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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

VSJF General News ~ July 2010

Grass Energy Field Day

Wednesday, July 21st -- 12:30pm - 4PM
Meach Cove Farm Trust in Shelburne

Join us on Wednesday, July 21st for the Grass Energy Biomass Energy Field Day to learn about recent collaborative research on the potential of perennial and annual grasses for biomass production in Vermont.

Grass Energy Banner

Through the Vermont Grass Energy Partnership, the VSJF is working with UVM Plant and Soil Science Department and the Biomass Energy Resource Center to research the production, distribution and use of perennial grasses for thermal applications.

The Field Day will be held at Meach Cove Farm Trust -- one of four sites where perennial and annual grasses are being tested for adaptation and productivity for biomass. The event will also highlight results of new pelletization and combustion research conducted over the past 9 months. Guest speaker Mr. Calvin Ernst, founder and owner of Ernst Conservation Seed in PA, will talk about grasses suited for the Northeast and their potential for biomass energy. Other speakers include Adam Sherman from BERC, Netaka White from VSJF, and Sid Bosworth of UVM Extension.

FREE event, but please RSVP if you are planning to attend. Include your name and how many in your group will attend.

Borderview Field Day

Borderview FieldsSave the date for the 5th Annual Crops and Soils Program Field Day on Thursday, August 5th from 10am - 3pm at Borderview Farm in Alburgh

Learn about the research projects conducted by the NW Crops and Soils Team. Tour the 2,000 research plots including oilseeds and biofuel production, high quality forages, organic hops and small grain production just to name a few. See reduced tillage demonstrations, learn how spelt, oats, and buckwheat hulled for food grade purposes. Don't miss the premier summer research event!

For more information contact Heather Darby, 802-524-6501. Cost: $15, includes a BBQ lunch highlighting locally available products.

Grantee News

VSJF recently awarded $334,765 through the Vermont Biofuels Initiative designed to accelerate the development of Vermont's green economy through local production of liquid biofuels.

Ellen Kahler, VSJF Executive Director, stated that the "catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is yet another reminder of the consequences of our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels for energy. As the devastating ecological, cultural, and economic consequences of the spill unfold in the Gulf of Mexico, Vermont is continuing to explore opportunities for entrepreneurs, farmers, educators and others to develop renewable, sustainable energy alternatives."

Congratulations to the farms and businesses that received grant awards which are aimed at transitioning Vermont away from non-renewable energy toward local, renewable energy production.

Feed & Fuel: Oilseed Crops and Commercial Biodiesel Production:

  • Ekolott and Living Earth Farms in Newbury, VT ($30,000)
  • Nava Bio-Energy in Brookfield, VT ($45,000)
  • Otter Creek Biofuels / Woods Market Garden in Brandon, VT ($30,000)
  • Rainbow Valley Biodiesel in Brandon, VT ($35,250)

Algae Feedstock Analysis:

  • Carbon Harvest in Burlington, VT ($64,515)
  • General Systems Research in Burlington, VT ($65,000)
  • Green Mountain Spark in Burlington, VT ($65,000)

The VBI is funded by a Congressionally Directed Award from the Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy through the U.S. Department of Energy, various private foundation sources, and the State of Vermont General Fund.

Video from the Slow Money National Gathering

Last month, Janice St. Onge gave a presentation about the VSJF's Flexible Capital Fund to a crowd of 600 attendees from all over the country at the Slow Money National Gathering. The Slow Money event brought together a growing network of investors, donors, entrepreneurs, farmers, and activists who are catalyzing new forms of social investing and philanthropy for the 21st century.

The Flexible Capital Fund is a $4m near equity fund that will use flexible risk capital to strategically invest in Vermont growth companies that are building healthy food systems, reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, and preserving working landscapes.

Find out more by watching the video of Janice's presentation at the Slow Money National Gathering.

Renewable Energy Atlas of VT to Receive ESRI Award!

ESRI AwardAll of us at VSJF are pleased to be sending Scott Sawyer to San Diego to receive a "Special Achievement in GIS" award from ESRI, a world leader in GIS software and technology, on behalf of the Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont.

2010 SAG Award-Energy AtlasThe Atlas, launched on Earth Day 2010, is the first tool of its kind in the United States that enables end users to click on their town (or several towns or county/counties) and select from a thorough suite of renewable energy options: biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind.

Scott has been busy highlighting the features of the Atlas throughout the state. Read about the Burlington Free Press article about Scott's presentation with the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. And be sure to send congratulations on such a prestigious recognition for the Energy Atlas team!


Leading & Managing for Sustainability
July 19, 2010 from 3-6pm at UVM

The UVM Institute for Global Sustainability is supporting this TEDx gathering to bring together business and sustainability leaders, students, and community members to hear talks by influential speakers focused on the theme. Admission will be $19 per person which includes the talks, refreshments, and a chance to meet the presenters after the event.

Visit the TEDxUVM website for more information.

Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo

Thursday - Friday
Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, 2010
Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont

Join us this fall for the 9th Annual Renewable Energy Conference Expo. This year's event will feature two full days of programming and exhibits. Exhibitors and Sponsor registration is now open. Visit REV's website for more information.