Farm First is a free, Vermont-based program providing farmers and their families with support, resources and information to reduce stress. We can help connect you to resources, including technical, legal or financial assistance, as well as to a counselor or trained peer. You don't have to be alone with your challenges. We're good listeners and can help you address the challenges you face. We're here to help.

Farm First News

Image: Drilled cover crops take root on a farm in Waterford, VT.

Vermont Pay for Performance Program Application Now Open for Farms

Program provides performance-based payments to Vermont farmers for reducing phosphorus runoff

January 5, 2023 | Montpelier VT - The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Vermont Pay for Performance (VPFP) program. VPFP is a new and innovative program that uses environmental modeling to provide performance-based payments to Vermont farmers for reducing phosphorus (P) losses from their agricultural fields.

Applications for the 2023 VPFP Program are due by January 20, 2023.
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NBC5 News Story on Farmer Peer Program

In this brief news story, the Farmer Peer program is highlighted.
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milk in crates

$1 million in working lands funding, covid recovery, 12/16/22 deadline

Primary producers of farm and forest products can now apply now for the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer grant opportunity! The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) has released a request for applications (RFA) totaling $1,000,000. This grant opportunity is possible due to federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds appropriated by the Vermont legislature to the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative anticipates releasing a second ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Grant opportunity in 2023, with available funds of up to $1,000,000. Examples of eligible primary production activities are farming, livestock rearing, maple sugaring, dairy, and logging.
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Farmers at Honey Field Farm harvesting daikon

Valley News Article: Program trains Upper Valley farmers to help others in mental health crisis

This great article in the Valley News profiles 3 of our Farmer Peers, and shares about the increasingly stressful work of farming. [Photo credit: Valley News Lebanon, NH, Jennifer Hauck.]
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health insurance scrabble

Farmers and Health Insurance Podcast

Agrisafe podcast series, Talking Total Farmer Health, takes up the topic of health insurance. Listen and learn.
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$600 Relief Payments for Farm Workers

The Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program
A one-time direct relief payment of $600 will be available to qualifying frontline farm, grocery, and meatpacking workers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Suicide Prevention Training for the Agriculture Community

Waterbury - Nov. 30th 1pm to 3:30 - CANCELLED
Williston - Dec. 3rd 9am to noon
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Farmer in greenhouse

Vermont Public Radio story on the Farmer Peer Network

In June, 2022, VPR caught up with farmer Valerie Woodhouse to talk about how stressful farming can be, and why she's becoming a Farmer Peer to help other farmers.
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