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 Plan is based on a series of 54 food system product, market, and issue briefs highlighting current conditions, bottlenecks and gaps, opportunities, and recommendations. It also contains a Vision for Vermont's Food System in 2030, 15 Goals, 87 Objectives with indicators of progress, and 34 Priority Strategies (recommendations for action) compiled from the briefs. There are also a number of supplemental materials available.
The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan chapters listed in the left navigation column are from the original 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.
The final version of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan 2021-2030 will be delivered to the Vermont state legislature on February 11, 2021.
Part One of these Briefs was published in January 2020 as the VAAFM Agriculture and Food System Plan.
In addition to the full Part One report, you can access each product, market, and issue brief individually:
Products: Apples | Cheese | Dairy | Food-Grade Grains | Goats | Grass-Fed Beef | Hemp | Maple | Produce | Lightly Processed Vegetables
Markets: Direct Markets | School Food Procurement | College and Hospital Procurement | Grocers
Issues: Climate Change | Water Quality | Succession | Supporting Future Farmers | Access to Capital | Business and Technical Assistance | Consumer Demand | Agritourism | Food Access and Farm Viability
Part Two briefs are being released periodically. Currently available are:
Products: Meat: Slaughter, Processing, and Products | Specialty Foods | Bread | Sheep | Swine | Eggs
Markets: Major Metropolitan Markets
Issues: Agricultural and Food Literacy | Agriculture and Food Policy
If you are seeking information on specific topic areas, here are some suggested collections of related briefs:
Food Access: Food Access and Farm Viability | Food Security (coming soon) | School Food Procurement | Direct Markets | Grocers
Environmental Considerations: Climate Change | Water Quality | Payment for Ecosystem Services (coming soon) | Farmland Conservation (coming soon) | Compost (coming soon) | Agroforestry (coming soon) | Bees (coming soon)
Farm Succession: Supporting Future Farmers | Succession | Access to Capital | Business and Technical Assistance | Legal and Tax Support (coming soon) | Workforce and Education (coming soon) | Farmland Conservation (coming soon) | Alternative Ownership Models (coming soon)
Preserving the Working Landscape: Succession | Farmland Conservation (coming soon) | Land Use Planning (coming soon) | Climate Change | Water Quality | Payment for Ecosystem Services (coming soon)
Education: Agricultural Literacy, K-12 (coming soon) | Workforce and Education (coming soon) | School Food Procurement | Agricultural and Food Literacy | Agritourism
Promoting Local Food: Consumer Demand | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 (coming soon) | Agricultural and Food Literacy| School Food Procurement | Agritourism | Restaurants (coming soon) | Marketing (coming soon)
Product Diversification: Goats | Food-Grade Grains | Grass-Fed Beef | Hemp | Compost (coming soon) | Agroforestry (coming soon) | Hops (coming soon) | Climate Change
Fruits and Vegetables: Produce | Lightly Processed Vegetables | Apples | Grapes (coming soon) | Climate Change | Bees (coming soon)
Animal Husbandry: Dairy | Grass-Fed Beef | Goats | Swine | Sheep | Poultry (coming soon) | Eggs | Meat: Slaughter, Processing, and Products
Dairy: Dairy | Cheese | Goats | Water Quality | Climate Change
Value-Added Products: Specialty Foods| Cheese | Bread | Wine (coming soon) | Beer (coming soon) | Cider (coming soon) | Hops (coming soon) | Food-Grade Grains
Direct-to-Consumer Sales: Direct Markets | Consumer Demand | Agritourism | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 (coming soon) | Agricultural and Food Literacy| Food Access and Farm Viability
Wholesale Retail Sales: Grocers | Major Metropolitan Markets | Distribution (coming soon) | Marketing (coming soon) | Consumer Demand | Food Access and Farm Viability
Institutional Sales: School Food Procurement | College and Hospital Procurement | Lightly Processed Vegetables | Distribution (coming soon) | Agricultural Literacy, K-12 (coming soon)
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.
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.