Water Quality & Agriculture in Vermont:
Resources for Farmers, Land-Owners, and Agricultural Service Providers
- Online Required Agricultural Practices quiz for Vermont's Livestock Farmers (Counts as 2 Hours of Required Education)
- UVM Extension Faculty & Staff Available to Help Your Farm Address Water Quality
- Top Recommendations for Farmers and Land-Owners Concerned with Water Quality
- UVM Extension Programs & Information
- Regional Farmer Groups Working on Water Quality Issues
- Policy, Regulation & Efforts to Improve Agricultural Water Quality
- Resources to Help Farmers Implement Conservation Practices
- About this Page
Online RAPs Quiz
Visit this online quiz put together by Orleans County Conservation District to provide information about "relevant agricultural standards that will control and reduce agricultural non-point source pollution from field and farm production areas." (Completing it will count as 2 of the required 4 education hours for livestock farmers.)
UVM Extension Faculty & Staff Available to Help Your Farm Address Water Quality
Sidney C. Bosworth
Providing soil tests and nutrient recommendations for farmers statewide.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: (802) 656-0478
Extension Assistant Professor: Agronomy Specialist, Field Crops & Nutrient Management
Serving Addison County and the Lake Champlain Watershed
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (802) 388-4969 ext.332
Pasture Program Coordinator
Serving livestock farmers across Vermont
Phone: (802) 656-0858
Extension Professor: Agronomy Specialist
Serving farmers across Vermont, particularly those in the NW and the Lake Champlain Watershed.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: (802) 524-6501
Farming & Climate Change Coordinator
Serving farmers across Vermont
Phone: (802) 656-3495
Extension Professor: Vegetable & Berry Specialist
Serving vegetable and berry farmers across Vermont
Phone: (802) 257-7967 x303
Vegetable Nutrient Management Specialist
Based in Rutland
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (802) 773-3349, ext. 277
Agronomy Outreach Professional
Serving the Lake Champlain Watershed (based in St. Albans, serving the north lake)
Phone: (802) 524-6501
Agronomy Outreach Professional
Serving the Lake Champlain Watershed (based in Middlebury, serving the central lake)
Phone: (802) 388-4969
Top Recommendations for Farmers and Land-Owners Concerned with Water Quality
Our top recommendation for anyone working with the land is to consider soil health, including building soil carbon, reducing tillage and covering the soil 24/7, as your first priority
Many of the
resources we suggest
are based on this approach that not only will help you protect water quality, but also will increase profitability, help sequester carbon, and increase your farm's resiliency to withstand extreme weather events.
- Familiarize yourself with Vermont's Required Agricultural Practices.
Find a farmer group in your area
so you can learn from your neighbors what is and isn't working for them.
Let your UVM Extension staff and faculty know if we can help!
We are here to help you assess and address the particular situation of your farm, addressing both profitability and environmental impact.
Extension Programs & Information to Help You Address Agricultural Water Quality
- Champlain Valley Crops & Soils Team's main web page, with links to a range of resources for farmers in Addison County and the Lake Champlain Watershed.
- Northwest Crops & Soils Team's Soil Health and Nutrient Management page, which has extensive resources and information available.
- The Center for Sustainable Agriculture's
- Agronomy & Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) , a joint effort of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), UVM Extension, and the Poultney-Mettowee Conservation District.
- Nutrient Management Planning for Vermont Vegetable & Berry Growers
- Information on Required Agricultural Practices for Vermont Vegetable & Berry Growers
- Farm Viability Program for more information about this Extension program that exists to support farmers' efforts towards financial sustainability, including resources for financing conservation efforts.
Regional Farmer Groups Working on Water Quality Issues
- Connecticut River Farmers Watershed Alliance : a farmer-led group aimed at helping farmers implement environmentally sound practices in Vermont & New Hampshire.
- Farmers' Watershed Alliance : a Franklin and Grand Isle based organization that provides assistance and funding to farmers to help minimize environmental impacts.
- Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition : a group of Farmers in the Lake Champlain Basin who have taken on a leadership role to show that a strong Local Farm Economy and a clean Lake Champlain can work together.
Policy, Regulations & Efforts to Improve Vermont's Agricultural Water Quality
- The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets ' page containing "an evolving collection of resources aimed at educating farmers, landowners, and Vermonters-at-large about the Agency's water quality program." Check here first for the latest updates to the Required Agricultural Practices.
- Vermont Farm to Plate's Strategic Plan for Water Quality Outlines how agriculture has impacted water quality in Vermont and provides information on a variety funding opportunities, initiatives and cost share programs available for farmers to help lessen their impact.
- Vermont Required Agricultural Practices Extensive information including details of the RAP Final Rule, downloadable factsheets for farmers, maps of frequently flooded areas and more
- RuralVermont's agricultural water quality legislation news and updates Information regarding the new Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) as well as Act 64. Rural Vermont updates this page with important dates, deadlines, and links to additional resources.
Resources to Help Farmers Implement Conservation Practices
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Information on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets' program that provides financial compensation for taking agricultural land out of production.
- Vermont Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Centers in Vermont A regional listing to help you find your local office.
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program A NRCS program that provides financial assistance to famers for implementing conservation practices on their land.
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Farmer Assistance Programs
- Vermont Association of Conservation Districts , which administers technical environmental programs across Vermont.
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
About this Page
Picturesque lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls and flowing rivers are the cornerstone of Vermont's natural landscape. Abundant freshwater has allowed crops and communities to thrive here for centuries, but the integrity of many of our waterways is threatened by nutrient-rich runoff from roads, fields and development. Climate change is expected to bring increased annual precipitation and higher likelihood of damaging floods to the region, which would further exacerbate these impacts.
Clean water is essential for the health of our economy and communities. Vermonters are embracing their responsibility to do their part to protect and preserve the health of our waters for generations to come. From cover crops to reduced tillage, many water quality improvement measures result in healthier, more productive soils while decreasing runoff and erosion.
Through the Department of Environmental Conservation's new ECO AmeriCorps program, the Center for Sustainable Agriculture was grateful to host a full time member, Michelle Graziosi, who worked on a variety of water quality projects and initiatives. Michelle worked with our team to gather these resources to assist farmers, service providers, and members of the extended community in our shared work towards clean water and productive and profitable farms for Vermont, and we're glad to share them with you.
We know there's a lot of information listed here. If you're seeking help but don't know where to start, give us a call at 802-656-5459 and we'll do our best to steer you in the right direction!