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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Update from F2P ~ May 2013

Update from the Farm to Plate Network

Farm to Plate Wins National Award!

The Vermont Farm to Plate Network was voted the top Campaign Ally in then national Real Food Challenge

F2P Leadership Retreat

On Friday, April 5, 2013 over 30 Working Group, Cross-cutting Team, and Task Force chairs met to discuss progress toward reaching Farm to Plate goals and to evaluate how well the Network is functioning and evolving. UVM professor Chris Koliba presented findings from the F2P Network survey, which revealed that the Network is helping form and build relationships across Vermont’s food system organizations.

New Cross-Cutting Teams: Research and Labor

The Research Cross-cutting Team will hold its first meeting on May 30 from 10 am – 3:30 pm at the Middlebury Inn.  Food system researchers from academia, non-profit organizations, and private consulting firms from across the state will meet in this day-long forum to learn about Farm to Plate research needs and to cross-pollinate research agendas. This team is chaired by Doug Lantagne, Dean of UVM Extension and Director of UVM’s Food System Initiative. For more information, contact Erica Campbell.

Over the past few months several Working Groups have held discussions on various food system labor topics, and now the Network is launching a Labor Cross-cutting Team. The Labor Team will explore issues such as compensation and benefits, overall working conditions, and other human resource issues and will work toward reaching Goal 18: Vermont’s food system establishments will provide safe and welcoming working conditions, livable wages, and have access to a skilled, reliable workforce.

Get Social With Us!

Get social with us to stay on top of our latest news and to share yours! Follow @VTFarm2Plate on Twitter and use hashtag #vtf2p. Engage and share photos, news, and events on the VSJF Facebook page.

Vermont Food System Atlas to Launch in May

We are working hard to launch the Vermont Food System Atlas in late May. Network members should stay tuned for an invitation to join the Atlas this week and fill in your personal and organizational profiles. We’ll also hold a series of one-hour tutorial webinars over the month of May. We can’t wait to share this with you all!

Vermont Food System News

New Vermont Farm Fund Website

The Center for an Agricultural Economy and Pete's Greens have launched a new website for the Vermont Farm Fund, a revolving community loan fund established in 2011. The fund has loaned over $160,000 at low or zero percent interest to Vermont farmers and food producers, both for innovation and expansion as well as in the wake of a disaster. 

Milton Students Plant White House Garden

Five fifth graders from Milton helped plant the White House garden with First Lady Michelle Obama. Check out these photos from their trip!

City Market Welcomes New Leadership

As of April 1, 2013, Pat Burns is the General Manager of City Market. Prior to this role, he was the Director of Operations for the Coop. Clem Nilan, the former General Manager, will continue to work with City Market on part-time projects. Read the full announcement here.

Vermont Bioenergy Initiative Launches 10 Videos

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund produced “Bioenergy NOW! Made in Vermont,” a series of educational films that document the work of many of the people at the forefront of the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative (VBI). VBI is a project that began in 2005 and has been providing grants and technical assistance to Vermont farms, biofuel businesses, researchers, entrepreneurs and others to develop Vermont’s bioenergy feedstocks, fuels and infrastructure. These biofuel videos draw the connection between diversified agriculture, sustainable systems and renewable energy production and we centered on oilseeds to biodiesel, grass as a heating fuel, and algae to biofuels and wastewater management. All videos are available on YouTube – please subscribe to the channel, “like” the videos, and share them with your network!

New Food Safety Website

Looking for information on new proposed food safety regulations, or not sure whether they apply to you? Or do you want to comment on the proposed rules? The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has a new food safety website! Read more here

Farmer Pete Johnson Named Business Person of the Year

"The Small Business Administration announced the 2013 Vermont small business award winners April 15.The premier accolade, 2013 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year, is awarded to Pete Johnson, Pete’s Greens owner." Pete Johnson is joining the Board of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Funds' in June and currently is a client of the Vermont Agriculture Development Program. Read the full article here.

New Technology for an Old Craft

Solar Sweet Maple Farm in Lincoln, Vermont makes use of all the latest technology to be as efficient as possible. But they’re producing another sweet product: electricity from the sun. Read about this new-meets-old sugarhouse in this recent article in the Burlington Free Press. 

VSJF Flexible Capital Fund Invests in Liz Lovely Cookies

The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund L3C (The Flex Fund) announces specialty food producers, Liz Lovely, Inc., as the fifth investment in an expanding, mission based royalty financing portfolio committed to growing Vermont food system, forest product, and renewable energy companies by providing “equity-like” loans that are repaid through revenue sharing. Read the full story here.

Maple Syrup Tourism: Part Nostalgia, Part Technology

Check out this recent article in the New York Times featuring Montpelier sugarmaker Burr Morse.

Funding Opportunities

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Capacity Building Grant Program

Each year, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation offers one multi-year grant to a Vermont-based, statewide non-profit organization that has both a vision and a strategic plan to extend its influence and achieve defined goals. The organization's goals should resonate with the Foundation’s mission to further social justice, protect the environment and/or support family farms and local food systems. See the full description and links to apply here. Applications are due June 1, 2013.

Upcoming Food System Events

THIS WEEK is Vermont Restaurant Week!

April 26, 2013 to May 5, 2013

From April 26-May 5, 2013, participating restaurants will offer special, prix-fixe menus showcasing their chefs’ greatest dishes. Those menus will feature three-course dinners (e.g. appetizer, entreé and dessert) priced at $15, $25 or $35 per person. Select restaurants offer discounted lunches that are usually $10 or less. The week also includes a special calendar of special, food-themed events. For more information, visit the website.

The Real Cost of Local Food (Part of Restaurant Week)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Signal Kitchen, 71 Main Street, Burlington, VT

Vermont may be an epicenter for farm-to-table cuisine, but farmers and restaurateurs still grapple daily with the challenge of getting fresh, local food onto your plate. Consistency, seasonal shortages, and distribution costs are all part of a complex formula. Join a lively panel of restaurateurs, farmers and food experts as they discuss the real challenges of serving local food. Find more information here

Intervale Center Plant-a-Thons

Contact Seth Gillim, Intervale Conservation Assistant Manager at seth@intervale.org or (802) 660-0440 x104 to sign up or learn more!

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Waitsfield

Join ICN and Friends of the Mad River to plant 1000 trees in one day! This is in addition to the 600 trees we planted in Waitsfield last year. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters generously provided the trees for this project. Native trees planted along streams and rivers prevent erosion and reduce run-off, creating cleaner water and healthier ecosystems.

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Essex, VT

Join ICN and Wildlife Management Institute to help plant 350 trees along Alder Brook.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:00am
Williston, VT

Help ICN and the Town of Williston plant 650 trees along Allen Brook.

Hands-On Farming Education for Young Women and Their Farming Mentors

Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2013
Reading, Vermont
Cost: $40

Build skills and confidence handling livestock and working with tractors, machinery and chainsaws at the upcoming "Farm Safety Camp for Young Women (14-19) and Their Female Farming Mentors." Co-sponsored by the UVM Extension Youth Farm Safety Project and the Women’s Agricultural Network, the two-day camp will provide a fun and supportive learning environment for participants of all ages and backgrounds. The camp will cover a variety of farm safety topics. Participants will leave knowing how to avoid farm injuries and accidents, and also how to respond to emergencies should they arise. Read more about the camp or contact Kristen Mullins at (802) 656-2034 with questions.

Farm to School Presentation

Sunday, May 5, 2013 2:00pm to 4:00pm
The East Room, Green Mountain College, 1 Brennan Circle, Poultney, VT

Learn about farm to school, school gardens, farm-based education, and other ways of combining agriculture and education in the presentation on Farm to School, being held in the East Room at Green Mountain College.

Growing to Scale: Panel and discussion at the Vermont Food Venture Center

May 6, 2013 at 6:00PM at the
Vermont Food Venture Center
140 Junction Road, Hardwick, VT 05843

Are you a produce grower looking for new markets or are otherwise interested in scaling up your operation?  Have you heard about the Vermont Food Venture Center but want to learn more about its role in increasing your access to new markets?  Come to the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick, VT to discuss these questions with our four panelists and other Vermont growers.  Panelists include: Liz Gleason, Vermont Farm Viability Program; Sarah Isham, Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation; Richard Wiswall, Cate Farm; and Annie Rowell, Vermont Food Venture Center. Register online.

ServSafe for Meat and Poultry Processors

Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17, 2013 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm both days
Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT

Students will learn about food safety requirements for handling meat and poultry in a slaughter and processing facility. Principles of sanitation, meat plant inspection, pest control, worker hygiene, waste disposal and use of chemicals will be discussed.  The course will be offered the week before the poultry processing course, and therefore will focus on poultry processing. Upon successful completion of the course, including passing a comprehensive exam, students will earn ServSafe certification. Register online.

Hardwick Spring Festival

May 25, 2013
Atkins Field, Hardwick, VT

Coordinated by Kiwanis and several others including Center for an Agricultural Economy and Buffalo Mountain Cooperative, the day starts with a 5K Run, a Main St. parade at 11am and then festivities continue at Atkins Field for an outdoor exhibitors/vendors fair, crafts fair, rides, games and food.
The afternoon includes  vendors and food purveyors that celebrate sustainability, agricultural and our local food system. Click here register and pay online or here to download a mail-in form.

Annual Vermont Employee Ownership Conference

Friday, June 7, 2013
Champlain College, Hauke Family Campus Center, 375 Maple Street, Burlington, VT

This year, this annual conference will offer 17 workshops and new  tracks for those considering employee ownership and for those in worker cooperatives, plus excellent sessions on participation and leadership in employee-owned companies. Keynoter will be Loren Rodgers, Executive Director of the National Center for Employee Ownership, speaking on "The State of Employee Ownership 2013."   For more details, please see the conference page at www.veoc.org. Contact Don Jamison with any questions.

Vermont Food System Jobs

General Manager, High Mowing Seeds

High Mowing Seeds is still looking for a General Manager – but they are on a tight timeline, so apply quickly. The General Manager has responsibility for day-to-day management of the business and overseeing the management team. The General Manager has accountability for success in all areas of the business, and ensuring people and resources are utilized in a way that leads to growth and profitability of the company. Click here for the full job description and application instructions. 

Nutritional Services Coordinator, South Burlington School District

Are you a passionate food service leader who wants to make a difference in the lives of children in your community? South Burlington School District invites you to join their team of dedicated professionals who are "Putting Child Nutrition First." They are currently looking for an experienced director to oversee and coordinate the planning, organizing, training and leadership necessary to achieve stated objectives in sales, quality, participation, and managing sourcing of quality food products with the goal of efficiency. View the complete job description and hiring timeline on the District's website at www.sbschools.net. Applications will be accepted through www.SchoolSpring.com or directly at the District until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3. Applications can be mailed, including a cover letter, resume, and three current references to: South Burlington School District, Attn: Diane Kinnon, 500 Dorset St, South Burlington, VT 05403.

Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Otter Creek Brewing

Otter Creek Brewing Co. is seeking a Social Media Manager to take the company  to the next level. The position is full time, but SM will not be only responsibility. Project Manager as well as several other hats will need to be worn. Seeking an experienced, organized, energetic and creative individual with a can do attitude. Send resume with cover letter and salary requirements to: Jed.nelson@Longtrail.com.

Marketing Coordinator, Otter Creek Brewing

Otter Creek Brewing Co. is looking for an energetic, organized and detail-oriented individual for its Marketing Coordinator position. Responsibilities include trafficking incoming work and coordinating workflow between the sales and marketing departments. Tracking inventory and ordering point of sale items and responding to customer emails as well as shipping duties. Successful candidate will possess expert level XL skills and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. Send resume with cover letter and salary requirements to: Jed.nelson@Longtrail.com.

Production Meat Cutter, Black River Meats (Black River Produce)

“Black River Meats brings the best proteins of Vermont and New England to market. Committed to our community, we focus on customer service, uncompromising food safety, and fair pricing. For over 35 years we have been connecting farmers to food service throughout the northeast.” Products include local, natural beef, heritage pork, quality poultry, game proteins, smoked meats, and more. Basic responsibilities include boning primal cuts, retail meat cutting, grinding beef, processing sausage, packaging and boxing meat. For more information on Black River Meats visit www.blackrivermeat.com. To apply, send letter of interest and resume to HR@blackriverproduce.com or fill out an application on line at www.blackriverproduce.com.  You may also apply at our office at 449 River Street, North Springfield, VT. No phone calls please.

Kitchen / Deli Manage, Natural Provisions Market

Natural Provisions is seeking a kitchen/deli manager for its rapidly growing kitchen and deli operations. The position will involve, but is not limited to, a wide range of responsibilities including overseeing a staff of 4-5 employees, managing the kitchen/deli budget, menu planning, cooking, and responsibility for all kitchen operations. The right individual will have extensive culinary training and/or experience; familiarity with wholesale buying, and knowledge of computers. Click here for more information.

Green Mountain Farm to School Coordinator (AmeriCorps), GMFTS

Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a nonprofit organization promoting the health and wellbeing of Vermont's children, farms and communities by providing programs to connect schools and farms through food and education. In the 2013-2014 academic year, GMFTS aims to serve school communities in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with school gardens, educational programming and fresh local farm foods, benefiting over 5,000 students. The primary responsibilities of the Farm-to-School Coordinator will be to develop, grow, present, and evaluate GMFTS’ Farm-to-School Programs and provide general operational and administrative support. This is a full-time year-long AmeriCorps position. The Farm-to-School Coordinator reports to the Program Director. Submit a resume and cover letter to jobs@gmfts.org. Deadline for applications is May 15, 2013. No phone calls please. See website for more details.

General Manger, Church and Main Restaurant

Church & Main, a locally-owned and operated restaurant offers a sophisticated yet comfortable dining experience in a relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere. As a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, they locally source as many ingredients and products as possible. The Manager is responsible for ensuring that the diners have an excellent dining experience and plans, organizes, directs and supervises the workers and resources of the restaurant for the efficient, well-prepared and profitable service of food and drink. Church and Main is looking for candidates with a minimum of three years restaurant management experience with full service, upscale dining experience. A solid financial background, knowledge of software programs (Point of Sale and Open Table), detail oriented, a strong sense of hospitality and ability to work independently is required. Solid wine and bar knowledge is a big plus for this position. A competitive salary (including bonus) and benefit package is offered. Please respond with cover letter and resume to Church, Engle & Associates.

Sidebar Tidbits

Seven Days Food Issue

The April 24, 2013 edition is filled with all things food, from a farmer building a wind-powered barge as a low-carbon way to ship Vermont food to New York City consumers, to the minds behind Citizen Cider and how they’re shaping national policy for the beverage, to Burlington School Food Project’s goal to offer free school lunches to all students in Vermont .  

Montpelier Bridge Food and Farming Issue

The April 18, 2013 edition of the Montpelier Bridge focused on food and farming. The issue includes articles on the Vermont Food System Atlas and “Cultivating Gratitude at Littlewood Farm," a piece focusing on the labor involved in farming.  

Youth Agriculture Project Featured in Local Magazine

The Tutorial Center’s Youth Agriculture Project (YAP) and the Manchester Community & Educational Garden were featured in this recent article