This is a challenging time for many farmers, and we want to remind you of the resources available to you through Farm First.
Free access to a Farmer Peer. Peers are trained in active listening, troubleshooting, and accessing resources. You can find one by location or discipline at: https://farmfirst.org/peer-support-network
- Free access to a counselor. While your immediate needs are in the fields, if you need support processing your response you can access a counselor by reaching out to Eva Griffin, the Farm First Resource Coordinator.
- During daytime working hours (8am-4:30pm M-F) call: 802-318-5538
- Outside of daytime work hours call: 877-493-6216 (use this if daytime # is busy)
- Email Eva at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free access to Resources & Resource Coordination. The Resource Coordinator can answer questions and make referrals to other organizations. The FarmFirst website also has a searchable database of resources. We have recently added "Disaster Relief" as a search category in this database, and we are adding new resources to that category daily. You can also check our news section for links to information and resources as this situation develops.
- Don't forget to breathe. You can reduce the fight-or-flight response in the body by taking big inhales and longer exhales. Calming down the nervous system will enable you to make better decisions.
The Farm First Team
At this time, local, state and federal officials are still making assessments to determine what federal assistance programs will be available to Vermonters throughout the recovery process. A USDA secretarial designation has been requested by the state of Vermont, which will open up access to relief programs in designated counties. The most important thing farmers can do right now is to report your losses to your local Farm Service Agency Office. It is critical to get this information to the Farm Service Agency as quickly as possible, to ensure your eligibility for programs that will become available well into the future.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has compiled a list of disaster response resources which are currently available to Vermont farmers.