The challenges faced by the 15 producer/processor associations interviewed have occurred during a time of significant market growth and public interest in local food and Vermont products. This underlines the critical need to nurture strong producer/processor associations that can actively advance the interests of Vermont food producers and processors.
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.
Gathering the Herd captures lessons learned over a three year period from by the Farm to Plate Meat Processing Task Force. The Meat Processing Task Force within Farm to Plate, active from 2011 to 2013, facilitated greater mutual understanding between livestock farmers and meat processors – two constituencies that had been in minimal contact with each other and were largely unaware of each others’ challenges.
In 2009 the Vermont Legislature tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) with administering the Farm to Plate Investment Program (10 V.S.A. § 330), to “create a strategic plan for agricultural and food system development, which may be periodically reviewed and updated.” The Farm to Plate Network formed in 2011, and set about implementing the first statewide Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. We came together out of a love for good food, strong communities, and our working landscape, to intentionally support the farmers, food entrepreneurs, and farm and food workers who provide nutritious, delicious food for us all. Over the past ten years, Vermont’s food system economic output expanded 48%, from $7.5 billion to $11.3 billion, which includes $3 billion (26.5%) from food manufacturing—Vermont’s second-largest manufacturing industry. The food system added 6,560 net new jobs (11.3% increase), and more than 64,000 Vermonters were directly employed by over 11,500 farms and food-related businesses. Local food purchases rose from $114 million (5%) to $310 million (13.9%) of the total $2.2 billion spent on food in the state annually, and Vermont farms sold $781 million worth of product per year. Recognizing the success of the first Plan and the continued importance of agriculture and food to Vermont’s economy, environment, and culture, the Vermont Legislature and Governor Scott reauthorized the Farm to Plate Investment Program in 2019.
A listing of capital providers who help to finance farm and food businesses, including debt, equity, and royalty financing, as well as various grant programs. The inventory is a supplemental document to the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 as requested by the Vermont Legislature as part of Act 83/S.160 (2019). The full Plan can be found here: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/document/vermont-agriculture-and-food-system-plan-2020 If any of the information contained in this directory needs to be updated or is missing, please email relevant information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make corrections. Version 2021.2
In response to the ongoing dairy crisis and other significant changes happening within Vermont’s agricultural and food sector, and a desire to stimulate more rural economic development as well as regional market access for Vermont products, the Legislature passed and Governor Scott signed Act 83 (S.160), an act relating to agricultural development, in May 2019. Section 1 of this Act calls for the development of a report with recommendations to stabilize and revitalize Vermont’s agricultural industry. This report was delivered to the Vermont Legislature in January, 2020. As part of a planned update to the 2011 Farm to Plate Strategic Plan, a second set of 31 product, market and issue briefs, along with a vision for Vermont's food system, a new set of goals, objectives and indicators of progress will be published in February 2021. Titled the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan 2021-2030, it will serve as our guiding implementation document over the next 10 years.
Many individuals and organizations, including here in Vermont, have worked tirelessly on addressing racism broadly and specifically within the food system for decades. We encourage you to elevate their work, galvanize support and educate yourself. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of resources, so please reach out if you have additional resources to add.
The Clemmons Family Farm is one of the largest African-American-owned historic farms in Vermont today. The farm includes 6 historic buildings (circa later 1700s-1800s), a spacious 1990s residents, and 148 acres of prime farmland and forests, ponds and streams abundant with wildlife. The Farm is one of the 22 official landmarks on the State of Vermont's African-American Heritage Trail.