Virginia Agricultural Cost Share Program (VACS)
The Virginia Agricultural Cost Share (VACS) is a water quality improvement program offered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Colonial SWCD, and the 46 other Districts across the state, administer the VACS program to provide the essential local knowledge and experience with the agricultural community required to ensure the most essential projects get accomplished for the region and the watershed(s).
The VACS program supports a variety of non-point source Best Management Practices (BMPs) for cost share reimbursement, ranging from land use conversions, buffer establishments, and cover crops, to highly engineered structural BMPs similar to storm water infrastructure. Cost share reimbursement vary per BMP practice, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have interest in getting more information, or feel free to dive right in here.
The Colonial District works closely with many other Agricultural Conservation Partners such as the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Some unique conservation projects are capable of being joint cost-shared through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the District’s VACS program, allowing for our conservation dollars to go even further. If you’re an NRCS program participant, or you have questions about a larger scale project, let us know and we are happy to explore your options.
Because demand for cost-share assistance is great, SWCDs support the implementation of only those plans that meet local water quality guidelines. Since some requests can't be satisfied, priority ranking of practices must be used to make sure funds are spent wisely. All practices in the program have been included because of their ability to improve or protect water quality. Many will also increase farm productivity by conserving soil and making wise use of fertilizers and other farm resources.