June 2022
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
Future Farmers
The Vermont food system plan issue brief on supporting future farmers describes the shifting demographics in the state and the need to support the next generation of farmers to ensure a viable agricultural landscape. The types of support that are critical to their success include assistance in identifying and accessing suitable land, development of strong management and production capacity, supportive policies around markets, and access to capital. The new generation of farmers needs this type of support to create viable farm businesses, to keep the Vermont landscape in active agricultural use, and to preserve the character of our rural communities.

Key Points:
  • State and national trends show an aging farmer population with over 30% over the age of 65 in Vermont as of 2017.
  • Despite significant challenges, Vermont has a resilient and enthusiastic population of new and beginning farmers dedicated to building vibrant local communities through sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Access to suitable and affordable farmland is a major concern for the next generation of new and beginning farmers. Organizations are helping farmers find solutions through financial and business planning (Vermont Land Trust, Vermont Land Link, The Intervale, etc.), but challenges remain.
  • Farming requires a diversified skill-set including marketing, business management, and production; new and beginning farmers require technical assistance to ensure they have the requisite knowledge to be successful. 
  • Innovative land ownership models, succession plans for farmers transitioning to retirement, and the expansion of markets through improved distribution and marketing would help to ensure the success of future farmers.

Recommendations Include:
  • Expand funding and financial support for Vermont Land Trust’s land conservation and transition efforts, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Farm & Forest Viability Program, and UVM Extension’s production technical assistance for farmers. It should include increased financing and funding for buy-lease-sell opportunities, Farmland Access Program, land conservation, one-on-one technical assistance, bolstering producer associations, and increasing directed applied research and education.
  • Support for regional market development efforts, especially entrepreneur-driven aggregation and distribution activities, including co-marketing enterprises that allow for local sales associated with a specific farm brand while also providing aggregated regional market access.
  • Increase the development of non-traditional land access and financing models, including collaborative/co-located farms, local low-cost financing options, and programming for underserved populations; Increase education and advocacy efforts to inform state and federal programs about new and emerging business models. Involve farmers and business assistance providers in the development and implementation of state and federal regulatory, conservation, and financing programs.
Now Accepting Breakout Session Proposals!
12th Annual Farm to Plate Network Gathering
November 10, 2022
We are planning a fully in-person event for the 12th Annual Farm to Plate Network Gathering this year. This will be a one-day, in-person, event at Killington Grand Resort. In recognition of the need coming out of the depths of COVID-19 to create space for people to reconnect and for new connections to form, and local, national, and global events that are intensifying fissures in our society, supply chains, and climate, we are calling on Network members to propose workshop ideas that reflect this year’s theme, “Cultivating Connections.” More than ever, we need approaches, models, programs, and innovation in the private and public sectors alike that bring people together and strengthen the environmental, social, and economic fabric of our food system.

RFP Submissions Due: August 5, 2022
New On-Farm Composting Guide Available
Farm to Plate’s Food Cycle Community of Practice just released a new composting guide to help farmers looking to expand on-farm composting in collaboration with their local community. Let’s close regional gaps in the composting infrastructure!

This guide aims to clarify the regulatory landscape for both organic and conventional farms. It lays out potential options for community-oriented solutions to close regional gaps in the composting infrastructure currently available in Vermont. The guide also outlines strategies that small farms can utilize to create connections with residents, schools, food shelves, grocery stores, restaurants, and other organizations that manage food scraps and nutrients locally. This resource is available on the Vermont Food Cycle website.
2022 Legislative Session Recap from Rural VT
Rarely have we seen as many bills related to agriculture and forestry as in the 2022 session - Rural Vermont covered 19+ bills that were either directly related to policy priorities, that they supported, provided testimony for, or monitored. The bills were not just introduced, but the majority of them made it through passage by the general assembly.
F2P Network-Wide Exchange

The Vermont Farm to Plate Network-Wide Exchanges are convened periodically so that the entire Network listen and share updates across topic areas, strategy teams, and communities of practice. In general, these meetings provide people with the ability to be in touch with developments happening across the state and also at the federal level.

Watch the most recent one to get a feel for topics covered.
New England Feeding New England Quarterly Update Meeting
June 21, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Emily Spiegel from the Center For Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School will share a draft version of the Food Systems Resilience Assessment Tool. This resource is designed for municipal and regional planners, community organizations, and other food system advocates to plan and prepare for food system disruptions within a broader resilience framework. While various community food security and emergency food assessments and toolkits exist, we have identified a gap in the way food systems resilience more broadly - including issues of local and regional food production, supply, distribution, and equitable access - is incorporated in typical community and regional planning processes. This tool will provide planners and community leaders with the information and resources they need to integrate food system resilience into their planning and community development activities and ensure that their communities have a reliable, equitable food supply now and into the future. We look forward to hearing your questions and feedback about this draft tool on June 21.
Register Your Farm to Participate in Open Farm Week August 7-14, 2022
Registration is now open for the 8th annual Vermont Open Farm Week, taking place at farms across Vermont, August 7-14, 2022! This special week in August, hosted by DigIn VT, creates an opportunity for folks to connect with Vermont's working landscape, and it's a great way for farmers to engage with their customers and communities. Technical assistance for farms is available. Register now through July 1st.
Save the Date: August 10, 2022
VCRD’s 2022 Community Leadership Summit
The Vermont Council on Rural Development has announced their 2022 Vermont Community Leadership Summit! The event will take place on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont. The Summit agenda will include skills workshops, networking opportunities, community project panels, and forum discussions.

This event will be an all-inclusive summit aiming to bring new and established voices together from across Vermont. Anyone who is serving on local commissions, taking the lead or taking a stand in their community, or who is engaged in advancing a positive future for their town, city, or state is encouraged to join the conversation. Speakers and participants will represent the full diversity of Vermont community members and leaders including youth, municipal leaders, community organizers and volunteers, people with lived experience with critical challenges facing our communities, experts and technical assistance providers, regional leaders, and more.
Interested in becoming Vermont Farm to Plate sponsor?
Farm to Plate Website Update:
Final Stages of Website Launch
The Farm to Plate Team is in the very final stages of launching the new Farm to Plate website! The new site will feature the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030, new network structure pages, resources, activities, data and outcomes, and a new and improved food system map aka the food atlas. Right now we are currently migrating the final bits of content over from the old site. Once we are up and running, we will again be taking news, events and job submissions as well as updates to your listing on the food system map. Thank you for your patience and we look forward to sharing the live version of our new site this month!
Farm to Plate Newsfeed

As of May 27, 2022 we are pausing submissions as we finish content migration to launch the new Farm to Plate Website. Submissions will open again in late June.
Food System Events and Workshops

As of May 27, 2022 we are pausing submissions as we finish content migration to launch the new Farm to Plate Website. Submissions will open again in late June.
Food System Jobs
Cedar Circle Farm, Flower Harvester/Arranger
Farmers To You, Pack Team Member
Green Mountain Farm-to-School, AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator
Chittenden Solid Waste District, Drop-Off Center Operator - On Call
Vermont Foodbank, AmeriCorps Vista Positions
Vermont Foodbank, Operations Technician
Vermont Community Loan Fund, Director of Business Resources
Vermont Community Loan Fund, Loan Officer
Pigasus Meats, Part-Time Farm Help
Norwich Farmers' Market (Summer), Market Manager
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Local Food Production Position
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Just Cut Kitchen Staff
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Administrative Operations Coordinator
Rural Vermont, Operations Director
Vermont Foodbank, Community Kitchen Academy
Flack Family Farm, Farm Crew
Bennington Community Market, General Manager
NOFA Vermont, Mobile Oven Baker
Intervale Center, Food Access Assistant

As of May 27, 2022 we are pausing submissions as we finish content migration to launch the new Farm to Plate Website. Submissions will open again in late June.
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Vermont Food System News is published by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
3 Pitkin Court, Montpelier, VT 05602

Jake Claro, Farm to Plate Director
Kelly Dolan, Farm to Plate Network Manager
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director
Becka Warren, Food Security Plan Project Manager
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director

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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, 3 Pitkin Court, Suite 301E, Montpelier, VT 05602