June 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
Product Brief: Racial Equity in the Food System
The Vermont Food System Plan Issue Brief on Racial Equity in the Food System dives into the current state of racial inequity in the food system, and offers pathways towards an equitable one. While food and agriculture can be a source of justice and equity for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities, the Vermont food system is built on hundreds of years of marginalization and inequity. As a result, BIPOC communities experience entrenched and varied challenges throughout the food system.
Key points from the brief:
  • The retention and recruitment of BIPOC living, working, and thriving in the state is critical for Vermont’s future. It is also crucial that Vermont’s food system acknowledge the significant economic impact of BIPOC in the state—through farming, food, labor, entrepreneurship, innovation, and more.
  • There are bottlenecks and gaps in financing, access to land, a lack of understanding in the technical assistance community, and limited outreach and support to BIPOC communities. 
  • Minimal data currently exists about food insecurity rates by race in Vermont, and a one-size-fits-all approach to increasing food security does not effectively reach all under-resourced BIPOC communities.
  • There are opportunities to diversify service provider programs and hiring to better align with and leverage the goals and strengths of BIPOC farmers and BIPOC-led groups, to model alternative farmland access and financing methods, and a more racially diverse workforce could help service providers serve BIPOC constituents.
  • Attempts to address racial equity in the Vermont workforce are often met with the mythology that there are not enough BIPOC in Vermont to be favorably impacted.
  • BIPOC should be included in the State of Vermont’s economic development planning efforts, and programs to support BIPOC business ownership should be created, among other suggested initiatives.
Deep rooted, structural racism in the food system has perpetuated racial inequity within farming and food production, to food access and food security, to the workforce, and beyond. Building an equitable food system, and the onus of better supporting, serving, and partnering with BIPOC communities in Vermont, cannot solely fall on BIPOC. White stakeholders can and must do more to support a more racially equitable food system, in consultation with and following the leadership of BIPOC to make equitable and just transformations.

Read the brief for details and recommendations.
Are you passionate about our local food system?
The new VT Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 was created collaboratively by dozens of authors and hundreds of stakeholders. Now join Farm to Plate for a webinar series on understanding and using the Plan for your own work.
Vermont Tech
Meat Cutting - Butchering Basics Series
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. It can be taken as a three-part series or individually by animal interest. Bill Cavanaugh, a butcher and meat-production educator, will be teaching the series. Bill’s passionate about well-raised meat and sharing his expertise with folks new to meat cutting.

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)
Localvore App Helps Feed Vermonters
Connecting Vermonters with local farmers, food producers, and restaurants has always been at the heart of the Localvore app, and the pandemic has brought that mission to the forefront of the business. With many Vermonters experiencing food insecurity, founders Dan White and Michael Nedell, tweaked the platform to work with Everyone Eats, facilitating free meals to Vermonters in need and payments to Vermont restaurants, food producers, and distributors.
Nominations Due June 24
2021 Con Hogan Community Leadership Award
The Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership recognizes Con and his life’s work by encouraging and rewarding leaders who:
  • Share his vision of a Vermont that places the highest value on the public good.
  • Seize the responsibility for making the vision real by:
  • Focusing on results,
  • using data and measurement to mobilize action,
  • working with people across diverse perspectives,
  • taking risks in pursuit of a vision, and
  • persisting through setbacks.
  • Mentor emerging leaders, formally and informally.
Big E Vendor Application Deadline: June 15, 2021
Farm to Plate Newsfeed
Since 2006, Front Porch Forum has been hosting regional networks of online local forums where neighbors, small businesses, nonprofits and municipal officials post about a wide variety of topics. Our mission to help neighbors connect and build community has remained consistent and has never been more relevant than it is today. Daily neighborly exchanges on FPF allow neighbors to get to know each other, sometimes for the first time. This connection leads to people feeling more invested in their communities and getting more involved in local projects and issues. Learn more about how Front Porch Forum got its start here in Vermont on this episode of the Home. Made. podcast.
Food System Events and Workshops
Food System Jobs
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Program Coordinator
Saint Michael's College, Asst. Manager, Farm & Food Program
Vermont Compost Company, Farm Chore Person
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
Middlebury College Dining Services, Multiple Positions
A Vermont Table, Dining and Catering, Head Chef and Culinary Assistant
Hunger Free Vermont, Communications Intern
Salvation Farms, Administrative Manager
Hunger Free Vermont, Food Security Advocacy Manager
Vermont Foodbank, AmeriCorps VISTA Positions
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Local Food Production Manager

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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
Lydia Pitkin, Office Manager & Program Coordinator
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director

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