FAQ

THE ATLAS

What is the Vermont Food System Atlas?

The Vermont Food System Atlas is the clearinghouse for all things Farm to Plate. The Atlas is a comprehensive food system planning website linking all facets of Vermont’s food and farm resources through an interactive mapping interface. A searchable database provides the capability to connect farms, businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits and state entities. The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan is accessible through a searchable dashboard and a scorecard system tracks progress in reaching Vermont’s food system planning goals. The Atlas provides interactive tools for the Farm to Plate Network members to use as a communication and coordination forum for Working Group and Task Force projects to expand Vermont’s local food system and double food production and consumption by 2020—as outlined in Vermont’s food system plan.

How should I use the Vermont Food System Atlas?

-          On the homepage you can find stories, tweets and videos from many food system organizations as well as job listings, news and announcements, and events.
-          Click on The Plan to access all sections of the Strategic Plan, download and collect stories, links, reports and publications, data, and images.
-          Click on Getting to 2020 to access all Farm to Plate goals, download data, view progress on strategies and actions being advanced by the Farm to Plate Network and individual Network members, and explore additional indicators and cross references.
-          Click on The Networkto explore Working Group, Cross-cutting Team, and Task Force activities, and find group members, news, announcements, and meetings and events. Network members can log in to access documents and communicate with other Network members.
-          Click on The Atlas to search Vermont’s food system by people and places, region, keyword, and food system categories.
-          Click here [PDF, 691.35 kB] to download a tutorial for listing your organization on the Atlas and for joining the Farm to Plate Network.

How should I get started?

Get listed in the Atlas’ searchable database. If you think you might already be listed, try to login first. If you would like to join the Farm to Plate Network, you must get listed in the Atlas first. Once your profile is approved (you will receive an email notice), you can then login and join the Network by completing the Farm to Plate pledge and choosing which Working Group, Task Force, or Cross-cutting Team you would like to get involved with.

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How do I log in?

The login is located in the top right corner of the Atlas. If you forgot your password, you can request a new one. If you don’t remember if you created a profile on the Atlas, you can create a new profile and if a profile already exists, your name and email will pop up when entering your email address.

How do I get listed in the Atlas?

By creating a profile. You can do so here.
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Is my organization listed on the Atlas?

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Many organizations are already listed on the Atlas. Before creating a new one, check to see if your organization is on the Atlas (it probably is!). As organizations can be spelled and abbreviated in multiple ways, we suggest you Search the Atlas to verify that it is listed in the Atlas. You can also check when typing in your Organization Name in Step Two of Creating Your Profile, type your organization and see if it pops up, then click the green Claim button.

 

How do I correct missing or incorrect organizational information?

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-          Login to the Atlas and go to My Account on the top right hand corner of the Atlas;
-          Click on the Edit button to the right of your organization’s name on your profile page;
-          Make the changes to your organization and click change.

 

Can I correct missing or incorrect organizational information if it’s not my organization?

You can submit a correction by clicking the View Details button when viewing the organization and then clicking the Submit A Correction button.

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Can I add multiple organizations to my profile?

The Atlas is currently not set up to offer Network members the option to claim more than one organization. However, we have heard your feedback and are currently working on building in an option for Network members to be able to claim two organizations. 

How do I make it easier for people to find me on the Atlas?

Make sure you take the time to fully complete your profile and make sure your organization’s profile is complete with contact info, website, social media links, description, keywords, associations and categories.

What does it mean to claim a profile and be an administrator for an organization? Will I be the only staff member at my organization able to make changes to the profile?

Anyone connected to your organization on the Atlas is an administrator.

What are collections and how do I use them?

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If you are logged in to the Atlas you will notice a Collections icon on the upper right portion of the screen. This is your way to collect, store, and share people, places, Atlas searches, and resources with your colleagues, students, and friends. Any item on the Atlas with a blue plus sign next to it is collectable. To begin collecting, just click on a blue plus sign and assign that item to a Collection. You can see your Collections at any time by clicking on the Collections link at the top right of the screen. You can share your Collection via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Who created the Atlas?

When the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) was tasked with creating the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan in 2009, the Vermont Food System Atlas was developed to serve as the website portal to help implement and communicate the Plan. VSJF Research and Evaluation Director, Scott Sawyer, was the mastermind in creating the Atlas and is the current project manager. Web development is provided by Vermont Design Works. Learn more about Farm to Plate here.

Contact Erica Campbell (farm2plate at vsjf.org), Farm to Plate Program Director or Jake Claro (jake at vsjf.org), Farm to Plate Network Assistant for further support.

 

THE FARM TO PLATE NETWORK

How do I join the Network?

First you must create a profile on the Atlas. Once your profile is approved (you will get an email), you need to login to the Atlas and then click Join the Network.

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How do I join a Working Group?

Follow the same directions for joining the Network and choose the groups you wish to join when filling out the Farm to Plate Pledge.

How many groups should I join in the Network when I first sign up?

Only join the groups you plan to be active on and attend meetings. You can stay up-to-date with all group activities by visiting each one’s page on the Atlas where you can access meeting notes, agendas, and other information. You can also stay up-to-date with the Farm to Plate Network by subscribing to the newsletter.

Is there an orientation process to join the Network?

The Farm to Plate staff are developing an official orientation process. Currently, when you join the Network you will be contacted by the program director to see if you have any questions. You will also be sent a document that provides the Network structure, purpose, and values.

How do I access Working Group Documents?

Currently, you can access Working Group Documents if you are a Network member and ARE LOGGED IN. Each group page (working groups, task forces, and cross-cutting teams) includes a toolbar with a Documents tab (viewable only if logged in). Click on the Documents tab and you will get a Google username and Password to use to access all of the Network group folders. You will need to sign out of your current Google account to access the documents.Atlas_working_group_docs_email

How do I email my group?

Network members who have joined their Working Group, Task Force, or Cross-cutting Team can email their group(s) with a listserve address. Each group page has a tool bar that says Email this Group. You can also save the address to use anytime – you do not need to be logged in to use it. However, you do need to send the email from the same address listed under your profile.

If I am not a Vermont-based organization, can I join the Network?

We do not encourage out-of-state organizations to join unless they have some connection to Vermont (e.g., they are a regional or national food system organization that conducts some work on Vermont, they are an organization that straddles state borders in a given region, or they are a business within 30 miles of Vermont’s border and does business with Vermont businesses).

Is there a cost to be a member of the Network or to be listed on the Atlas?

There is not a cost to be listed on the Atlas. Support of the Atlas is encouraged and you can learn more here. Network member organizations are asked to help support the maintenance of the Atlas on a yearly basis. Other businesses are asked to sponsor the Atlas to pay for further development of this community supported website.

Who is in the Farm to Plate Network?

The Farm to Plate Network is a collaboration of over 300 organizations encompassing all types and scales of agricultural-related production and processing businesses, government entities, educational institutions, distributors, retailers, industry leaders, and dozens of non-profits from food justice to technical assistance providers working together to implement the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. Learn more about Farm to Plate here.

Contact Erica Campbell (farm2plate at vsjf.org), Farm to Plate Program Director or Jake Claro (jake at vsjf.org), Farm to Plate Network Assistant for further support.

 

 

THE FARM TO PLATE STRATEGIC PLAN AND GOALS

Can I search the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan from the search function on the Atlas?

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Any user can search the Plan, the Getting to 2020 indicators, or the Atlas mapping feature. The search feature on the top of the first page allows you to select which part to search. However, the search feature for the Plan is not very robust at this point, which we hope to address in Version 2.0.

Where can I find data used in the Strategic Plan?

The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan chapters can be downloaded here. Each section of the plan has a page where you can read a summary and download the chapter. The pages also include several resources, including stories on related topics, links to relevant programs and organizations, further reports and publications, and data and images from the plan section.

What strategies are appropriate to add that my organization is working on in the Getting to 2020 section of the Atlas?

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You can add any strategies that you feel are helping reach that goal and make an impact on the key indicators listed. It could be a program or project of an organization or agency, a new business venture or expansion of current business, or a collaborative initiative among several organizations or businesses. ATLAS_ADD_STRATEGY

Who wrote the Strategic Plan?

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) was tasked with creating the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan in 2009 when the Farm to Plate Investment Program legislation was approved by both the Vermont House and Senate and signed into law by then Governor Jim Douglas. Scott Sawyer, VSJF’s Research and Evaluation Director, serves as the lead author and editor. Additional VSJF staff, Farm to Plate Network members and other food and farm sector trailblazers authored different sections and chapters. Learn more about Farm to Plate here.

Contact Scott Sawyer (scott at vsjf.org), Farm to Plate Research and Evaluation Director for further support.

 

 

COMMUNICATING YOUR MESSAGE

How do I add news?

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-          Login to the Atlas
-          Go to News + Announcements which can be found in the bottom navigation bar
-          Click Add Announcement
-          Enter the news/announcement information and click Create Announcement
-          It will be approved within 24 hours

How do I add an event?

-          Login to the Atlas
-          Go to Events which can be found in the bottom navigation bar
-          Click Add Event
-          Enter your event information and click Create Event
-          It will be approved within 24 hours

How do I add a job listing?

-          Login to the Atlas
-          Go to Job Listings which can be found in the bottom navigation bar
-          Click Add Job Listing
-          Enter the job information and click Save
-          It will be approved within 24 hours

How can I get Farm to Plate to share my news or event on Facebook or Twitter?

Post your news, events, and job listings on the Atlas. That is where Farm to Plate pulls from to share in social media, in newsletters, and in media story development. You are also encouraged to post directly to our Facebook page and tweet to our Twitter handle

Can I help Farm to Plate spread the Vermont food system message?

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Yes! Please visit the Get Connected Page and share any of the news or media coverage in social media, on a blog, or in a newsletter. You can also join the communication team to help amplify Farm to Plate stories by connecting with writers, publishers, social media influencers, and interesting stories. Contact Rachel Carter (rachel at vsjf.org), communications director for more information.

I would like to write a story or blog about Farm to Plate, is there someone to help me with information?

Yes! Please contact Rachel Carter (rachel at vsjf.org) to learn more about the Farm to Plate communication team. Please visit the Farm to Plate Press Room for additional content.

Can I contribute stories or articles to the Atlas?

This is currently being further developed. To express your interest and ideas, email Rachel Carter (rachel at vsjf.org).

Can I search for all Farm to Plate related news on the Atlas?

Visit the Get Connected Page to read about Farm to Plate Network member news, events, and job listings. The Get Connected page also links to the Farm to Plate Initiative in the news and includes an archive of the Farm to Plate newsletters and press releases. Follow our parent organization, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund on Facebook, for additional Vermont food, farm, working landscape, and energy news.

How do I sign up for the Farm to Plate newsletter?

Right here!

How do I get listed in the Farm to Plate newsletter?

Make sure you post your news and announcements as well as events and job listings to the Atlas to be included in the newsletter. Contact Rachel Carter (rachel at vsjf.org) to inquire about writing a story or becoming a sponsor.

How do I become a sponsor of the Atlas?

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Learn about our sponsorship options here and contact Rachel Carter (rachel at vsjf.org) to learn more or create a customized sponsorship package.