Appendix A provides the enabling legislation that instructed VSJF to create a strategic plan for agricultural economic development by gathering existing data, studies, and analysis about the components of Vermont’s food system.
Over the past 10 years, a growing movement in sustainable agriculture—involving increased local food production and consumption, value-added processing, and diversified farms—has taken off. During the 2009 legislative session, two member-based public policy organizations, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Rural Vermont, and a number of state legislators (including Representatives Chris Bray, Will Stevens, Carolyn Partridge, Shap Smith, Bill Botzow, Martha Heath and Senators Vince Illuzzi, Sara Kittell, Susan Barlett and Peter Shumlin) crafted and helped win legislative approval for the creation of a Farm to Plate Investment Program (F2P). It was approved by the Senate and House in May 2009 and signed by Governor Douglas, as Sec. 35. 10 V.S.A. chapter 15A § 330. The legislation tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in consultation with the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council (SAC), with crafting a strategic plan based on a broad scope of work.
The primary outcomes of the legislation are to:
1. Increase economic development in Vermont’s food and farm sector.
2. Create jobs in the food and farm economy.
3. Improve access to healthy local foods.