February 2019
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 Farmers Graduate from Livestock Profitability School
This month, 14 Vermont farmers graduated from the leading livestock profitability school, Ranching for Profit School (RFP), held in Burlington, Vermont.

Forty-three farmers and ranchers from Vermont, 12 states across the U.S., Canada and Australia examined their business, were challenged to examine practices they currently employ and explored new ideas to increase the profitability, productivity, and sustainability of their farming operations.
2018 Farm to Plate Annual Report
Farm to Plate is requesting the Legislature open a new chapter and decade of Farm to Plate’s existence by reauthorizing the Farm to Plate Investment Program for another 10 years. Our hope is that this year’s Annual Report begins to outline the challenges, opportunities, and approaches Farm to Plate will focus on now and into the decade to come.

Since 2010:
• Purchases of local food in Vermont have increased by $176 million to $289 million in total (12.9% of total food and beverage sales).
• 6,559 net new jobs and 742 net new businesses have been created.
• The percentage of food insecure Vermont households has dropped to 9.8% from 13.2%.

Network Update: Health CCT
Increasing Local Food Availability and Affordability in All Market Channels
Addressing Food Access in the State Health Improvement Plan

Over the past year, the Farm to Plate Health Cross-Cutting Team has explored ways in which the healthcare system can be used to increase access to healthy, local food for all Vermonters. As part of this effort, the group successfully submitted strategies on food access to the 2019-2023 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP).

The SHIP, released in December , lays out priorities and high-level strategies that “will be used to set direction for the next five years for budgets, policies, and programs across the health system – and by partners from the variety of sectors that contribute to health and equity.” One of these strategies is “ Health care incentives and flexibility: use health care payment reforms and regulatory levers (health insurance and health system regulation, health care organization, workforce licensure, etc.) to create incentives and encourage flexibility in using health care resources to support access to food, housing, and transportation. ” Food also appears in the Priority Health & Social Conditions and in the Health Outcomes & Measures.

Suzanne Kelley (Vermont Department of Health; co-chair of the Health CCT) will lead the action planning phase for these food access portions of the SHIP, and the Health CCT, along with other food and health partners , will be used as a vehicle to carry out the next steps: developing relationships and a shared agenda with the communities most affected by inequities; outlining the actions needed to implement these high-level strategies; identifying partners to carry forward the work; and developing performance measures to track progress. Contact Suzanne.Kelley@vermont.gov for more information on the CCT’s process and timeline.

Learning by Example: New Resource Celebrates Existing Food/Health Programs in Vermont
The Health CCT has also recently published the Vermont Food and Health Program Inventory , which compiles information on over 30 programs that address the intersection of food and health, from community-based nutrition education to a hospital supporting a community cold storage facility. The resource also identifies programs with an intended outcome of “increasing consumption of local food” or “assisting local farmers with costs,” which the Healthy CCT hopes will be helpful to health and food access organizations who would like to add an emphasis on local food to their work.
Featured Story
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Food System Events and Workshops
Please join the Vermont Forest Industry Network and the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board Forestry Committee on March 7 in Hardwick at a Meet Up to explore biochar’s potential as an innovative wood product.
 
Speakers include nationally-recognized speaker and author Kathleen Draper, U.S. Director of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence; Kaitlin Hayes, Vermont State Water Quality Specialist and manager of the Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge; Donna Pion and Luke Persons with Green State Biochar in Greensboro Bend, and Tom Vanacore with Rock Dust Local in Bridport, who will share their knowledge and experience with this intriguing product made from woody biomass.
 
Registration is $25, and includes coffee and light pastries, the morning program and lunch. After lunch we’ll travel to a nearby woodlot to tour a timber sale being logged by students at Green Mountain Technology and Career Center in Hardwick.
 
RSVP here   to reserve your spot! 
Food System Jobs
Farm Connex, Delivery Driver
Healthy Roots Collaborative, Gleaning Coordinator
Vermont Foodbank, Administrative Assistant
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Local First Vermont Program Manager
Cedar Circle Farm & Educatgion Center, Farmstand and Coffee Shop Positions
Vermont Community Garden Network, Program Assistant
Land for Good, Marketing Consultant
Center for an Agricultural Economy, Executive Director
Vermont Community Loan Fund, Director of Business Lending
Rutland Area Food Coop, Grocery Manager
Grow Compost of Vermont, Food Scrap Diversion Driver
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association, Quality Director
Three Chimney Farm, Assistant Production Manager
Sterling College, Livestock Manager
Flourish Farm, Sales Manager
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Field Staff Positions
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Local First Vermont Sales Associate Buffalo Mountain Food Coop, General Manager
Farm & Wilderness Foundation, Farm Internship
Larson Farm, Creamery 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 and Program Coordinator  |    Shane Rogers , Rooted in Vermont Project Manager
Kelly Nottermann , Communications Manager  |   Ellen Kahler , Executive Director

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