July 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.
Submit Your Farm to Plate Gathering Session RFP (Due August 6)
Annual Farm to Plate Network Gathering 2021: November 18-19, 2021 (all virtual)
Please note to update this new date in your calendars. We had originally announced dates but had not accounted for Veterans Day.

We are excited to be planning this year’s Farm to Plate Gathering, and looking forward to seeing many of you there. It will be a virtual event again this year, and is scheduled for November 18-19, 2021. While it was certainly tempting to do an in-person event this year, we felt it was wise to give everyone time and space to get comfortable with smaller in-person engagements before putting on a large event, and there’s still a high enough degree of uncertainty around Covid and what will be happening in the Fall, combined with needing to be in-doors, that we wanted to wait another year before hosting another in-person Gathering.

As part of our content development for this year, we are opening up a Request for Proposals for workshop sessions. For this year’s Gathering we are prioritizing submissions that relate to implementing priority strategies and brief recommendations from the Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030.

We are looking to fill a minimum of 10 time slots, with a standard session running 1.5 hrs, though we are open to shorter sessions or sessions that would span two 1.5-hr blocks for a total of 3 hrs (with a break in-between). You may apply as a breakout session organizer, or as a panelist if you would like to be considered to share your story as part of a longer session but are not able to organize and facilitate an entire session yourself.

Please carefully read the complete RFP, and then submit your proposals via the google form by Friday, August 6, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Jake Claro (jake@vsjf.org) and/or Sarah Danly (sarah@vsjf.org). We look forward to reviewing your submissions – thanks for all you do and have a great weekend!

Jake Claro
Farm to Plate Director
Vermont Food System Plan Brief Highlight
Issue Brief: Agritourism
The Vermont Food System Plan Issue Brief on Agritourism describes how Agritourism is a promising sub-sector of Vermont’s agricultural economy, encompassing direct-to-consumer sales of local food (e.g., farm stands, pick-your-own), agricultural education (e.g., school visits and workshops on farms), hospitality (e.g., overnight farm stays), recreation (e.g., hunting, horseback riding), and entertainment (e.g., hayrides, harvest festivals).

Agritourism enterprises allow farms to diversify their operations while preserving their core production model and the working landscape, retaining or creating additional jobs, and maintaining farming traditions. At the same time, the public becomes educated about the importance of agriculture to a community’s economic base, quality of life, history, and culture. However, opening a farm to visitors increases liability exposure and requires skills beyond food production, such as marketing and customer service.

Key Point from the Brief:
-       Consumer demand for local food and experiences on farms has let to rapid increases in agritourism around the world, and Vermont is as the forefront of that movement.
-       Farmers must acquire different skills than those used for producing food, and new facilities may be needed to accommodate visitors.
-       There are bottlenecks and gaps within permitting, liability, marketing, and lack of cohesion in the industry.
-       There are opportunities to participate in trainings, and there is demand for agritourism experiences both in and outside of Vermont.
  • The recommendations coming out of the brief focus on developing a standard set of best practices, gathering farmers, educators and tourism professionals to strategize, conducting market research, demystify regulations, and draft legislation that supports a limited liability statute for farms offering agritourism experiences (this statute has, in fact, just gone into effect on July 1st - Vermont Act 31 (H.89) an Act Relating to Limiting Liability for Agritourism - more information below). 

Read the Agritourism brief for details and recommendations.
Get Ready for Vermont Open Farm Week
Meet the farmers, plants, and animals that bring your favorite high-quality Vermont products to your plate!

Every farm is unique. Milk a cow and harvest a carrot at one farm, sit on a tractor and take in the smell of freshly cut hay at another, and then head over to another for wood-fired pizza night and a garden tour.
Limiting Liability for Agritourism
Farm Signage Available
On July 1, 2021, Vermont Act 31 (H.89), An Act Relating to Limiting Liability for Agritourism, went into effect. Act 31 acknowledges that there are “inherent risks” in participating in agritourism activities and shifts those risks to properly warned consumers. The act covers recreational, educational, entertainment, historical and nature-based activities on farms, such as farm tours and pick-your-own. It does not include on-farm lodging, retail establishments or farm stands.

To qualify for the limitation on liability, an agritourism host must post the required warning notice in a clearly visible location at or near the main entrance to each agritourism activity and include the warning notice language in every written contract between the agritourism host and participant.

UVM Extension is distributing a limited supply of printed signs at no cost to farms. Contact vtagritourism@uvm.edu if you would like a sign.

Click for more information about Act 31:
Sarah Axe Hired as New England Feeding New England Project Manager
The New England State Food Systems Planners Partnership (The Partnership) announces the recent hire of Sarah Axe as the New England Feeding New England (NEFNE) project manager to help increase the amount of food consumed in New England that is produced in New England to 30% by 2030.

The NEFNE project is currently looking for farm and food systems researchers who bring a strong equity lens to their research, who reflect the geographic, age, gender, racial, and ethnic diversity that make up our region, and who are interested in being part of a team that will explore how New England can meet 30% of its food needs within the region over the next 10 years.
Vermont Enacts Local Food Purchasing Incentive for Schools
$500,000 Appropriated for Year One
Governor Phil Scott signed H.106 and H.439 on June 8, 2021, enacting a Local Foods Purchasing Incentive for Vermont schools, and providing through the budget $500,000 for the first year of the incentive. This new law (now Act 67) will provide a direct incentive to schools who meet local purchasing targets in their school meal programs, allowing them to serve more fresh Vermont food on their menus.
Podcast Alert: Tasty Little State
Tasty Little State is a podcast of the Vermont RELEAF Collective, (Racial Equity in Land, Environment, Agriculture and Foodways), a growing collective and network of, by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) living on unceded Indigenous Abenaki lands known as Vermont. The podcast focuses on uplifting the voices and stories of BIPOC foodies, food entrepreneurs and activists, and to disrupt the narrative of Vermont's cultural homogeneity.
Meat Cutting - Butchering Basics Series
at Vermont Tech
Participants will learn how to break down beef, pork, chicken, and lamb into primals, subprimals, and case-ready cuts. Value added processing, such as sausage, smokes hams, and bacon will also be covered, with an emphasis on food safety, sourcing, and maintaining high utilization of whole animals.

  • Introduction to Butchering: August 21–22, 2021 (registration deadline: August 11)
  • Pig Butchery: September 18–19, 2021 (registration deadline: September 8)
  • Beef Butchery: October 9–10, 2021 (registration deadline: September 29)
NOFA-VT 50th Anniversary Events
NOFA-VT has a full season of opportunities to gather (both virtually and on farms) and celebrate 50 beautiful years of building their movement together while collectively imagining their next 50 years. Pre-registration is required for all events to help manage capacity.
Farm to Plate Newsfeed
Food System Events and Workshops
Food System Jobs
Green Mountain Farm-to-School, Food Hub Account Manager
Trenchers Farmhouse, Garden Assistant
Food Connects, Farm to School Coach
Child Nutrition Programs, Agency of Education, Grants Program Manager
Child Nutrition Programs, Agency of Education, Grants Management Specialist
New England Dairy Promotion Board, Farmer Relations Manager
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB), Clean Water Program Manager
Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District, Projects Coordinator
Philo Ridge Farm, Production Butcher
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Request for Applications & Proposals: Solar Array Project
Farmers to You, Customer Service Associate
Farmers to You, Human Resources Coordinator
LRSWMD, Site Attendant
Vermont Compost Company, Equipment Service Manager
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Farm Product Delivery Driver
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Dairy Herd Management Educator
Pete's Greens, Crop Manager
Burlington School District Food Service Project, Food Science Coordinator
Snug Valley Farm, Full-Time Farm Help
Salvation Farms, Administrative Manager
Vermont Foodbank, AmeriCorps VISTA Positions

Is your Farm or Food Business listed on the

Vermont Farm to Plate | www.vtfarmtoplate.com | Join Our Mailing List
Vermont Food System News is published by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
3 Pitkin Court, Montpelier, VT 05602

Jake Claro, Farm to Plate Director
Sarah Danly, Farm to Plate Network Manager
Lydia Pitkin, Office Manager & Program Coordinator
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director

Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, 3 Pitkin Court, Suite 301E, Montpelier, VT 05602