Monday, November 13, 2006 - 10:15 AM

Overview of Operations and Priorities for the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station.

Michael E. Vayda, Univ of Vermont, 110 Morrill Hall, 246 University Pl, Burlington, VT 05405

The Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station receives $1.37 million in federal Hatch support which is roughly divided into thirds to support infrastructure (a dairy farm, a horticultural farm, a maple research station, several research greenhouses, and research lab renovations), 34 graduate student assistantships, and an internal competitive research program to address local, regional and national needs.   The principal research areas addressed by the competitive pool encompass: Water and Soil Quality and Management, Community Development and Planning, Farm Profitability, On-Farm Energy Generation and Secondary Revenue Generation, Invasive Species Management, Host Pathogen Interactions, Mammary Gland Function, Development, and Disease, Impacts of Global Climate Change on Plant Diversity, Food Safety and Food Byproduct Development, and Nutrition, Obesity Prevention and Health Management.  The State match of $2.35 million is primarily used for partial salary support for faculty with fractional appointments in the VT-AES, with some operational support for infrastructure.  With level funding for more than a decade and continual inflationary pressure, the VT-AES is having difficulty maintaining farm facilities in an acceptable state of  repair, and has experienced annual erosion of Hatch funds available for the competitive research pool.  This is a very alarming condition as the competitive pool has been a means to address local priorities and has provided seed support for projects that have leveraged $9.0 million in extramural funding in FY06.