April 2021
Farm to Plate is Vermont’s food system plan being implemented statewide to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.
Vermont Food System Plan Brief Highlight
Tax & Legal Services
The Vermont Food System Plan Issue Brief on Tax & Legal Services describes the tax and legal challenges and opportunities facing Vermont farm businesses, farm-based food enterprises, and farms in transition to the next generation.
 
Key points from the brief:
  • There is insufficient specialized training for providers of bookkeeping, tax, and legal services for farmers. The assistance that exists is often unaffordable and inaccessible, as there is a growing shortage of rural attorneys. 
  • There is opportunity to create additional continuing legal education training, and Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems has opened a legal food hub designed to provide pro-bono legal assistance to qualified farmers.
  • 60% of Vermont farmers over the age of 55 do not have a legal structure in place to facilitate the gradual transfer of farming assets to the next generation. In many cases, farms were set up as sole proprietors rather than an LLC or an LLC with an S Corp election. As a result, many farms cannot take advantage of tax benefits, retirement savings, and farm transfers.
 
Increasing funding for the expansion of technical assistance in these areas by offering more training to existing providers and creating incentive programs to attract new capacity to rural areas, funding civil legal aid programs, and increasing collaboration amongst legal, tax, and business planning service providers are among several recommendations to address Vermont’s bottlenecks and opportunities in Tax & Legal Services.
Farm to Plate Webinar:
Putting the Plan to Use: Grant Applications
April 15, 2021 12:00pm

The new Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 was created collaboratively by dozens of authors and hundreds of food system businesses and organizations. It reflects the work you’re already engaged in and illustrates the role you play in the bigger picture of Vermont’s food system. In other words, it can be used to strengthen your own case for funding. In this webinar we will be discussing how your organization, business, institution etc. can use different pieces of the Plan to strengthen applications for philanthropic, state, and federal grant funding. Participants will also leave with a template for including language about the Plan in applications and letters of support. Food organizations and businesses of all types, scales, and stages are encouraged to attend. 
Farmers sought for interviews for UNH study on Farm Viability
The Food Systems Lab at the University of New Hampshire is conducting a research study about increasing farm income and local and regional food production in New England. Participation involves a conversational interview (on the farm or virtual) that lasts about an hour. Participants will be offered one $50 prepaid debit card per farm. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented farmers are especially encouraged to participate. All types of farms and all ways of farming will be considered. To be considered for an interview, please fill out this 10-minute online survey: tinyurl.com/unhfarmersurvey. For questions, contact Dr. Ike Leslie at isaac.leslie@unh.edu or 603-862-2384.
Agritourism Webinar Series
Next Webinar: Tuesday, April 20th at 12 p.m.
CULINARY LENS ON AGRITOURISM

Food is the ultimate connector and a big part of why we travel. We share stories, form relationships and build communities around the table. In this gathering, we will hear stories from around the world of the relationship between agritourism and culinary tourism. Focused on food and drink tourism, our panelists will describe how they foster shared experiences that embrace an authentic taste of place -- and attract tourists interested in supporting localized foodways and rural livelihoods.
VT Foodbank Asks You to Save the Date!
Friday, May 7 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nourishing Conversation: A Dialogue About Food Justice
 
Please join the Vermont Foodbank for our first ever virtual conference! Workshops will include grant writing, food justice, food access, addressing food insecurity on college campuses, and much more!
 
Want a taste of the conference before May 7th? Join the Foodbank and community leaders for a small panel discussion at “Table Talk Tuesdays” April 27th and May 4th from 7 to 8 p.m.
May 13, 2021 is #Farm24VT Day
#Farm24VT is a day-long social media celebration of agriculture, food, and dairy in Vermont.

Farmers, agribusinesses, and others in the agriculture sector will share photos, videos, and stories, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how your favorite local foods get to your table. It takes a lot of passion, commitment, and hard work. Farmers and their partners are excited to share how we love and care for the land, our animals, and our communities. 

#Farm24VT is a project of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and the Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance. It is funded in part by a generous grant from Vermont Breakfast on the Farm.
Farm to Plate Newsfeed
Food System Events and Workshops
Food System Jobs
Sterling College, Draft Animal Faculty & Manager
Sweetland Farm, Farm Stand Manager
Inn at Shelburne Farms, Packaged Food Coordinator
Vermont Compost Company, Fulfillment and Operations Team Member
Vermont Community Loan Fund, Investment & Grant Manager
Sterling College, Assistant Dean of Student Life
Vermont Creamery, Marketing & Sales Coordinator
Vermont Creamery, HR Coordinator
Salvation Farms, Gleaning Coordinator
The Fort Ticonderoga Association, Food & Beverage Manager
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Development & Communications Coordinator
Grass Cattle Company, LLC, Assistant Ranch Manager
Champlain Islands Farmers' Market, Farmers' Market Manager
Skinny Pancake, Kitchen Manager
Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Finance Manager
Vermont Compost Company, Food Residuals Program Manager
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Community Health Program Manager
Philo Ridge Farm, Food & Beverage Manager
Twin Farms, Farm Manager
Philo Ridge Farm, Assistant Livestock Manager
Maple Wind Farm, Director of Marketing
University of Vermont Extension, Grazing & Livestock Program Coordinator
Farmers to You, Pick and Pack Crew Member
Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center, Full Season Lead Baker
Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center, Full Season Production Crew
Vermont Economic Development Authority, Agricultural Loan Officer

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Vermont Food System News is published by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
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Jake Claro, Farm to Plate Director
Sarah Danly, Farm to Plate Network Manager
Shane Rogers, Farm to Plate Communications Manager
Lydia Pitkin, Office Manager & Program Coordinator
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director

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