§4871. Small farm certification

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/06/215/04871
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

06

:
Agriculture






Chapter

215

:
AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY






Subchapter

005A
:
SMALL FARM CERTIFICATION










 

§

4871. Small farm certification

(a) Small farm

definition. As used in this section, "small farm" means a parcel or

parcels of land:

(1) on which 10

or more acres are used for farming;

(2) that house

no more than the number of animals specified under section 4857 of this title;

and

(3)(A) that

house at least the number of mature animals that the Secretary of Agriculture,

Food and Markets designates by rule under the required agricultural practices;

or

(B) that are

used for the preparation, tilling, fertilization, planting, protection,

irrigation, and harvesting of crops for sale.

(b) Required

small farm certification. Beginning on July 1, 2017, a person who owns or

operates a small farm shall, on a form provided by the Secretary, certify

compliance with the required agricultural practices. The Secretary of

Agriculture, Food and Markets shall establish the requirements and manner of

certification of compliance with the required agricultural practices, provided

that the Secretary shall require an owner or operator of a farm to submit an

annual certification of compliance with the required agricultural practices.

(c)

Certification due to water quality threat. The Secretary may require any person

who owns or operates a farm to submit a small farm certification under this

section if the person is not required to obtain a permit or submit a

certification under this chapter and the Secretary determines that the farm

poses a threat of discharge to a water of the State or presents a threat of

contamination to groundwater. The Secretary may waive a small farm

certification required under this subsection upon a determination that the farm

no longer poses a threat of discharge to a water of the State or no longer

presents a threat of contamination to groundwater.

(d) Rulemaking;

small farm certification. On or before July 1, 2016, the Secretary of

Agriculture, Food and Markets shall adopt by rule requirements for a small farm

certification of compliance with the required agricultural practices. The rules

required by this subsection shall be adopted as part of the required

agricultural practices under section 4810 of this title.

(e) Small farm

inspection. The Secretary may inspect a small farm in the State at any time for

the purposes of assessing compliance by the small farm with the required

agricultural practices and determining consistency with a certification of

compliance submitted by the person who owns or operates the small farm. The

Secretary may prioritize inspections of small farms in the State based on

identified water quality issues posed by a small farm. The Secretary shall

adopt by rule, as part of the required agricultural practices, the required

frequency of inspection of small farms.

(f) Notice of

change of ownership or change of lease. A person who owns or leases a small

farm shall notify the Secretary of a change of ownership or change of lessee of

a small farm within 30 days of the change. The notification shall include the

certification of small farm compliance required under subsection (a) of this section.

(g)(1)

Identification; ranking of water quality needs. During an inspection of a small

farm under this section, the Secretary shall identify areas where the farm

could benefit from capital, structural, or technical assistance in order to

improve or come into compliance with the required agricultural practices and

any applicable State water quality permit or certification required under this

chapter.

(2)

Notwithstanding the priority system established under section 4823 of this

title, the Secretary annually shall establish a priority ranking system for

small farms according to the water quality benefit associated with the capital,

structural, or technical improvements identified as needed by the Secretary

during an inspection of the farm.

(3) Notwithstanding

the priority system established by subdivision (2) of this subsection, the

Secretary may provide financial assistance to a small farm at any time,

regardless of the priority ranking system, if the Secretary determines that the

farm needs assistance to address a water quality issue that requires immediate

abatement. (Added 2015, No. 64, § 3.)
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