Farm to Plate and Good Agricultural Practices funding

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Capital Improvement Grant

FY2011 Request for Applications

I. BACKGROUND

A. Funding Source and Available Funds

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) received $100,000 from the Vermont Legislature to provide matching grants for capital investments that will support Vermont agricultural producers in obtaining GAP certification. There is a maximum cap among all GAP Capital Improvements Program grants of $10,000 per farm, and farms must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs.

This funding will be disbursed in two grant rounds, with the first grant round open from July 1 to September 30, 2011. A total of $50,000 is available in the first grant round, and will be made available to producers for eligible expenses in the order that applications are received. Applications received after first round grant funds are fully expended will be automatically considered in the second round of funding. The second round will open on November 1, 2011.

Please note that all farmers who undergo a USDA GAP audit through VAAFM are also eligible for a reimbursement of up to $500 of audit costs, for a maximum of two growing seasons or $1000 per farm. Audit costs are not an eligible expense for the GAP Capital Improvement Grant. Please contact Chelsea Bardot Lewis at 802-828-3360 for more information.

B. Eligibility and Program Goals

The goals of the GAP Capital Improvement Grant Program are to increase sales of Vermont fruits and vegetables by maintaining or increasing market access and promoting food safety. To be eligible for funding the participant must be in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture regarding regulatory requirements and resulting penalties.

Current GAP-certified producers, or those who are looking towards GAP certification are eligible. By June 30, 2012, producers must either 1) obtain GAP certification; 2) create a food safety plan that will bring them closer to their goal of GAP certification; or 3) have an appointment with a GAP auditor to begin the audit process.

Pre-approved uses for this grant include: Water systems, delivery and treatment devices and improvements Fixed or portable restrooms Hand-washing sinks (mobile or stationary) Crop production equipment to reduce food safety risks Field harvest systems to reduce food safety risks

Cooler walls and refrigeration units Packing-shed walls, ceilings, and light fixtures Drainage systems in coolers and packing sheds Fencing

Additional uses may be proposed.

C. Application and Review Process

The full application format is provided below. This grant application must be fully completed, signed, and submitted to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, hereby referred to as the Agency, for eligibility. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives of the Agency, UVM-Extension, NOFA-VT, and producer groups.

If selected, you will be notified by the Agency. We expect to notify applicants of funding decisions within 4 weeks of the application receipt. Successful applicants will have to sign grant agreements and submit W-9 forms to the Agency before funds can be disbursed.

Application Instructions

1. Fill out the cover sheet

2. Answer the application questions.

3. Fill out the one-page budget form, and attach a budget narrative, showing and describing the sources and uses of funding for your project. Be sure to show the required 50% funding match from sources other than the GAP Capital Improvements Grant Program.

4. Mail or email the completed application materials to:

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

116 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

Email: chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us  Email Chelsea Lewis to get the application forms.

Application assistance: If you need assistance with your application, please contact Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Agriculture Development Coordinator at 802-828-3360 or chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us.

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