil is rich and ready for crops to grow, having clean water for plants and animals, and having the right mechanics like coolers for instance, to keep items chilled to the right temperature.
It is important that these farms continue production, not only for the employees of the farm but, also the residents of Vermont. Being able to possess locally grown products is beneficial for both the state and environment within the state.
“It's about supporting a viable and vibrant and cultural sector of farmland and farming. Economic development benefits so more jobs and more revenue, environmental benefits and tourist benefits with agriculture”, said Vermont Agency of Agriculture Business Development Section Chief Chelsea Lewis.
Overall, it is fairly expensive to run and own a farm. Some farmers face the fear of not being able to afford all that is needed to run a farm. According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture farmers can apply for grants that allows farmer to continue to have an active farm.
“So we have about 8 or 9 different grant programs and all of them have different eligibility criteria, the ones that go directly to farmers are clean water and then there's the working working lance enterprise program. Those are the 2 main areas of grants that goes directly to farmers or another that can go to a group of farmers. A farmer cooperative could apply or an individual farmer could apply to do research which would benefit a group of farmers”, said Chelsea Lewis.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has their own system where they decide from there who can receive a grant from their business.
“Each program has different criteria and scoring criteria, and each program has a different set of advisors that make the decision”, Said Chelsea Lewis.
There are many grants in which farmers can apply. However, the amount of money you receive all depends on the project farmers are looking to complete and their eligibility. The grants that are given out from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture are funded by the Vermont legislature or Federally funded. They decide the terms in which to give grant money to farmers and how much of a grant they can receive.