Letter written by Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension Vegetable and Berry Specialist
September 2, 2011
Dear Vermont Growers:
I have just learned that the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets has determined that any and all edible produce exposed to flood waters, above or below ground, may not be sold. Please disregard any previous guidance about washing and sanitizing root crops or winter squash that were flooded. No flooded produce may be sold for human consumption. I will share any other details as they are posted.
I deeply regret the economic hardship this will cause growers. My focus now is working with partners to assure that federal and philanthropic funds will make a significant dent in covering your losses. Extension personnel will work hard to help farmers accurately report losses, to raise philanthropic funds, and provide advice to funders to help distribute them fairly. If I can assist in documentation of your losses, or anything else, just let me know.
Please inform your customers of the different funds they can contribute to that will support farms through this difficult situation:
- The Vermont Community Foundation will be making grants to support farms of any size that have sustained losses. http://www.vermontcf.org/give-now/ or call 802-388-3355.
- NOFA-Vermont’s Farmer Emergency Fund assists organic farmers with grants and zero-interest loans http://nofavt.org/programs/farm-financial-resources/farmer-emergency-fund or call 802-434-4122.
- The Vermont Farm Fund will be offering small, low interest loans to farmers, see: http://hardwickagriculture.org/donate.html or call 802-472-5840.
- The Intervale Farmers Recovery Fund will assist farms in the Intervale. http://www.intervale.org or call 802-660-0440.
Low interest loans are also available from other sources and I am happy to provide that information.