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Working Groups: Farmland Access and Stewardship (Working Group)

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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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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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules

Agricultural planning modules that provide guidance and resources on new issues like food system planning, agripreneurism, and composting, while giving detailed guidance on historically important issues such as farmland conservation, farmland and taxes, and land use regulations. These topics are covered in 5 short easily digestible modules that can be read as a series or quickly referenced individually.

Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 2: Agricultural Land Conservation

A planning guide to agricultural land conservation that covers partners, tools and techniques, and resources.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 3: Farmland and Property Taxes

This module explains how farmland is taxed, and what would happen in both the short and long term if farmland protection tools available to communities were utilized.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 4: Local Regulatory Context

An overview of how local regulations can promote diversified enterprises on farms that can help bolster farm viability, keep land open and in production, and maintain or enhance a community's sense of place.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Module 5: State Regulations

An overview of the intersection between agricultural land use planning and Vermont's Right to Farm Law and Act 250.

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A 2018 Exploration of the Future of Vermont Agriculture: Ideas to Seed a Conversation and a Call to Action

"A 2018 Exploration of the Future of Vermont Agriculture” is an attempt to capture an assessment that emerged from several conversations amongst a small group of organizations grappling with how to respond to ongoing negative trends in Vermont agriculture. The hope for this report is that it will serve as a launching point for any number of conversations across the state. In summary, the analysis of the report is that a variety of factors are combining that threaten Vermont’s economy, community, and culture. We see existing activities (e.g., land conservation easements and technical assistance) as highly valuable, but not sufficient to fully address anticipated trends. Therefore, we believe new approaches must be identified, evaluated, and implemented, in addition to sufficiently investing in existing high-impact approaches. We invite feedback on how to undertake such a process, and how to fund, administer, and coordinate implementation across our networks.

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Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules Local Planning for Food Access

This toolkit focuses on improving food access through municipal and regional plans. Plans alone won’t solve hunger, but the planning process can raise awareness and build broad public support for food access initiatives. There are a wide variety of ways to address food access in plans. Food access and hunger are systemic issues that are connected to the broader food system. They are impacted by state and federal agricultural policies and by local decisions in municipal and regional plans around topics like land use regulation, transportation and mobility, water quality, waste management, and more. This resource includes information on the planning process, explores the way that food access relates to other topics that are already being addressed through local planning, provides suggested strategies to include and advice on how to select the most appropriate, and presents successful examples from around the state. Appendix A, Resources, contains additional resources, including more information on designing and implementing specific strategies. It is available at: https://www.vtfarmtoplate.com/assets/resource/files/Local%20Planning%20for%20Food%20Access%20Resources%20Appendix.pdf

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