Nearly 200 conservation professionals representing 27 Vermont state, federal, and local agencies, the University of Vermont, and other partner organizations came together last month at Vermont Technical College in Randolph to discuss agricultural water quality improvement efforts. The partnership reviewed on-going water quality improvement efforts, Required Agricultural Practices (RAP’s) and received feedback from a farmer panel.

The 2nd annual Partnership Approach to Clean Water was hosted by the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts (VACD). The meeting is a partnership-wide and on-going effort to become more efficient and effective in providing technical assistance to support farmers efforts to lessen the impacts of farming operations on Vermont's water quality.

The day-long meeting provided an opportunity for leadership and staff on the front line of Vermont’s clean water efforts to review progress towards and discuss strategies for improving the state’s waters as required by Act 64, Vermont’s Clean Water Law. Presentations by a diverse group of water quality specialists, farmers, and other natural resource professionals highlighted new and innovative approaches to addressing water quality concerns. The gathering also works to strengthen communication between the water quality partners to help them more efficiently serve the agricultural community.

The VAWQP is dedicated to collaborating with and supporting agricultural producers, particularly in their efforts to improve water quality. This is accomplished through coordinated efforts including education and technical and financial assistance.  VAWQP is composed of the agencies and organizations that signed the Lake Champlain Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which seeks to strengthen partner coordination in order to improve water quality and habitats within the Lake Champlain Basin and all of Vermont.   To learn more about the Vermont Agriculture Water Quality Partnership, contact amy.overstreet@vt.usda.gov or luke.rackers@vacd.org.

PUBLISHED

02-08-2018
Daniel J. Lerner