Since 2009—when Farm to Plate legislation was passed and the national recession ended—Vermont’s food system added at least 2,162 jobs and 199 establishments! All over the country, Vermont is now being looked to as the leading example of how to transform our food system. Public and philanthropic investment (grants and loans) in farms and food system enterprises was more than $70 million in 2013. In this annual report we share three Blue Ribbon Stories that illustrate activities that are emerging across the Network.
We note three reasons for the success of our collective efforts:
- Consumer demand for fresh, healthy, tasty, and locally produced food is increasing;
- Vermont has a thriving community of innovative farmers and food entrepreneurs; and
- The Farm to Plate Network is facilitating system-wide collaboration among its 300+ member organizations.
The VSJF and the Farm to Plate Network Steering Committee sincerely thanks Governor Shumlin, the Vermont General Assembly, and our partners for their continued support.