UPDATED OCTOBER 28, 2020, US Virgin Islands – As a result of the economic crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) in conjunction with the Office of Senator Allison DeGazon, has secured $100,000.00 to support local farmers. This economic impact payment is designed to support farmers as they continue to supply our local economy with fresh local produce at locations such as markets, school lunch programs, hospitals, senior citizen facilities, etc.

Interested Farmers will need to submit a “2020 COVID-19 Farmer Stimulus Application” to a cashier inside VIDA offices or via email at: grants@doa.vi.gov by November 25, 2020 at 11:59pm AST.

Late applications or those with missing information will not be considered or accepted. Please be sure to include copies of your 2018/2019 DLCA Farmer’s Licenses and Harvest Reports as requested.

How does it work/who qualifies for the farmers stimulus check?

Any farmer who has been licensed with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs for the last 2 years and whose farms are currently in production will qualify for this payment.

What is the amount each farmer will receive?

Each qualified farmer will be mailed a one-time stimulus payment from the Department of Agriculture. The final payment amount will be divided equally among the qualified farmers.

When will payment be received?

Payments are anticipated by the end of January 2021.

Is the money yours, free and clear?

Yes, this is not a loan and you do not have to repay the Department of Agriculture.

All questions about this application can be submitted to info.doa@doa.vi.gov or via phone at (340) 778-0997, on St. Croix; (340) 774-5182, on St. Thomas; or (340) 776-6274, on St. John.

Apply Now!

###

In accordance with 44 CFR §9.8 for Executive Orders 11988 & 11990

Proposed Wind Resiliency Retrofit

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Notification is hereby given to the public of the intent of the Department of Homeland Security- Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA) to provide federal funding to the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, St. Thomas, USVI, as subrecipient for the proposed retrofitting of a USDA-monitored slaughterhouse, food storage and animal testing facility through the Pre- Disaster Mitigation Competitive (PDMC) Grant Program. The purpose of the PDMC Grant Program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding in future disasters. This notification is given in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive Order (EO) 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and 44 CFR Part 9, regulations for implementing EO 11988-11990.

The proposed mitigation project is for the St. Thomas Abattoir (slaughterhouse) located at Estate Nadir, Bovoni Road, St. Thomas, USVI 00802 (18.32012, -64.87805). The scope of work includes the installation of wind-rated louvered windows, wind-rated entry doors, and roof straps as well as the strapping and anchoring of exterior electrical and mechanical equipment. Also included in the scope of work is an analysis of the building’s continuous load path (CLP) with additional hardening measures to follow as needed to improve the structure’s wind load capacity.

This action would take place within the 100-year floodplain. Alternatives considered include: 1) taking no action 2) relocating the structure, or 3) the proposed alternative, which is hardening at its current location. FEMA has determined that hardening the structure at its current location is the most practicable alternative to ensure the facility and its occupants are out of harm’s way. FEMA has also determined that investment of funds to reduce the risk of structural failure in the face of an extreme wind event is in the public interest. Potential impacts to water quality or aquatic habitat are anticipated to be temporary during construction and minimized through best management practices and conservation measures incorporated from resource agency recommendations and required regulatory permits.

Comments about this project, potential alternatives, and floodplain impacts may be submitted in writing within 15 days of the date of this publication to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region II – Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation, Mitigation Division, One World Trade Center, Suite 53, New York, NY 10007 or via email to FEMAR2COMMENT@fema.dhs.gov. If substantive comments are received, FEMA will evaluate and address the comments as part of the environmental documentation for this project.

Public Notice – St. Thomas Abattoir

AUGUST 27, 2020, US Virgin Islands – When Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. issued his Stay at Home Order effective August 17, 2020 that closed all non-essential businesses, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) remained open as an ESSENTIAL BUSINESS due to our participation in the local production of food; a matter of national security. Our employees have continued to diligently show up to work and committed themselves to the our goal of increasing food sovereignty in the Virgin Islands. We thank our employees for taking this threat seriously and thriving despite the circumstances.

As a token of appreciation to our employees for their hard work and dedication in ensuring the continuation of operations at the VIDA during this challenging time, we will be granting all employees two additional days off for Labor Day Weekend. As such, the VIDA will be closed Friday, September 4, 2020 through Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We will reopen on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 for business.

For more information on the department, please visit our website at https://doa.vi.gov or email us at info.doa@doa.vi.gov .

###

AUGUST 25, 2020, US Virgin Islands – In the past year, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) in conjunction with the UVI Cooperative Extension Service Environmental Health and Climate Team, successfully applied for and became a part of the US Drought Monitor which shows the location and intensity of droughts across the United States and its Territories. This became extremely important when the US Virgin Islands experienced a drought beginning in April 2020 which did not abate as expected in May and has continued with minimal relief.

This designation (its first for the St. Thomas-St. John district), qualifies the Virgin Islands for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) which offers payments to eligible livestock producers and grazed forage crop acreage. These payments can help cover up to 60% of monthly feed costs, which is calculated by using the normal carrying capacity of the grazing land. Herein lies another opportunity for assistance for farmers to access funding. Please utilize it for your benefit.

To be eligible for LFP, persons or legal entities must be registered with the USDA FSA; a U.S. citizen, resident alien, partnership of U.S. citizens, a legal entity organized under State law, or an Indian tribe or tribal organization defined in the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act that:

  • Own, cash or share lease, or be a contract grower of covered livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of a qualifying drought.
  • Provide pastureland or grazing land for covered livestock, including cash-rented pastureland or grazing land as of the date of the qualifying drought that is:
    • Physically located in a county affected by a qualifying drought during the normal grazing period for the county
  • Certify that they have suffered a grazing loss because of a qualifying drought; and
  • Timely file an acreage report for all grazing land for which a grazing loss is being claimed.

This benefit will be distributed to farmers beginning around July 21, 2020. For more information on the timeline of assistance, broken down by island, please see the chart below.

Island Drought Category You may get assistance payments equal to:
St. Croix D3 (extreme drought) Four months
St. Thomas D2 (severe drought) One month
St. John D3 (extreme drought) Four months

To apply, please contact USDA FSA for an appointment at (340) 773-9146, x105. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3hG9j53 or email us at info.doa@doa.vi.gov.

VIDA would like to thank US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett for their assistance in securing this funding.

Please click here for USDA’s Livestock Forage Fact Sheet.

###

TOP