May 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.
Farm to Plate to Present at
Vermont Workforce & Talent Summit
Thursday, May 30, 2019 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST
Hilton Burlington Hotel 
60 Battery St. 
Burlington , VT 05408
The Vermont Workforce & Talent Summit is the inaugural event in the Vermont Chamber’s Six Pillar Conference Series focused on promoting the long-term economic health of our state and providing opportunity for Vermonters. Seminar #4 from 1:30 - 2:15 pm will feature the Farm to Plate Network's Exploring Food System Careers.

From Inspiration to Occupation: Vermont’s Career Pathways Resources
Speakers: Advance Vermont: Roxanne Vought, McClure Foundation: Carolyn Weir, VT Farm to Plate Network: Sarah Danly, Agency of Education: Oscar Aliaga

In order to meet workforce demand, Vermonters need to know which jobs are available in their communities, and where they can acquire the required skills. They also need to be able to envision themselves along a career pathway: from where they are now to employment in a desired career, and beyond. But there is wide variation in industry needs, in educational contexts, and between individual job seekers, which requires multiple approaches to career exploration. This breakout session will focus on newly released resources that guide Vermonters from inspiration to occupation. We’ll learn about both cross-sector and sector-specific resources, through the McClure Foundation’s Pathways to Promising Careers and the Farm to Plate Network’s Exploring Food System Careers. As a group, we will examine the appropriate context for each of these approaches and identify which gaps in our state workforce development system could be addressed through these tools and whether additional tools may be needed. Attendees will walk away with knowledge of existing career pathways resources, an understanding of the process of developing a sector-specific resource, and be exposed to an example from Future Ready Iowa which, if implemented, could further build existing and new resources here in Vermont.
Vermont Grass-Fed Beef Farmers,
Ranching For Profit Grads, Receive Grants
Nine Vermont grass-fed beef farmers and graduates of the New England Ranching For Profit (RFP) School recently received grants from the Vermont Sustai nable Jobs Fund, totaling $67,000 of investment across all nine farms, as a means to act on their insights from RFP and accelerate the profitability of their businesses. The grants are supporting a diversity of projects ranging from: 
  • Portable fencing, animal handling, and livestock scales to improve labor efficiencies and better monitor average daily gain to improve per animal margin;
  • Sales and marketing improvements such as e-commerce website integration and inventory management, packaging and label design, marketing video production, and increased refrigerated storage to increase retail and institutional sales;
  • Improved grazing management and infrastructure, including frost free water systems for newly developed grazing management plans, and attendance to the intensive Green Pastures Grazing School
The grant support for these projects represents an important step in what has been a multi-year Farm to Plate effort to help Vermont’s grass-fed beef industry profitably scale. Stay tuned in the coming months for a more in-depth look at the grant recipient farms, their major “ah-has” from the RFP experience, and the challenges and opportunities facing their businesses and industry.
Network Update: Production & Processing
Farm to Plate’s Production and Processing Working Group (WG) has been focused on a number of different commodities in their discussions over the past year. This has allowed the WG to look at the opportunities and challenges for different groups of producers, processors and markets, and to plan specific meetings to brainstorm positive directions that can be taken that fall in our realm of influence. Some examples are the establishment of a Vermont Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Coordinator position, a New England Ranching for Profit week-long school this past winter for livestock producers and the beginnings of a feasibility study to look more deeply at markets for locally grown grains. Their next meeting in July will focus on the challenges for two markets - the regional wholesale vegetable market and the burgeoning hemp market. Vern Grubinger will bring his expertise with the vegetable and berry growing community and Stephanie Smith from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture address hemp.
2019 Farm to Plate Leadership Retreat
Work was accomplished, conversations were inspired, and connections were made at the 2019 Farm to Plate Network Leadership Retreat at the Red Clover Inn & Restaurant in Mendon in late April.
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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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