Bennington County farmers have many district-affiliated resources to turn to for help. Programs of interest include:
Photo: Gregory Morris
As of March 2008, all Large Farm and Medium Farm Operations in Vermont must have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan. Land Treatment Planners can gather and analyze the core data required in the plan, for free, and entirely confidentially. For more information on the land treatment planning program and for information on contacting our land treatment planner, refer to A Land Treatment Plan Will Get You Off To A Good Start.
NRCS employees coordinate the programs of the USDA Farm Bill, develop cost-sharing contracts, and implement projects on farms. The Bennington County Conservation District's NRCS soil conservationist is Philip Rivara. Philip can be reached by phone at #802.775.8034 x26 or by email at Philip.Rivara2@vt.usda.gov.
In Vermont, funding has been set aside through the Agency of Agriculture to help farmers develop Nutrient Management Plans, and to implement various on-farm practices. Further details are available online.
University of Vermont Extension Farm Viability Enhancement Program offers business planning and decision making help to new and established Vermont farmers. The Rutland representative can be reached by phone at #802.773.3349 or (in Vermont) at #800.281.6977.
Northeast Organic Farming Association-Vermont (NOFA-VT) is a non-profit association of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont food system for the benefit of current and future generations. Find out more online.
Inspired by the "Fair Trade" concept, Keep Local Farms hopes to get more money directly to dairy farmers while creating stronger connections between farmers and their customers. The program is an effort to ensure dairy farmers in the Northeast are paid a sustainable price for their milk and to provide consumers with a way to support local dairy farmers, their community and the local economy. Find out more online.