The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has created next steps for farmers in the wake of devastating flooding. We hope you are now safe from the disaster as we turn to recovery.
If you have specific questions about crops, damage, or other flood-related topics, please see our resources page at agriculture.vermont.gov/flood, call 802-828-5667, or email email@example.com.
Here’s what to do if you have experienced damage to your farm due to the floods:
• Document damage to your farm due to flooding and severe weather, to the best of your ability. Documentation details may vary depending on program but should include date-stamped photos, estimated crop loss, and infrastructure damage. In some circumstances, the damage may need to be observed in person.
• Report damage, including any damage to your home, on the Vermont 211 website or call 2-1-1. Note that there are different forms to complete for “personal” and for “business” damage. This information will help the state apply for federal FEMA resources.
• Contact your county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center. Reporting damage and losses to FSA will help Vermont receive a USDA disaster designation and unlock federal funding for agriculture. FSA may provide compensation for losses and financial assistance for repair work. Whether or not you have crop insurance, you may qualify for additional federal assistance. USDA also has a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, which provides information about some of the programs which may be available in the coming weeks. However, local Service Center FSA staff will be the most knowledgeable about federal programs.
• Complete the Flood Damage Survey from VAAFM, which was released on Sunday, July 30th. Survey data will be used to inform response efforts, effectively allocate resources, and advocate for future relief and recovery programs.
Additional steps that may also be helpful and relevant to your business:
• Contact your insurance company with potential crop loss, yield reductions, or infrastructure damages. They may send an adjuster to document any claims.
• Contact your lenders to request a waiver on loan payments during this emergency period.
• Connect with a trusted service provider to discuss your business viability questions and concerns. If you are looking for a farm viability advisor, contact the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program. Local Conservation District or UVM Extension staff may be able to assist you.
• Apply for local emergency funds that may be available to your business.
—NOFA- VT Emergency Farmer Grants can provide grants up to $5,000. Contact Bill Cavanaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-434-7154 to begin.
—Center for an Agricultural Economy Vermont Farm Fund can offer emergency loans up to $10,000 with 0% interest.
Additional local emergency funding opportunities may be available as the following funds are currently accepting donations:
• Intervale Recovery Fund
• VT Community Foundation – 2023 Flood Response & Recovery Fund
For more info: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/flood.