Seven Tips for Completing the Working Lands Assistance Application

Editor’s note: The following post from our colleagues at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets provides updated information about applying for Vermont pandemic relief programs for farm, food and forest businesses in Vermont.

The Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application combines three different bills and a variety of eligibility components into one application. We’ve built this application to do most of the difficult thinking on the back end, and in doing so, we understand that has caused some confusion for applicants.

Read this quick summary regarding eligibility and if you still aren’t sure, just go ahead and log in to begin the application – the first section of the application will assess your eligibility on the spot, letting you know before you continue on. This should only take 15 minutes.

  1. Assume that you are eligible! We know that interpreting the eligibility flowchart is confusing but we have built these programs to be as inclusive as possible. So, please head into the application with the assumption that there is funding available for you.
  2. If you have an agricultural or forest products business, you are likely eligible. Eligible sectors include farmers, commercial processors, commercial slaughterhouses, value-added food businesses, farmers markets, producer associations, and forestry products business. Here is the full list of eligible sectors and their definitions.
  3. What is net profit? There are some misperceptions out there about whether business needed to have a net profit between March and August. Net profit only applies to some applicants; for others it is irrelevant. Need some help figuring out if you had a net profit? We’ve created this worksheet to help with that!
  4. The number of W2 employees refers to both owners and non-owners. This component also only applies to some not all, applicants.
  5. Most businesses must be open at the time of application or have a plan to reopen. Don’t overthink this piece too much.
  6. The application will automatically save when you complete a page and hit next, so if you don’t have a piece of documentation on hand, you can add it to your application at your convenience.
  7. You can get individual assistance completing your application. Set up a time to meet with a service provider prior to September 18.

Log In or Register Now to Confirm Your Eligibility

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Personal Coaching Returns

By Mary Peabody, WAgN Director

When we began offering personal coaching sessions last May I did not imagine we’d still be in the throes of the pandemic this many months later. But, here we are and life continues to be chaotic and uncertain. These last couple months have been a rollercoaster of events and the world seems upside down on so many levels. Chances are good some aspect of your life is not feeling great right now and I’d like to be there for you.

For the next several months I will be offering our friends in the food system up to 3 free 45-minute coaching sessions. Together, we’ll focus on your situation and work to get you a practical action plan for the near future.

Coaching helps people get past their obstacles in order to create the results they want in life, work, relationships and personal growth.

I may not know what the future holds but I am a great listener. As a trained coach, I have access to some amazing tools to help you organize your thoughts and create positive momentum in your life. And I have 30 years of experience in farm and business coaching.

Coaching helps people get past their obstacles in order to create the results they want in life, work, relationships and personal growth. I don’t tell people what they should do; instead I ask powerful questions in an effort to help you find the answers that always lie within. Coaching is particularly helpful if you feel out of balance — and who doesn’t these days? You might find yourself working too much, playing too little. You might feel something is missing but can’t quite put your finger on it. You are facing a major life transition, or perhaps you just want more joy in your life.  We can talk about your business, your family, your health concerns, finances or the world in general – it’s totally up to you.

To get started complete this simple request form and I’ll be in touch to schedule a time that works.  Coaching sessions are held either though phone or video conference so distance is not an issue.

If you’re reading this consider yourself invited!

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Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program Now Open

$8.5 Million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding is now available to a wide variety of agricultural, food, and forestry businesses and organizations through the Vermont COVID-19 Agriculture Assistance Program (VCAAP) Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Application.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Farmers, commercial processors, commercial slaughterhouses, farmers’ markets, value-added food product businesses, forest products businesses, dairy producers or processors, and agriculture producer associations are eligible.
  • Applicants must have gross annual income of at least $10,000 to apply.
  • Applicants must be without an active enforcement violation that reached a final order with VAAFM and/or ANR.
  • Applicants must have verifiable losses and/or expenses since March 1, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

How to Apply

  1. Determine if your business or organization is eligible for assistance by utilizing the Agriculture and Working Lands Eligibility Flowchart.
  2. Gather the following documentation: 2019 Tax Return, 2019 and 2020 Income Statements broken out by month, as well as documentation of losses incurred since March 1, 2020 that are related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Applicants should also have available the information that is captured in a W-9 form, but applicants are not required to submit a signed W-9 with their applications.
  3. Attend or view an Agriculture and Working Lands Webinar for Applicants. You may wish to initiate an application in the system prior to attending a webinar to become familiar with the application questions and layout. However, we strongly encourage applicants to wait to submit an application until after you have attended or viewed one of the webinars.
  4. Review the Agriculture and Working Lands Application Guide and reference the VCAAP Frequently Asked Questions.
  5. Complete and submit your application by October 1, 2020. If you need assistance throughout this process, refer to our list of Agriculture Business Support partners. Please keep in mind that grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the application may close prior to October 1 if all funds are expended.

For more information:

(802) 828-2430 select #9
AGR.CovidResponse@vermont.gov

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