Burlington, VT – The first Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up welcomes farmers, food business entrepreneurs, makers, technology entrepreneurs, hackers, software developers and anyone else interested in furthering local, sustainable food systems with technology innovations to attend its launch event on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at Generator, Burlington, Vermont’s maker space. This new community of practice for Vermont’s farm and food sector will focus on networking and identifying innovation opportunities to help meet increasing local food production and consumer demands.
The Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up is designed to help meet multiple goals of Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan—the statewide plan to strengthen the food system being implemented by over 350 Vermont businesses, organizations, government agencies, and institutions.
"Vermont is a national leader in community-based agriculture and food. As our local food movement succeeds and grows, Vermont farms, food businesses, and other food-related organizations are encountering a new set of challenges and opportunities, many of which are related to innovations in infrastructure development. Record keeping technology solutions, mobile applications for crop planning, and data collection sensors for monitoring cold storage temperatures are examples of the increasingly important solutions needed by farmers and food entrepreneurs to meet the demands of a growing food system while maintaining farm viability and business profitability—all goals of Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. The growing need for on-farm and commercial storage, aggregation, telecommunications, and distribution services positions Vermont as an innovation center where technology solutions are pertinent to strengthening our community-based food system," says Stan Ward, co-chair of the Farm to Plate Tech Task Force (event organizer), farmer, food entrepreneur, and information systems consultant.
The first Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up will be held on Thursday, January 15thfrom 5:30 – 7:30 PM at Generator in Burlington, Vermont (at the Memorial Auditorium Annex, 250 Main Street) as a part of their monthly Social Hour series. There is no cost to attend and a cash bar and food vending will be available.
"We're thrilled to host the inaugural gathering of the Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up at Generator. It’s the perfect fit for our community of collaboration among artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs," says Lars Torres, executive director of Generator. "It’s a great recipe—mixing together local makers, technologists, food system entrepreneurs, and farmers to foster new connections, ideas and ultimately innovations we can bring to market.”
The January Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up will be the first in a series of events organized by the Farm to Plate Tech Task Force. The meet-up events aim to create a robust community of practice where makers, hackers, farmers, foodies, and techies can explore economic and innovation opportunities to increase business viability in Vermont’s food system. The Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up supports Vermont’s Farm to Plate goals to increase local food production and farm profitability, expand processing and manufacturing capacity, and create more food system jobs and establishments. Learn more about the Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up at http://bit.ly/vtfoodtech.
Farm & Food Tech Social Meet-up events are a project of the Vermont Farm to Plate Technology Task Force. The task force is comprised of professionals committed to meeting farm and food technology needs through education and networking to deliver increased business viability in Vermont’s food system and meet multiple goals of Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan—the ten year statewide plan to increase economic development and jobs in Vermont’s farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. Learn more at www.VTFarmtoPlate.com.
Generator is a combination of artist studios, classroom, and business incubator focused on the act of making things located in Burlington, Vermont. Learn more at www.GeneratorVermont.com.
Photo: Vermont’s Greenfield Highland Beef cows get tech savvy thinking about grass in the winter.