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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Update from F2P ~ March 2013

Update from the Farm to Plate Network

The Farm to Plate Network continues to grow and make great strides within its working groups, task forces, and cross-cutting teams. In the next few weeks, VSJF will launch the Vermont Food System Atlas that will serve as a communication forum among network members, a performance management tracking system, a searchable database of all things Farm to Plate with easy access to plan chapters and data, and an atlas of Vermont's food system people, organizations, and places. While it has taken a lot longer to get this new site to being launched, we have test driven it for some folks at recent meetings/events and so far we're getting really strong reviews!

Many of the strategies within the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan can most successfully be implemented on the sub-state regional level. Regions around Vermont are making impressive progress on many of the F2P goals. VSJF staff members have been working with regions throughout the state with their food system planning and implementation efforts:

  • In 2012, F2P program director Erica Campbell worked with organizations in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) to launch a food system network to implement the NEK regional food system plan she helped develop.
  • In December 2012, Erica teamed up with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets' (VAAFM's) Abbey Willard to assist Franklin County with a food system planning forum.
  • In April 2013, Abbey and Erica will participate in a food system planning event in Bennington County.
  • Abbey, Erica, and F2P network manager Sarah Galbraith are working with the Central Vermont Food Systems Council and many other regional organizations to hold a county-wide food system forum at Goddard College on April 16 to develop coordinated action steps to strengthen and grow central Vermont's food system.

Vermont Food System News

Welch Introduces Two Bills to Boost Vermont Maple Industry

With the sap in Vermont flowing, Representative Peter Welch is pushing two bills to promote Vermont's maple industry and make sugaring more energy efficient.

Seven Days Announces 4th Annual Restaurant Week

For 10 days, April 26 to May 5, 2013, restaurants throughout Vermont will offer special prix-fixe dinners at three price points - $15, $25 or $35 per person. Lunch specials at select locations are $10 or less. Participating restaurants range from renowned eateries such as Burlington's L'Amante Ristorante and The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond to local faves Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier and Café Provence in Brandon. So far, 93 restaurants - 28 of them new to Restaurant Week - have signed on to participate.   

Demand for Specialty Foods Leads to New Processing Facilities Opening

The increasing number of Vermont specialty food producers - many of them farmers - is creating a demand for facilities where they can make their products, like Micropack (South Burlington), Vermont Food Venture Center (Hardwick), and Mad River Food Hub (Waitsfield).   

2013 Best Brewery in the World

Hill Farmstead Brewery has been named the 2013 Best Brewery in the World by RateBeer, the world's largest and most popular beer review and rating website. But we already know they are pretty great!   

Vermont House Committee Approves GMO Labeling Bill

The Agriculture Committee in the Vermont House has approved a bill calling for genetically modified foods to be specially labeled. The bill is now being considered by other House committees and its fate during this legislative session is still unclear.

Vermont Hopes Syrup Grade Changes Will Sweeten Sales

The change pits tradition against a desire to be a bigger player in world markets. Vermont is the number one maple syrup producer in the United States, but its unique labeling standards put it at odds with the other big producers, including Canada. Learn more here.

Funding Opportunities

Childhood Obesity Prevention, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

The Childhood Obesity Program supports Multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants. This page includes links to the request for applications (RFA), the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, the application package, and abstracts of funded projects. Application deadline is April 11, 2013.

CDC Request for Proposals for State Departments of Health

The State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health outlines an approach to preventing and reducing the risk factors associated with childhood and adult obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. For more information about the grant please visit this website. Application deadline is April 19, 2013.

Food Security, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

For FY 2013, it is anticipated that approximately $5 million will be made available to support new awards within the Food Security Challenge Area of AFRI. In FY 2013, only proposals that focus on reducing crop and livestock losses in U.S. agricultural systems will be considered for funding. Proposals should aim to develop approaches for managing losses throughout the whole food system (production, harvesting, storage, processing, distribution, and consumption), and should address the social, economic, and behavioral aspects of food security. For more information and to view the application, visit this website. Application deadline is July 17, 2013.

Upcoming Food System Events

Food Safety Regulations for Food Producers and Processors

Thursday, March 28 from 1 to 3pm
VT Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, Burlington

This workshop will provide information to help small-scale food processors understand how to meet current Federal and State food regulations and some of the key food safety-related steps to starting a food business in Vermont. For more information, contact Londa Nwadike by email or at (802) 223-2389. Register online.

Finding the Money: Financial Resources in Vermont

Part of the 8th Annual Invention 2 Venture Conference
Thursday, April 4 from 1:30 to 4:30 (mixer to follow)
University of Vermont, Davis Center, Burlington

This session features VSJF's own Janice St. Onge on a panel along with representatives from VT Economic Development Authority and the VT Center for Emerging Technologies. Learn more about the conference here.

4th Annual Farm to School Conference: Stone Soup Summit

Thursday, April 4 from  3:15 to 7pm
Opening remarks at 3:30, Local Food Dinner at 6:30
Mt. Abraham High School, 7 Airport Drive, Bristol
Dinner is $10 per person or $5 for students

Addison County's school community will come together for an evening of inspiration, celebration and networking at the fourth annual  Stone Soup Summit. Students, teachers, parents, administrators, farmers, food service managers, nurses and community volunteers will share stories of challenge and triumph and work in diverse groups to address the issues facing farm-to-school programs in our county.

QuickBooks for Farmers, a Four-Part Series

April 9, 11, 16 and 18, 2013 from 12:30 to 4:30pm each day
Granite State College, 25 Hall Street, Concord, New Hampshire
Cost: $400

Participants will be led through setting up QuickBooks for their farm operations and will leave with the skills to use it. Participants need to bring a laptop with QuickBooks installed on it. For more information or to register, call (603) 863-9200 or email.   

Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors (Webinar)

Thursday, April 11 from 2 to 3pm
Online
Free

This free webinar will cover general food safety guidelines and best practices for a general audience. Go here for more information and to register.

Mushroom Tour (Part of RAFFL's Summer Farm Tour Series)

Sunday, April 14 from 10am to 1pm
Tangled Roots Farm, 300 Stagecoach Road, Shrewsbury  
Cost: $5-$15, sliding scale; Kids 12 and under are free

Take a tour of the farm, learn how wild mushrooms are grown, why wild mushrooms are so good for us, and how they are different from what you find in the grocery store. Taste some mushroom soup and bring the recipe home with you! Registration is required. Register online, by email, or by calling (802) 417-1528.

Getting Dry Beans to Market: From Growing to Processing to Selling

Monday, April 15 from 6pm to 8pm
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier
Free and open to the public

Join this presentation to learn about sourcing seeds, growing beans, and processing for different markets. Presenters are Joe Bossen from Vermont Bean Crafters and Lynda Prim from NOFA Vermont.

Central Vermont Food System Council Forum

Tuesday, April 16 from 5 to 8:30, dinner included
Goddard College, Plainfield
Suggested Donation: $5

Join this public event to share a meal featuring local food, learn what work is being done to strengthen central Vermont's food system, and share your ideas for next steps. The result will be a collection of prioritized action steps to strengthen central Vermont's food system. RSVP by email.

The Power of a Positive Workplace

Part of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation Business Skills Workshop Series
Wednesday, April 17 from 9am to 12pm
Green Mountain Technology & Career Center, Hyde Park
Cost: $49

The workshop is being presented by Deborah S. Eibner, MA, an Area Business Advisor for the VtSBDC. Register in advance online (click on "training"), by email, or by phone at (802) 728-9101. For more information, call John Mandeville at (802) 888-5640.

Food System and Sustainable Energy Jobs

Agricultural Resources Specialist / Land Treatment Planner, Vermont Association of Conservation Districts

VACD seeks qualified candidates to fill a full-time Agricultural Resource Specialist and Land Treatment Planner position. This position will be housed at the Newport NRCS field office and cover Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties of Vermont. As an Agricultural Resource Specialists the successful candidates will provide technical assistance, education and outreach regarding Vermont's Accepted Agricultural Practices and surveying Small Farm Operators with the goal of addressing non point source water quality issues. As a Land Treatment Planners the successful candidates will work with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to provide planning assistance to farmers enrolled in USDA programs.Visit www.vacd.org for detailed job description. Send resume, cover letter and three references by March 29th by email or mail to VACD, c/o Jeff Farber Technical Programs Manager, PO Box 889, Montpelier, VT 05601.

Programs Field Assistant, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District

The CVSWMD seeks a conscientious, reliable Programs Field Assistant to work with CVSWMD staff to implement programming to achieve our zero waste mission. This position is for 32 hours per week, over four workdays. Work on Saturdays is required. Potential to expand to full time. For more information visit www.cvswmd.org. To apply, send cover letter, resume and at least three references to CVSWMD, ATTN Programs Field Assistant Search, 137 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 or by email  with Programs Field Assistant search in the subject line. The deadline for applications is March 29, 2013.

Food Safety Specialist Trainee, Vermont Agency of Agriculture

Entry level position will perform technical work for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food Safety Consumer Protection Division, Meat and Poultry Inspection Service. The candidate will execute appropriate inspection methods, determine noncompliance with Federal and State regulatory requirements, and document noncompliance, to ensure that regulated meat and poultry establishments produce a safe, wholesome, unadulterated and properly labeled product. For more information on this position, email. Applications are accepted online only, reference #31737.

High Mowing Organic Seeds

Check it out! There are several job openings and internships available at High Mowing Organic Seeds.

General Manager, High Mowing Organic Seeds

The new GM will focus on day-to-day management of the business, overseeing the 11-person management team, and fostering the positive and productive culture for the 60+ people who work here. This person will get familiar with all aspects of High Mowing's farm and operations and help guide High Mowing through our next phase of growth and development. To see the full job description and more about High Mowing, download the PDF announcement.

Energy Auditor, Southeastern Vermont Community Action

This position requires residential building analysis regarding energy efficiencies; a valid driver's license with good driving record; a minimum of two years' experience in this field, along with significant training and/or certification. Send resume to SEVCA Weatherization, 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT 05158 or come in to Westminster office to apply. Applications due April 1.

Marketing Project Manager, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

This position develops, manages and implements an integrated marketing projects for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and its' contracts, while contributing to a mission-driven, creative, enjoyable and stimulating work environment. A minimum of bachelor's degree is required, plus five years of marketing advertising, and/or brand management experience and three years project management experience or a combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills are acquired. Please visit the VEIC website for a full position description and to apply online. Application deadline is Wednesday, April 3rd.

Publisher, Vermont Digger

We are looking for a full-time publisher to boost revenues, manage finances, and plan and execute events. Experience in sales, marketing and management required. Media background preferred. For a full job description and application instructions, go here.

Computer Assisted Reporting Specialist, Vermont Digger

VTDigger.org, Vermont's premier online only source for state news, is seeking a computer-assisted reporting specialist to work on a digitally focused, in-depth reporting team. The ideal candidate understands statistics and knows tools like Fusion Tables, Refine, R or equivalents. You should understand GIS basics and have a strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. You should also have an understanding of Web-building blocks, such as HTML, JavaScript and basic scripting. Data visualization skills are also required. Qualified applicants should send a cover letter, resume and two writing samples to Anne Galloway, executive director of the Vermont Journalism Trust.

Grocery Manager, St. Johnsbury Food Coop

The St. J. Food Co-op has an immediate opening for a full time Grocery Manager.  Experience in retail, purchasing and or grocery management preferred.  The St. J. Food Co-op works with the mission of providing healthy foods, products, information and resources for our Community.  The co-op was established in 1998 and currency has close to 1000 members. Please send resumes to info@stjfoodcoop.com.

Produce Assistant Manager, Middlebury Coop

Ideal candidate has leadership experience and demonstrated supervisory skills. Must have excellent communication skills, ability to order and provide excellent customer service. Ideal candidate is hard working and able to lift 75 lbs. Evenings and weekends required. Full-time with excellent benefit package. To apply, complete application (available in our store or at www.middleburycoop.com) and send it with a letter of interest to: Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, 1 Washington St., Middlebury, VT 05753.

Production Sanitation Team Leader, Cabot Creamery

This full-time, hourly position will work in our Cabot Creamery production plant, and will ensure that proper cleaning and sanitation processes are consistently achieved on a daily basis, and will provide leadership and direction to all sanitation dept. employees, to include filling in for the Sanitation Supervisor during times of absence. Starting rate of pay is $19.06/hour. Previous supervisory/management experience is a plus. Preferred candidate has experience working in a manufacturing production plant, ideally with sanitation. Must be capable of learning all plant sanitation areas, and to become knowledgeable with all sanitation roles. Must have: above average mechanical aptitude; excellent interpersonal skills; a positive and encouraging attitude; good manual dexterity; strong math ability; able to effectively multitask; and able to regularly lift up to 80 lbs. Must be able to handle situations and problems that occur with a high level of professionalism and direction. Preferred candidate has at least an associate's degree; a high school diploma or GED is required. Cabot offers a competitive starting wage and a comprehensive benefits package. Apply in person, or send resume with cover letter to Cabot Creamery, Attn: Human Resources Dept., 1 Home Farm Way, Montpelier, VT 05602 or by email.

Seasonal Gardening Assistant, Family Farm

Family farm in Shelburne seeks full-time seasonal garden help, mid-April through September. Applicant must enjoy working outdoors and have prior gardening experience. Responsibilities include weeding, deadheading, planting, mulching and other garden-related chores. Requirements: own transportation, ability to lift 50 lbs and engage in regular manual labor, references and background check. Smoke-free workplace. To apply, please email resume and contact information.   

Food and Nutrition Coordinator, Americorps VISTA, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont

The AmeriCorps VISTA Coordinator will promote and enhance volunteer involvement and healthy food options in PCAV's Family Support Programs, including Nurturing Parenting Programs® and Circle of Parents® Support Groups, in central Vermont. The majority of participating families (70%+) are low income or very low income and living in poverty. For a full description, visit www.americorps.gov and search for "SerVermont - Prevent Child Abuse Vermont."

Special Projects Director, Vermont Community Foundation

The Special Projects Director will strive to strengthen the impact of the Foundation's work by learning about community issues and the role of strategic philanthropy; leading by nurturing innovative practices for lasting change, and growing the impact of giving by inspiring others. Currently, the Special Projects Director position is leading our Food and Farm Initiative related to sustainable food systems, agriculture and food insecurity. Knowledge of food systems will be extremely helpful.

Sidebar Tidbits

Vermont's Intervale Center on Splendid Table!

The Intervale Center was featured in a recent story titled, Farming as a Business: It's as much about marketing as growing.