Conservation district releases online RAP quiz

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The Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District (OCNRCD) has released a new online educational tool for Vermont farmers and service providers. Sarah Damsell, district manager for OCNRCD, received a grant from Vermont’s Clean Water Fund to support the creation of the required agricultural practices (RAP) online quiz. The goal of the quiz is to provide an accessible, informative tool for livestock farmers of all size operations, to raise awareness of the RAPs and water quality improvement practices available to farmers. This engaging quiz explains the most important and confusing topics in the new RAPs through photos, videos, and fun facts. All this while providing relevant resources to help farmers meet state regulations and implement farm management practices for soil health and water quality.

Developing the quiz was a collaborative effort involving the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, UVM Extension, and the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts, and was reviewed by local farmers to produce a useful course. Since the accepted agricultural practices were updated to the required agricultural practices in 2016, this online course is especially relevant for farm producers today.

The RAP online quiz also gives farm operators the opportunity to receive two hours of water quality education credits from home. The RAPs now require all certified farms (including the newly designated certified small farm operations) to obtain four hours of water quality training credits every five years. These can be obtained through this quiz and by attending in-person workshops that offer credit through the Agency of Agriculture.

Though the RAP Online Quiz is not an exhaustive explanation of the RAPs, it does seek to provide information on confusing and relevant topics to producers. Orleans County Conservation District created three different versions, to ensure the information is relevant to the size of the producer’s farm operation. For more information, or to take the quiz, visit the Vermont Association of Conservation District’s website at www.rapquiz.vacd.org. — from OCNRCD.

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