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Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Awards Announced - Over $332K Directed to Nine Agricultural Organizations

October 2, 2018 / Montpelier VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets announces grants totaling $332,632.61 for twelve projects to benefit Vermont producers of fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, maple, wine grapes, and value-added products and to increase consumer access to locally produced food.

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Sodexo's Vermont First, VT Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets and VT Farm to Plate launch Taking Root Student Symposium

On October 28th, Sodexo’s Vermont First, Farm to Plate, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture are hosting the Taking Root Student Symposium at the University of Vermont. This symposium is designed for all Vermont college students to celebrate farm to institution and learn about what it means to chart a career in food. We are pleased to share that our keynote speaker will be Ben Hewitt, a Vermont-based author of many books including The Town That Food Saved and Making Supper Safe. Throughout the day, students will learn about:

Why farm to institution is important
Innovative work happening in Vermont’s food system
Career paths of many of Vermont’s leading entrepreneurs and thinkers
Resources available at each campus for students to pursue food systems-relevant coursework as well as food-related employment
Current food-related job opportunities; students will also have time to network directly with some Vermont employers in the food industry.

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Drought Relief for Livestock Producers in VT-Apply by October 19

Producers in Franklin, Addison, Chittenden, Washington, Lamoille, Rutland, Caledonia, and Orleans can apply by October 19 for practices including pipelines, wells, and pumps

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Help Rural Vermont Set Its Policy Priorities!

Rural Vermont has issued a survey to gather information from those who are also committed to the health of our soils, our people, and our communities. Please fill out the 15 minute survey to share your interests and concerns; and help Rural Vermont set its policy priorities for the next two years. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FRI 10/26.

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USDA Releases Standard Indicators and Laboratory Procedures to Assess Soil Health for Public Comment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is releasing a set of standard indicators and associated laboratory procedures to assess soil health. These measures – recommended through a multi-organizational collaboration among soil health experts in the federal, university, public and private sectors – are being developed to improve conservation planning and implementation across the United States. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has posted a draft Technical Note detailing these soil health indicators and associated laboratory methods in the Federal Register for public review and comment. NRCS is accepting comments on this Technical Note through December 13, 2018.

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NRCS Announces October 19 EQIP Signup Deadline for 2019 Funding

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that farmers are encouraged to apply by October 19, 2018, to receive assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The October signup will focus on assistance with seasonal high tunnels, development of conservation activity plans, and for EQIP-focused projects funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

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VT Community Loan Fund Lends $1,481,500 in Q2 2018

SPROUTing New Opportunities with Vermont Chevon: The Vermont Community Loan Fund's SPROUT Fund, a deferred-payment, lower-interest loan program specifically designed for start-up and early stage food and farms enterprises, helps this processor and distributor of nutritious goat meat to expand her business.

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Scholarships Available for Food Loves Tech Expo in NYC

Farmers, chefs, food producers and others working in Vermont agriculture are invited to apply to the third round of Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) Conference Scholarship Program grants. This round of funding supports participation in the Food Loves Tech expo, including access to all panel discussions and “The Future of the Cocktail” opening reception. The expo takes place November 2nd & 3rd in New York City.

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Health Care Without Harm releases "Why Buy Local?" resource for institutions.

Health Care Without Harm has released a position statement to help hospitals and other institutions understand the benefits of purchasing local food to their business, the health of their communities, and the local economy. The health care sector can increase access to healthy, fresh foods while addressing the social and environmental determinants of health in their communities, by creating jobs and contributing to a strong and equitable food economy.

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Kayhart Family Hosts 2,000 for Breakfast, Dairy Farm Tour

On Saturday, July 28th, more than 2,000 people came to Kayhart Brothers Dairy Farm for a day of excitement, delicious food, and education. It was Vermont Breakfast on the Farm hosted by the Kayhart Family. The free, public event included a pancake breakfast and self-guided tour of the dairy farm. Visitors experienced the life and business of modern dairy farming in the Green Mountain State, led by families like the Kayharts – working to produce a wholesome product for a growing world.

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