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.
This Takeaways document outlines a range of Sticking Points and Solutions, as well as next steps regarding further outreach to key stakeholders. It is one of a series of outputs from the Crosscutting Team coming out of the Farm Transfers Convening.