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Career Profiles

A collection of resources from the Career Profiles project, including profiles of workers in Vermont's food system, resources for teachers, and background information.

Career Profiles Charting a Path: Food System Workforce Needs Assessment

This study, conducted by researchers Holly Tippett and Wendy Meunier, asked, “What are the education and training needs of Vermont’s food system employers and is our education system aligned with these needs?” The final report, Charting a Path: Food System Workforce Needs Assessment, gives 10 recommendations to better align Vermont’s food system education with the needs of today’s farm and food businesses.

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Exploring the Next Frontier: Increasing Local Food Sales at Vermont's Independent Retailers

"Exploring the Next Frontier: Increasing Local Food Sales at Vermont's Independent Retailers" is a report published by Farm to Plate's Supply and Demand Task Force in order to help grow the independent grocer market in ways that work for retailers, farmers, food producers, and distributors. The report provides an understanding of the kinds of products independent grocery stores currently sell and what real and perceived barriers exist to selling more or different products at independent grocery stores.

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Financing Case Studies

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 created a series of case studies based on types of financing used by Vermont food businesses. The case studies cover convertible debt (High Mowing Organic Seeds), farmland financing (Bread & Butter Farm), and royalty financing (Liz Lovely).

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.

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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.

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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…

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Human Resources Training Programs for Food System Businesses

The purpose of this project was to inventory and assess existing human resource and labor management trainings and resources available to Vermont farm and food businesses. It was also intended to develop recommendations for expanding or improving services to employers so that they can access tools and acquire skills needed to provide good working conditions to employees. 

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Farmland Investment Model Report

This report shares the findings, analyses and commentary of the second phase of a project conducted by Land For Good (landforgood.org) (LFG) to understand the potential of private “values-based” investment capital to provide beneficial, affordable land access and security for farmers in our New England region. LFG, in partnership with the University of Vermont Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, conducted a detailed investigation of four investment companies and their potential as innovative models for farmers to access—and in some cases transfer—farmland. The potential for success for farmland investor models lies in their attractiveness for farmers as well as investors.

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Defining a Community of Practice

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people in organizations who come together to share what theyknow, to learn from one another regarding some aspects of their work and to provide a social context for that work.Through our work in Value Chain Partnerships, we have found that communities of practice (CoPs) functionstrategically as:1. Catalysts for cooperation of diverse interests to create solutions for food and fiber producers andbusinesses;2. Hubs which create, capture, document, and leverage knowledge and deploy this knowledge astechnical assistance to assist value chain partners;3. Magnets to attract funding, and for leveraging, channeling, and distributing funding to researchand development efforts for differentiated food and fiber products; and4. Scouts to identify emerging value chain opportunities with high potential to deliver economicbenefit to sustainable agriculture stakeholders.

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