The Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture announced that the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund is accepting applications for a new grant round focused on providing funding for emergency feed purchases. Applications are due February 17. Download application here.
“As we anticipated, feed has now become an urgent need among Vermont farmers affected by Irene. Many farmers who thought they’d have enough feed for their animals are now discovering that their hay and corn was severely damaged by the flooding and are faced with the unexpected cost of having to buy feed,” says Chuck Ross, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.
“Because of the current demand, available feed is more expensive,” says Ryan Torres, philanthropic advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation. “We have reserved funding to help farmers purchase feed to get them through the winter and we encourage those who are unable to buy feed to apply for assistance as soon as possible.”
Applications are available on www.vtfloodresponse.org and will be due February 17. Checks will be mailed to selected farmers the first week in March. The fund will continue to hold grant rounds for emergency feed assistance as long as funding remains available. Farmers who sustained other losses or damages from the storm and have not received a grant from the fund are encouraged to contact Ryan Torres, philanthropic advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation, at 802-388-3355 ext. 289, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers with surplus feed for sale or feed they are willing to donate are encouraged to contact the Agency of Agriculture. The Vermont Community Foundation will post information about available feed donations on its website, www.vtfloodresponse.org.
To date, the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund has awarded $1,576,300 to 177 farmers affected by Tropical Storm Irene. As of January 25, total contributions received or pledged to the fund exceeded $2.41 million.
Torres noted that the fund’s committee has worked to balance giving out many grants immediately in the aftermath of the storm with holding some funding in reserve to support emerging needs like feed and the purchase of seed in the spring.
The grant committee includes representatives from the Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, NOFA Vermont, Vermont Farm Bureau, Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, and University of Vermont Extension.