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Center for an Agricultural Economy
(802) 472-5362
140 Junction Road
Hardwick, VT 05843

Supporting the food system through farm business advising, specialty food business incubation, farm produce aggregation and processing, and community-focused agricultural innovation.


Name Title Phone
Sarah Waring
Executive Director (802) 472-5362
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I have the privilege of working with many talented folks in and around Hardwick Vermont, in my role at the Center for an Agricultural Economy. Our organization operates the Vermont Food Venture Center - a shared use, semi-automated food processing facility, which specializes in helping small and start-up food businesses, and helping farmers with value-added farm products. This facility has 3 industrial kitchens, and can help with business planning, recipe development, marketing, labelling, co-packing and other services. The Center also works on food access, hunger relief, and education and outreach: running educational tours, community classes, hosting the Hardwick Community Gardens, facilitating local foods into our local food pantry and more. We are a part of food center/food hub networks, Farm to Plate working groups as well as New England regional conversations on food systems infrastructure and food access. We work to support strong farmers, healthy communities, and engaged, proactive consumers.
Bethany Dunbar
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Bethany M. Dunbar is the Community Projects Coordinator for the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, Vt. Her background is in journalism and dairy farming, and she has written a book called Kingdom's Bounty about farmers and food in the Northeast Kingdom. it is a collection of her photos and essays and short listings that works as a guidebook to the Kingdom. She lives in West Glover.
Nora Leccese
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Nora spent her first two decades living and studying in Boulder, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2014, where she studied economics, ethnic studies and community leadership. Nora helped found Boulder Food Rescue, a national organization that uses bicycle power to redistribute produce that would otherwise go to waste from grocery stores to homeless, hungry and low income folks. She is currently an Emerson Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center working on a project to assess the infrastructure for local food and make recommendations for how it could benefit the charitable food system. She is working locally with the Center for an Agricultural Economy and the Vermont Foodbank.
Daniel Keeney
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M.S. and Graduate of UVM's Department of Community Development & Applied Economics Proud Farm Worker 2003, 2009, 2010 Production Assistant & Junior Partner, Dunc's Mill Artisanal Rums 2010-2017 Farm & Food Business Specialist, Center for an Agricultural Economy, 2014-Present
Lylee Rauch-Kacenski
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Lylee is a member of the Center for an Agricultural Economy's Business Services team. She works with local farmers and food producers to provide resources around marketing, distribution, and branding & design. While she prides herself on being a generalist of many subjects, Lylee has focused the past decade on community and local food systems. Her background includes degrees in Visual Arts and Urban Planning; and work as varied as graphic designer, small business owner, art educator, researcher, retreat center chef, gardener, and baker.
Kristin Blodgett


  • Food Processing or Manufacturing
    • Shared-use commercial kitchen
    • Support organization: Food Processing or Manufacturing
  • Food Distribution or Storage
    • Aggregation facility / food hub
  • Food Access and Nutrition
    • Support organization: Food Access and Nutrition
  • Education
    • General food system education
  • Business Planning and Technical Assistance
    • Packaging and safety
    • Production / Processing technical assistance
    • Other: Business Planning and Technical Assistance
  • Financing Organizations
    • Loans / debt
    • Other: Financing Organizations


Farm Advising, Supply Chain Support, Small Business Planning, JustCut Vegetables, Specialty Food production


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