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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

F2P Update ~ November 2011

Vermont’s Farm to Plate Network

F2P Network LogoWith 33 goals and 60 high priority strategies, there’s a lot of work to be done over the next 10 years, as we continue to transform our regional food system. No single farm, business, non-profit organization or state agency is going to be able to pull this off. We need everyone working together in a more coordinated way, if we’re going to be successful. To that end, the F2P Network will be the vehicle for coordinated action among food system stakeholders committed to implementing the strategies laid out in the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan.

On October 3 and 4, 2011, Governor Peter Shumlin, state agency administrators, congressional staff, and about 150 food system leaders from across the state met to launch the Farm to Plate Network. At the two day gathering, participants learned about the importance and proper functioning of networks and formed Working Groups to start developing a game plan and timeline for implementing high priority strategies, tracking our combined progress over time towards the 33 goals, and developing the financial resources needed to do this work.

Since the Network Gathering, VSJF staff have been busy coordinating Working Group meetings. The six Working Groups are:

  • Farmland Access and Land Use
  • Consumer Education and Marketing
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Technical Assistance for Producers and Processors
  • Aggregations and Distribution
  • Dairy Development

At the start of 2012, Cross-cutting Teams will also begin to meet: Food Access, Policy, Financial Investment, Environment & Energy, Research, and Interagency Collaboration. VSJF is currently raising funds to develop support systems for the Network, including the Vermont Food System Atlas, a GIS based online portal to provide information and data, help track progress, and facilitate communication among the Network.

Working Groups and Cross-cutting Teams are made up of farm and food system businesses, non-profits, government agencies, trade associations, funders, and community groups. If you are interested in learning more about the Farm to Plate Network and to have your organization formally join the Network by signing the Network Pledge, please contact Erica Campbell at

Other News and Announcements

VAAFM Announces Second Round of GAP Capital Improvement Grants

The goals of the Good Agricultural Practices Capital Improvement Grant Program are to increase sales of Vermont fruits and vegetables by maintaining or increasing market access and promoting food safety. There is a maximum cap among all GAP Capital Improvements Program grants of $10,000 per farm, and farms must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:00pm. READ MORE: GAP RFP Round II (PDF)

Technical Assistance for Meat Production and Processing Businesses

Thanks to funding from the Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center, the Vermont Farm Viability Program is offering specialized technical assistance to Vermont farmers and businesses involved in the production or processing of Vermont-raised meat. Applications accepted on a rolling basis from November 2011 – March 2012. This program can help you with:

  • Increasing meat production or processing
  • Expanding from seasonal to year-round production
  • Eliminating processing bottlenecks
  • Marketing to increase sales or change markets
  • New enterprise development
  • Business/financial management to improve profitability

READ MORE: Meat Scaling Up Application (PDF), or go to

Food System Events

Upcoming UVM Extension Food Safety Events

All food processors are encouraged to sign up for these events:

  • Federal and State of Vermont food regulations seminar and discussion -- at the Vermont Food Venture Center, Hardwick VT, November 17, 2011, 6:30-8PM
  • Agritourism and Food Safety webinar -- December 14, 2011, noon-1PM
  • Food Safety for Food Processors course -- Brattleboro VT, December 15, 2011, 1-4PM


Preparing for Export Success: an Educational Seminar for Food and Farm Businesses

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Montpelier

Join the Agency of Agriculture, the Vermont Specialty Foods Association, and the Agency of Commerce as Food Export–Northeast staff and Dennis Lynch, Food Export's Helpline Counselor, discuss the exciting opportunities in the worldwide export market as well as federal assistance programs available to help Vermont food and farm businesses break into new markets. Registration Deadline: November 28th, $25 per person, space is limited. Register today!

The Principles of Pastured Pork: Raising Hogs on Pasture

November 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Webinar with Maple Wind Farm, coordinated by the UVM Extension New Farmer Project

Bruce Hennessey, with his partner, Beth Whiting operate Maple Wind Farm, a pasture-based diversified livestock, vegetable and maple syrup farm in Huntington, VT. As lifelong educators and environmentalists, Bruce and Beth are interested in helping people to learn about sustainable production methods. This webinar will focus on raising hogs in an intensive pasture management program. Newcomers to online learning are welcome. All you need to participate is internet access and a computer that you can hear sound through. To participate, please go to and click on "Webinars" at about 6:45 am EST on November 29, 2011. If you have not participated in a webinar before, we recommend you download the necessary software for free the day before. MORE INFO:

Vital Communities Open House

Please join Vital Communities in their new home and meet the new Executive Director, Mary Margaret Sloan for good conversation, locally produced beverages and tidbits. Friday, December 2, 2011 from 4-6PM, 195 N. Main Street, White River Junction. Please RSVP here or call Sharon at (802) 291-9100 x 113

Food Systems in the News

Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

Senator Leahy has joined as an original co-sponsor of reforms to support Vermont’s family farms and expand rural farming businesses, while creating jobs and investing in local and regional food economies. The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (S.1773) is a comprehensive package of Farm Bill reforms that would help Vermont’s farmers and expand upon Vermont’s Farm to Plate Initiative by addressing production, aggregation, marketing, and distribution needs. The bill also prioritizes consumer access to healthy, fresh food by supporting technology and direct sales. Read More:

Sugar Mountain Farm Building On-Farm Slaughterhouse

Sugar Mountain Farm announced they will be cutting back on deliveries of their all natural pastured pork to stores, restaurants and individuals throughout Vermont for the fall season. The Jeffries family, owners of the farm, are in the process of building their own USDA/State inspected on-farm slaughterhouse, butcher shop and smokehouse. The goal is to begin processing their own meat in 2012. Read more:

Kimball Brook Farm Named 2011 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year

JD and Cheryl DeVos of Kimball Brook Farm were named the 2011 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year. The award is presented annually by University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association, in cooperation with the New England Green Pastures Program. Congratulations JD and Cheryl!

Watch the Across the Fence episode from 8/23/11 or READ MORE:

Rural Farmers Unite to Feed Wall Street Protestors

Many Vermont farmers are featured in this video from WNYC about how rural farmers, an unemployed chef, and a protestor named Heather are getting 1,000 dinners served at Occupy Wall Street every night

Jobs in the Food System

Rural Vermont Seeks Director

Rural Vermont, a small, nonprofit statewide advocacy group with a mission of economic justice for family farmers, seeks an Executive Director. Candidates should have experience with legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, fundraising, and the ability to manage an annual budget of $200,000 and a small staff with interns. The Director works with activist farmer board of directors and membership to define organizational priorities. Candidate must have a passion to free family farmers from corporate and government control so that a local, direct-to-consumer food system can flourish. MORE INFO:

Plant Manager Wanted at New Addison County Processing Plant

DAHlicious Lassi is looking for a Plant Manager for its upcoming dairy processing plant in Addison County Vermont. Established in 2007, Dahlicious makes premium quality, cultured milk products that are distributed nationwide. Please email you resume with a cover letter to MORE INFO: Plant Manager Job Post (PDF)

Grazing Outreach Professional

The University of Vermont's Center for Sustainable Agriculture invites applications for a full-time Grazing Specialist to be located in the Center's Colchester, Vermont office. The individual, as part of the Pasture Program team at the Center, will provide statewide grazing management planning assistance to livestock farmers. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants must file a letter of intent, current CV and three references to be considered. Apply on-line at Job Posting #004019.

Sidebar News & Information

The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund

VCF Irene Fund LogoMoney is still being raised for this fund, which was established in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to provide support to individual farmers who were affected by the flood. The grants, which fund up to $10,000 per farm, are intended to help farmers meet critical living needs by replacing infrastructure, seed, feed, livestock, supplies, and equipment lost as a result of the storm, to the extent the losses were not covered by insurance or other sources of income. The grants can also be used to help pay outstanding bills such as farm mortgage costs, land lease payments, or animal feed bills.


Managing Flood Damaged Crops and Forage from Tropical Storm Irene

Tropical storm Irene has caused some of the most massive flood damage to crops in over fifty years. Many crop fields were completely destroyed, while others were left with varying degrees of damage. READ MORE: Flooded Crops Factsheet (PDF)

87 Acre Farm for Sale: Norwich, VT

The Vermont Land Trust is seeking a qualified farm buyer for an 87 acre farm in Norwich, Vermont. Due to the generosity of a VLT donor, this farm is available for an outright purchase or lease to purchase. The purchase price is $295,000 and the lease term will not be longer than three years. The farm includes a well maintained farmhouse in excellent condition, several outbuildings, and barns. VLT will hold an open house at the Norwich farm on November 19, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. READ MORE:

Grass-based Organic Dairy Farm for Sale; Bridport, VT

Well-maintained, organic, family dairy farm, surrounded by 245+/- acres of lush pasture and hay fields, with stunning, long-range mountain views in every direction. Suitable for the production of high quality organic milk, butter, yogurt &/or cheese, complete with grazing, milking, cheese-making/aging facilities and equipment. Contract for sale subject to 90-day right of first refusal held by the Vermont Land Trust. READ MORE: