Vermont's Farm to Plate  food system plan (2011-2020) is being implemented statewide by the 350+ member organizations of the  Farm to Plate Network to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.
Protecting and Expanding Affordable and Environmentally Sustainable Farmland in Agricultural Production

Succession Planning Convening

The Financing Cross-Cutting Team is working with partners from the Vermont Land Trust, Intervale Center, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Dirt Capital, and the Vermont Employee Ownership Center to organize a succession planning convening focused on examining capital needs for farmland succession. The convening will seek to inform how succession deals are currently taking place and identify where increased capital and funding could strengthen existing models, where alternative financing could increase the rate of successful transfers, and examine limitations and gaps in current models and transactions to identify potentially new and innovative succession financing models. The organizing team is aiming to hold the event in January 2019.

Ranchers for Profit Workshop and School Coming to Vermont

Dave Pratt, owner of Ranch Management Consultants and teacher of the renowned Ranching For Profit School, is coming to Vermont on two separate occasions (Don't be thrown off by the rancher terminology - Dave's work at its core is designed for pasture-based livestock producers in any region). Dave will be running a day-long workshop "The Three Secrets for Increasing Profit" on October 16 from 9:30am-3:30pm at Green Mountain Girls Farm in Northfield. Register for the workshop here. In 2019, Dave will be back in Vermont in Burlington from Feb 3-9th running the full Ranching For Profit School. Both the workshop and school are designed for livestock farms of all scales and stages of development, and participants will leave with insights and tools they can apply immediately to simplify their business, improve their land, and increase profitability.

The Production and Processing Working Group has spearheaded the effort to bring Dave and the Ranching For Profit School to Vermont as part of a larger initiative to strengthen Vermont's grass-fed beef industry. Additional grass-fed beef resources can be found in the resources section of the Farm to Plate website.

Farmland Access Working Group Meeting

The Farmland Access and Stewardship Working Group came together at the end of August - its first meeting under new Chair Graham Unangst-Rufenacht of Rural Vermont. After hearing updates from the Farmland Access Task Force, especially around Vermont Land Link, the group discussed potential approaches to working on the topics of solar siting, agroforestry, and succession "sticking points". Cris Coffin of Land for Good also presented an update on the Farm Bill, including key differences between the House and Senate bills. While much has changed since the Working Group meeting, and the previous Farm Bill expired on September 30th without a replacement, some of the key concerns remain the same - for example, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is one of the "orphan programs" that is now without funding.   Stay up to date with the latest Farm Bill developments at American Farmland Trust.

Students in the school garden at Flood Brook in Londonderry VT- a 2016 and 2017 FTS grantee
2019 Requests for Proposals for Infrastructure and Child Nutrition Grants Announced

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets Farm to School Program released the 2019 Requests for Proposals for Infrastructure and Child Nutrition Grants on October 2, 2018. The VAAFM Farm to School team is seeking applications from eligible Vermont-based schools and early care providers to expand and improve food programs and/or to create or expand farm to school programs by integrating the classroom, cafeteria, and community (the 3 C's of farm to school). Grantees best achieve this when they take a holistic approach to incorporating the 3 C's of farm to school into their program. Together, the 3 C's support healthy children, healthy agriculture, and healthy communities.

Up to seven Farm to School Child Nutrition applications will be awarded at $15,000 each, to be spent during a 2-year grant period, with additional comprehensive technical assistance, professional development and coaching, offered at no charge to grantees. Additionally, up to $32,000 will be available in $1,000 Infrastructure Grants to help schools and early care providers improve local food use. Learn more at  the program website.
Farm to Plate Newsfeed

Farm & Food Workshops + Industry Events

October 13-14, Middlebury:  Introduction to Hard Cider Making
October 17, Colchester:  USDA State Technical Committee Meeting
October 17, Hardwick:  Hire Right: It's a Journey
October 22-26, Randolph:  Essential Principles of Cheese Making
October 28, Burlington:  Taking Root Student Symposium
November 1-2, Killington:  8th Annual Farm to Plate Network Gathering
November 5, Randolph:  Meat Cutting: Butchering Basics
November 7, Middlebury:  ACORN's Producer, Buyer, Distributor Forum
November 8, St. Albans:  Growing the Working Landscape Conference
November 8, White River Junction:  Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course
November 13-14, Randolph:  Sausage and Smoking

Food System Gigs

Intervale Center,  Farm Business Specialist
Black Dirt Farm,  Produce Manager
Black Dirt Farm,  Hen & Worm Wrangler
Hunger Free Vermont,  AmeriCorps VISTA
Ceres Greens,  Grower
Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation,  Agricultural Credit Analyst
Lawson's Finest Liquids,  Food Curator
Sugar Mountain Farm,  Farm Hand
Black Dirt Farm,  Office Manager
UVM Food Systems Graduate Program,  Food Systems Graduate Program Coordinator
von Trapp Farmstead,  Dairy Farm Help
Cabot Creamery Cooperative,  Sustainability Programs Specialist
Vermont Retail and Grocers Association,  Programs & Membership Manager