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.
Network Project Focus: This month we take a look at how the Network is addressing the strategic priority to Improve Viability of Farms and Food Businesses.

Grass-fed Beef Industry Development

The Farm Viability Indicators Task Force is wrapping up a project, led by the Intervale Center, to improve the grass-based beef industry. The project team identified best management practices and created financial analysis and budgeting tools for grass-based production models. The project team is nearly finished with creating a digital guide that will include key considerations to achieving profitability, sample budgets, and an Excel based budgeting analysis tool. The guide and budgeting tool will soon be available on Farm to Plate's new resources page.
The work of the task force builds off of grass-fed beef market research that revealed issues around producing consistent meat quality, developing and adopting efficient production practices, wholesale price points, and distribution logistics as bottlenecks to meeting interest from regional meat aggregators to have more animals sourced from Vermont producers. Using the findings from the market research and new guide and budgeting tools, plans are now in the works for the Production and Processing Working Group to host a convening of grass-fed beef stakeholders to determine the next steps of industry development.
Cows grazing at Meeting Place Pastures

Slow Money Vermont

Slow Money Vermont is developing lending, investment, convening, and communication opportunities which connect farm and food enterprises with investors in their communities. In December, Slow Money held their annual entrepreneurial showcase at Main Street Landing in Burlington. Five entrepreneurs presented their stories and business needs to 86 attendees, consisting of investors, service providers, and members of the general public with an interest in investing their dollars locally. Stay informed about upcoming events-the group is already planning the 2018 Showcase!-on the Slow Money Vermont Facebook page.

Staff Change Announcement at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund/Farm to Plate

Over the past 5 years, our Communications Director, Rachel Carter, has been instrumental in elevating the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund's approach to sustainable economic development and facilitating marketing collaboration among businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. She has been an instrumental member of the Farm to Plate Team, helping to create and expand our communications systems and reach while working with individual Network groups to assist with the creation and distribution of project related communications and marketing. Additionally, Rachel was a crucial part of developing Farm to Plate's Rooted in Vermont Campaign. She concluded her work with us in February due to health reasons and leaves all of us with a thoughtful article about the connections between sustainability and Vermont heritage. We wish her the best for a healthy recovery, and a prosperous and impactful future.

Connecting our sustainable heritage to economic development and jobs for Vermonters

Farm to Plate Newsfeed

Leaders, Schools and Partners Gather at Farm to School and Childcare Grant Awards

Major menu overhaul at The Skinny Pancake on March 1st

Get Ready to Apply for Vt. Produce Safety Improvement Grants - Round Two

NRCS announces April 20 deadline for VT farmers to apply for agronomic practices, high tunnel assistance

Energy Fund Offers Grant for Heat Recovery from Compost

Salvation Farms' Third Cohort Successfully Completes Workforce Development Training

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund expands business assistance services

Salvation Farms Re-establishes Lamoille Valley Gleaning Program

Join VAAFM and the Vermont Farm to School Network on March 14th at the Vermont State House Cafeteria 

On March 14, 2018, the Vermont State House Cafeteria will transform into a celebration of partnerships during the Vermont Farm to School and Childcare Grant Program Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) and the Vermont Farm to School Network.

VAAFM will invest $201,650 in 40 Vermont schools and childcare programs to develop a farm to school program that will help develop and sustain relationships with local producers, enrich the educational experience of children, improve the health of Vermont children, and enhance Vermont's agricultural economy through a comprehensive team approach.  This year's investment will impact more than 6,000 children, and was made possible through legislative appropriation, the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, and philanthropic funds.

To welcome the 29 new grantees, VAAFM Secretary Anson Tebbetts will host a handful of guest speakers who will help make the ceremony special, including: Secretary of Education, Rebecca Holcombe; Betsy Rosenbluth of Vermont FEED; Senator Jane Kitchel; and other State leaders, students and legislators. Learn more about the awards ceremony on the Farm to Plate website .

Governor Scott and 2017 Vermont Farm to School Program Grantees at the Vermont State House

Farm & Food Workshops + Industry Events
Food System Gigs

Vermont Compost Company,  Herd Manager
Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf,  Good Food Truck Prep Lead/Food Truck Driver
Green Mountain Farm to School,  AmeriCorps Farm to School Coordinator
Intervale Center,  Event Volunteer Coordinator
Vermont Foodbank,  Fresh Foods Coordinator
Lilac Ridge,  Caretaker
Philo Ridge Farm,  Pastry Chef
Philo Ridge Farm,  Sous Chef
Green Mountain Compost,  Dump Truck Driver
Green Mountain Compost,  Seasonal Production Assistant/Operator
Heartbeet Lifesharing,  Live-In Garden Manager
Vermont Creamery,  Creamery Supervisor- Second Shift
Vermont Creamery,  Human Resources Manager
Cedar Circle Farm,  Summer Day Camp Educator
Cedar Circle Farm,  Lead Educator
Vermont Tortilla Company,  Sales and Marketing Assistant
Smokey House Center,  Community Farm Internship
Philo Ridge Farm,  Farm Market General Manager
Philo Ridge Farm,  Market Garden Apprentice
Philo Ridge Farm,  Market Garden Crew
Cedar Circle Farm,  Farmstand & Coffee Shop Positions
Kids Gardening,  Executive Director