The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources/Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) work collaboratively to ensure the future viability of both agriculture and water quality in the state of Vermont. A memorandum of understanding, first created in 1998 and updated in 2017, outlines the process for coordination of agricultural enforcement and compliance between the two agencies. This involves not only enforcement, but a joint and shared effort towards agricultural education, program and policy development. For detailed information about the agricultural programs and ANR’s coordination with AAFM, contact Marli Rupe with the Clean Water Initiative Program.
In addition to enforcement, ANR and AAFM have closely coordinated on the Lake Champlain TMDL, a plan for meeting the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus entering the lake, in order to improve water quality. AAFM has a key role in development of local tactical basin plans, which are the responsibility of DEC, and outline comprehensive plans for water quality in each of the major watershed basins in Vermont. Both agencies worked together with the Agricultural Work Group to develop recommendations for Act 64, the State’s Clean Water Act, getting feedback from farmers and the general public. The close coordination between the two agencies to meet mutual goals is accomplished through weekly staff meetings to address programmatic and policy efforts.
Please visit the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets website for more information on agricultural technical assistance and funding opportunities.