Farm to Plate Strategic Plan
By many accounts, Vermont has developed the most comprehensive food system plan in the country and the ﬁrst of its kind in New England. In 2009, Farm to Plate Investment Program legislation was approved and tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund with the creation of a ten year Vermont food system plan to increase economic development and jobs in Vermont’s food and farm sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan identifies 25 goals aimed at strengthening all components of Vermont’s food system.
Click here to Access the progress being made in reaching the 25 goals of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan.
Farm to Plate Network
Over 350 Vermont 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 equity to technical assistance providers, comprise the Farm to Plate Network. The goals of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan are being implemented by both the collective work taking place within the Farm to Plate Network structure and by individual Network member organizations.
The Farm to Plate Network is self-governed and overall guidance is provided by a steering committee made up of various Network leaders, the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, the Vermont Secretary of Commerce, and a representative from the Vermont Food Funders Network, the Sustainable Agriculture Council, and the Vermont Agriculture and Forest Product Development Board. The Network is organized into working groups and cross-cutting teams focused on high impact food system leverage areas and cross-cutting issues aimed at re-localizing food production and distribution.
The Farm to Plate Network is generously supported by The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, Henry P. Kendall Foundation, John Merck Fund, Jane’s Trust, Angell Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation and the High Meadows Fund.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets plays a vital role in the Network. In addition to Secretary Ross serving on the steering committee, several Agency staﬀ are actively engaged in Network groups.
Since the launch of Farm to Plate, University of Vermont professors, instructors, researchers, and personnel have provided more participation and leadership than any other single organization within the Farm to Plate Network.
Organizations such as NOFA Vermont, the Vermont Land Trust, the Vermont Foodbank, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Fresh Network, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and a total of eleven state government entities provide additional important leadership in the Farm to Plate Network.
The Working Lands Enterprise Board as well as many philanthropic foundations use the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan to inform the decision making process around farm and food system grant making.
Vermont works closely with each of the New England states as a part of the Food Solutions New England network, which is promoting a New England Food Vision aimed at producing 50% of the food consumed in New England by 2060.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) serves as the backbone organization to the Farm to Plate Network and executes the analysis and tracking of Farm to Plate Strategic Plan implementation. As a backbone organization, VSJF guides vision and strategy; supports aligned activities and facilitates dialogue across the network; establishes shared measurement practices; mobilizes funding; manages core Network communication needs; provides professional development and leadership training opportunities; builds public will; and coordinates community outreach.
The VSJF team gratefully acknowledges Kit Perkins, Heather Pipino, Patsy Fortney, Doug Hoffer, Dan Erickson, and Katie Rutherford for Farm to Plate Initiative development, as well as significant research and writing contributions from Holly Tippett, Louise Calderwood, Greg Georgaklis, Rachel Schattman, Linda Berlin, Ginger Nickerson, Helen Labun Jordan, Ela Chapin, Mark Cannella, Londa Nwadike, Nic Rockler, and the insightful comments of many reviewers.
Vermont Food Atlas
The Vermont Food Atlas is a searchable mapping tool designed to help farmers and food businesses find resources on education, financing, and technical assistance, as well as build relationships with distributors, processing centers, other farmers, and all entities representing the state’s food system.
The Vermont Food Atlas was made possible through the generous support of Jane’s Trust, Claneil Foundation, Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust, Sandy River Charitable Trust, and an anonymous foundation.