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Vermont Wine Grape Growers Get Boost from $40,000 EPA Grant

Release Date: 01/31/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2005; Release # sr050118

BOSTON: A Vermont project that helps reduce the risks of pesticides used in wine grape production has received a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This grant was one of two given out this year by EPA New England under its Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.

The University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science received the grant to fund its project, “Reducing Pesticide Risks in Cold Climate Wine Grape Production.” The pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program is meant to support research and education that reduces risks posed by pesticide use.

Wine grape production is a new crop for northern New England and this project is developing the informational and educational materials for growers in the early stages of wine grape production. This project will be the foundation of new, environmentally sound pest management strategies for this emerging new agricultural industry in New England.

"This project will help farmers with this new regional crop to manage pests without doing unnecessary damage to the public or the environment," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Integrated Pest Management shows us how to manage pests minimizing the risks to the health of our citizens or our environment.”

The other PESP grant was awarded by EPA to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for its project, “Yardscaping: Minimizing Reliance on Pesticides by Example Using Demonstration, Outreach and Integrated Pest Management Training.” This project will feature demonstration sites in Portland and Brunswick, Maine.

The project in Portland is targeted towards helping homeowners and landscapers select the best variety of turf and use fewer lawn chemicals to maintain the turf. The Brunswick project will feature low input practices on high-use public athletic turf. This site will be particularly beneficial to municipal park and public space managers. This project contributes to EPA’s “Lawn and the Environment Initiative” which was started in 2004 by EPA headquarters and the Center for Resource Management, a non-profit in Utah.

EPA also this month announced a total of nearly $100,000 in grants for projects through EPA's Strategic Agricultural Initiative. These grants support projects that produce small acreage crops, including cranberries, sweet corn, apples and strawberries. Grants from both programs are meant to reduce risks to people and the environment from pesticide use.

Since the agricultural initiative began in 2001, EPA New England has awarded more than $330,000 to projects that benefit New England agriculture. Since 1996, more than $400,000 has been awarded to New England states under the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.

For more information on EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program visit:

Related Information:
Pesticides Grants
Pesticide Program
Pesticides Enforcement