The enabling legislation for Vermont Farm to Plate created a 10-year time horizon spanning 2010 to 2020 for the creation and implementation of a statewide food system plan. As Farm to Plate concludes its eighth full year and approaches 2020, there is strong recognition that we have made major progress in implementing priority strategies and achieving the objectives identified in the plan. Since 2010: • Purchases of local food in Vermont have increased by $176 million to $310 million in total (13.9% of total food and beverage sales). • 6,559 net new jobs and 742 net new businesses have been created. • The percentage of food insecure Vermont households has dropped to 9.8% from 13.2%. We come to the Legislature not only to report on the latest year of progress, but also to ask to open a new chapter and decade of Farm to Plate’s existence by reauthorizing the Farm to Plate Investment Program for another 10 years. Our hope is that this year’s Annual Report begins to outline the challenges, opportunities, and approaches Farm to Plate will focus on now and into the decade to come.
This year’s Annual Report features highlights of key projects from 2019, including grass-fed beef industry development, local planning for food access, wholesale markets, and small-scale on-farm composting. You will also see how Rooted in Vermont continues to engage Vermonters through inventive partnerships, the ways we are supporting the future of Vermont’s dairy sector, and a snapshot from the latest Census of Agriculture release.