Explore Resources

All Resources

Financing Case Studies Seeding the Future with Convertible Debt: A Financing Case Study of High Mowing Organic Seeds

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The first financing case study, Seeding the Future With Convertible Debt, focuses on High Mowing Organic Seeds--a producer of more than 600 varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seed that employs more than 40 people in Wolcott--and convertible debt.

Get Resource

Career Profiles Career Path Profiles: Pilot Project

The Career Pathways and Image Task Force created three career path profiles of people with food system careers as a pilot project, with the overall goal of attracting younger people to careers in the food system. Local farmers were interviewed to create the profiles, with a specific focus on the opportunities that were utilized and the skills necessary for their careers. The profiles also include career advice for aspiring farmers and contact information for students that are interested in following up. 

Get Resource

Asset Mapping Survey and Strategic Planning Report

28 organizations in the state, composed of nonprofits, government agencies, colleges and universities, and solid waste districts were surveyed for the Asset Mapping Project. Surveyed organizations were asked to identify assets in 7 areas: Personnel, Expertise, Constituents, Networks & Partners, Space & Facilities, Materials & Equipment, and Additional Leverage Areas. The survey was designed to: (1) Ensure identification of the major organizations that can serve as statewide Universal Recycling assets, (2) Identify key alliances and networks that can support and promote Food Cycle Coalition initiatives (3) Assess the strengths and gaps of organizations’ assets and the network of organizational assets as a whole, (4) Develop insights and recommendations for how to improve local/regional conditions that support Universal Recycling goals and implementation, (5) Catalyze action to meet local and regional needs to ensure comprehensive Universal Recycling implementation, and (6) Estimate the economic value of identified assets.

Get Resource

Financing Case Studies Bread & Butter Farm Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The second financing case study, Complex Dough, focuses on the land deal that enabled Bread & Butter Farm to purchase a conserved farm in Chittenden County. Nearly a dozen organizations and more than 25 individuals were involved, including a statewide land trust, a local land trust, two municipalities, an agricultural lender, a foundation, an angel investor, CSA members, and nonprofits. Although this particular patchwork quilt of financing sources was unique to Bread & Butter Farm, the fact is that new farm ventures in Vermont must often pull together a variety of financing sources, particularly if the purchase…

Get Resource

Use of Technical Assistance by Dairy Farms Survey

The Dairy Professional Development Task Force conducted surveys to determine tecnical assistance resource needs and best methods for communicating these resources among dairy farmers across the sate. Surveys were completed at the 2014 Farm Show, Dairy Producer Conference, Organic Dairy Conference, NOFA, the Grass Farmers Conference and were deleivered by Agri-Mark fieldmen to farmers. 127 surveys were returned.

Get Resource

Financing Case Studies Liz Lovely Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The third financing case study, Cookie Royalty, focuses on Liz Lovely, Inc. and a royalty financing deal that helped the business to grow. The 2013 royalty financing deal that helped Liz Lovely increase its annual sales from $1 million to $2 million in just one year was flexible, designed to move with the ebbs and flows of the company. Royalty financing, in which a loan is repaid based on a percentage of revenue over time (vs. a fixed monthly principal and interest payment), allowed Liz Lovely to endure fluctuations in revenue without having to make pre-set…

Get Resource

Independent Grocery research report - Phase 2

In 2014, the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, in collaboration with the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA), completed a survey of independent retailers in Vermont, revealing that 100 percent of store managers value local products as critical to their store brand. In the second phase of research, we wanted to learn more about how independent stores buy and sell local foods, along with their interest in workshops, training and business support services that can help increase local food sales.

Get Resource

Vermont local food campaign under development

The Farm to Plate Network is developing a statewide local food campaign to increase consumer demand for local food. As farmers and producers scale up production and additional market channels (retail, restaurants, institutions, direct sale) are opened to more Vermont food, the local food marketing campaign will target messaging to Vermont consumers to stimulate increased purchases, participation and awareness in Vermont’s local food economy. The campaign aims to help Vermonters feel connected to local food and celebrate individual entry points – whether it’s gardening, hunting, visiting a farm, or purchasing local products. Campaign messaging will encourage increased local food awareness and engagement that will help Vermonters connect the local food economy to the growth and success of Vermont communities, and ultimately lead to increased purchases.

Get Resource

Energy 2016 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan

The Department of Public Service completed an update to the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan in early 2016. Farm to Plate Energy Cross Cutting Team members reviewed drafts in the fall as part of the public input process. Comments and edits from the team were largely incorporated and were focused in the ag-related parts of the plan:  non-wood biomass (thermal renewable energy), biodiesel (transportation energy), anerobic digesters (renewable energy), and solar siting (renewable energy).

Get Resource

Regional Food Rescue Assessment Tool

During the Spring 2016 semester, a team of four Middlebury College students are researching and collecting data specifically related to developing a replicable Regional Food Rescue Assessment Tool. This tool will help regions of the state identify local partners and infrastructure to increase the amount of food rescued and redistributed within the charitable food system as a result of Universal Recycling mandates. Their research is contributing to the development of a 3 year program and pilot demonstration project.  

Get Resource