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Working Groups: Production and Processing (Working Group)

Producer & Processor Association Report Complete

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.

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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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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…

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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.

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Gathering the Herd: Vermont Meat Processing Case Study

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.

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Grass-Fed Beef

A collection of resources providing market research, best production practices, and budgeting tools for grass-fed beef production

Grass-Fed Beef Grass-Based Beef Guide

A guide for understanding the variables and practices that influence grass-fed beef production profitability, with example budget templates for calculating income, expenses, and profitability. The full budgeting tool can be downloaded as an excel file elsewhere n the Grass-Fed Beef collection. The concept for this project was developed in 2015 to better understand the perceived growth in the market for grass-fed meats and concern around the profitability of small-to-midsize grass-based beef farms.

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Grass-Fed Beef Cow-Calf Working Budget

Excel grass-fed cow-calf budgeting tool to help your farm assess and plan for profitability.

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Grass-Fed Beef Feeder Working Budget

Excel grass-fed feeder budgeting tool to help your farm assess and plan for profitability.

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