Farm to Plate Strategic Plan
In 2019, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) was reauthorized by the Vermont state legislature to create the Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030. The final version was published February 8, 2021 and was delivered to the Vermont State Legislature on February 11. Watch the press conference officially release the Plan here and watch the presentation to the Vermont State Legslature here and here.
The Plan contains a vision for Vermont's food system in 2030, 15 strategic goals with 87 objectives, and 34 priority strategies (recommendations for action). It is based on a series of 54 food system product, market, and issue briefs highlighting current conditions, bottlenecks and gaps, opportunities, and recommendations.
The structure of this website reflects the original Farm to Plate plan released in January, 2011. In 2021, we plan to update this website, to make the 2021-2030 Plan more easily available and to reflect a revised Farm to Plate Network structure for implementing the Plan.
Component files of the plan include:
The Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan - This is the complete document containing background on the Plan and its development, the vision for Vermont's food system in 2030, the strategic goals and objectives, the priority strategies, an overview of collective impact and the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, all 54 briefs, and a table explaining the relationship of the priority strategies to the briefs.
The Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan - smaller file - This file does not include the briefs and may be a more manageable file size for slow connections.
Table of Priority Strategies with Source Reference -This table, which is also contained in the Supplemental Materials of the Plan, documents the relationships between briefs and the final Plan.
The product, market, and issue briefs are included in the full Plan document, but you can also access each one individually:
Product Briefs: Agroforestry | Apples | Beer | Bees and Honey | Bread | Cheese | Compost | Dairy | Eggs | Food-Grade Grains | Goats | Grapes | Grass-Fed Beef | Hemp | Hops | Lightly Processed Vegetables | Maple | Meat Slaughter, Processing, and Products | Poultry | Produce | Sheep | Specialty Foods | Spirits | Swine
Market Briefs: College and Hospital Procurement | Direct Markets | Distribution | Grocers | Major Metropolitan Markets | Restaurants | School Food Procurement
Issue Briefs: Access to Capital | Agricultural and Food Literacy | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 | Agriculture and Food Policy | Agritourism | Alternative Land Ownership and Access Models | Business and Technical Assistance | Child Care | Climate Change | Consumer Demand | Farmland Conservation | Food Access and Farm Viability | Food Security | Health Care | Labor and Workforce | Land Use Planning | Marketing | Payment for Ecosystem Services | Racial Equity in the Vermont Food System | Succession | Supporting Future Farmers | Tax and Legal Services | Water Quality
Briefs End Notes and Data Citations - there are a few citations that are still being formatted, contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need information about a specific citation that is not yet included.
Supporting Materials from Briefs: Vermont Food System Financing Inventory | Business Assistance Continuum | Farm to School Products and Opportunity | Metropolitan Markets Map
If you are seeking information on specific topic areas, here are some suggested collections of related briefs:
Note that Part One of these Briefs was published in January 2020 as the VAAFM Agriculture and Food System Plan.
Food Access: Food Security | Food Access and Farm Viability | Racial Equity in the Vermont Food System | School Food Procurement | Direct Markets | Grocers
Environmental Considerations: Climate Change | Water Quality | Payment for Ecosystem Services | Farmland Conservation | Compost | Agroforestry | Bees and Honey
Farm Succession: Succession | Supporting Future Farmers | Racial Equity in the Vermont Food System | Access to Capital | Business and Technical Assistance | Tax and Legal Services | Farmland Conservation | Alternative Land Ownership and Access Models
Farm Viability: Access to Capital | Business and Technical Assistance | Labor and Workforce | Health Care | Child Care | Marketing | Food Access and Farm Viability | Distribution | Racial Equity in the Vermont Food System | Agriculture and Food Policy
Preserving the Working Landscape: Succession | Farmland Conservation | Land Use Planning | Climate Change | Payment for Ecosystem Services
Education: Agricultural Literacy, K-12 | Labor and Workforce | School Food Procurement | Agricultural and Food Literacy | Agritourism
Workforce: Labor and Workforce | Racial Equity in the Vermont Food System | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 | Child Care | Health Care
Promoting Local Food: Consumer Demand | Marketing | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 | Agricultural and Food Literacy | School Food Procurement | Direct Markets | Agritourism | Restaurants
Product Diversification: Goats | Food-Grade Grains | Grass-Fed Beef | Hemp | Hops | Compost | Agroforestry | Climate Change
Fruits and Vegetables: Produce | Lightly Processed Vegetables | Apples | Grapes | Climate Change | Bees and Honey
Animal Husbandry: Dairy | Grass-Fed Beef | Goats | Swine | Sheep | Poultry | Eggs | Meat Slaughter, Processing, and Products
Dairy: Dairy | Cheese | Goats | Water Quality | Payment for Ecosystem Services
Value-Added Products: Specialty Foods | Cheese | Bread | Grapes | Spirits | Beer | Major Metropolitan Markets
Direct-to-Consumer Sales: Direct Markets | Consumer Demand | Agritourism | Agricultural and Food Literacy | Food Access and Farm Viability
Wholesale Retail Sales: Grocers | Major Metropolitan Markets | Distribution | Marketing | Consumer Demand
Institutional Sales: School Food Procurement | College and Hospital Procurement | Lightly Processed Vegetables | Distribution
The orignal Farm to Plate Stategic Plan 2020, created in 2009 following the signing of the Farm to Plate Investment Program legislation into law, provides an overview of the development process VSJF used to work with over 1,200 farmers, producers, technical assistance providers, and farm and food sector industry leaders to create Vermont's original food system plan. It highlights 25 goals and dozens of strategies to strengthen and grow Vermont’s food system, as well as the progress to reach those goals, and explores the major issues impacting Vermont’s food system through analysis of high impact leverage areas.
Farm to Plate Strategic Plan 2020 Appendices
Mouse over the Diagram to
Explore Vermont's Food System
Chapter 3 Overview
The components of Vermont’s food system are explored in depth over the course of seven sections in Chapter 3. Each section focuses on current conditions, analyzes gaps and barriers to strengthening Vermont’s food system, identifies emerging opportunities, and provides a series of objectives and strategies aimed at reaching the 25 goals presented in Chapter 2.
3.1: Consumer Demand
This section attempts to answer these questions: Can Vermont feed itself? How much money is spent on local food purchases in Vermont? This section describes where our food comes from and where people buy food, and outlines key variables for understanding how to boost consumer demand for local food products. This section also reviews programs that provide consumer education and community outreach on food issues (e.g., food access programs), and documents some contemporary examples of the marketing of Vermont’s food system to local and regional consumers.
3.2: Farm Inputs
This section focuses on resources such as land, soil, fertilizer, animal feed, seed, labor, equipment, energy, and farm input businesses that are essential for food production, as well as opportunities for reducing farm production expenses.
3.3: Food Production
This section looks at issues impacting growing and raising food products in Vermont, including expanding food production for local and regional markets. Major categories include dairy production, livestock grown for meat, maple syrup, fruits and vegetables, grains, honey, beer, hard cider, spirits, wine, and fish.
Food Processing & Manufacturing
3.4: Food Processing & Manufacturing
This section provides an overview of issues and challenges in food processing and manufacturing that were voiced during the F2P planning process, as well as examples of challenges and opportunites drawn from current examples in the state.
Aggregation, Distribution, and Storage
3.5: Aggregation, Distribution, and Storage
Vermont has the potential to significantly increase food production in-state. Wholesale distribution and storage is an important part of supplying all markets, from restaurants to supermarkets. What does Vermont's wholesale distribution look like, and is the current system a limiting factor to Vermont farmers and food enterprises reaching local and regional markets? Are there sufficient storage facilities in the state to meet current and future demand? This section will analyze the process of aggregating and delivering food from the primary producer to end consumers at supermarkets, restaurants, schools, convenience or general stores, and other retail outlets.
3.6: Retail Distribution
Can Vermont's farm and food producers access local and regional markets? What is needed to improve access to these markets? This section covers the variety of locations where Vermonters purchase food, such as grocery stores, country stores, food co-ops, farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, superstores, schools, and hospitals.
3.7: Nutrient Management
This section explores the management of food waste, livestock manure, fertilizer, and other inputs in order to minimize the negative impacts of nutrient losses on the environment and to provide sufficient nutrients for crop and animal growth throughout their life cycles.