Cabot Creamery Co-operative is supporting Salvation Farms’ engagement of a University of Vermont Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA (SEMBA) graduate, Diane Abruzzini. Diane will aid the nonprofit in the revision and expansion of their business plan for the Vermont Commodity Program. The Vermont Commodity Program operates Vermont’s first surplus-crop food hub in Winooski through a workforce development program. The food hub cleans, quality assesses, processes, and packs surplus crops.
Abruzzini will work with Salvation Farms for up to six months, working three days a week out of a satellite office in Richmond. Her role at Salvation Farms is to assist the Vermont Commodity Program with financial modeling, business strategy, and stakeholder relations. It is only with the help of Cabot Creamery that Salvation Farms is able to engage Ms. Abruzzini.
“The 1,100 farm families who own Cabot Creamery are committed to supporting programs that not only bring more food to those in need, but also increase farm sustainability, while being replicable throughout the region,” said Cabot Creamery CEO Ed Townley. “Salvation Farms has a strong vision; we hope that by utilizing the unique set of skills Diane brings from her UVM SEMBA and work experience, their vision will be strengthened.”
Abruzzini comes to Salvation Farms with experience working with sustainable agricultural business models. She has started multiple small businesses, including an edible landscaping firm and a farm to table bakery. “I have spent most of my career focusing on innovative ways to increase population access to local food, both the supply and demand side of the equation,” she said. “Salvation Farms is creating a unique opportunity to assist both sides at once: increase farmer revenue and facilitate new markets.”
For more information on Salvation Farms and the Vermont Commodity Program, visit salvationfarms.org