Announcements & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Center for an Agricultural Economy
Contact: Alison Low
802‐424‐1418
alow@nvda.net

Getting Local Products to Market: New Distribution Study Finds the Gaps and Opportunities
Hardwick, VT, January 4, 2016 – While agriculture and local food are increasingly important economic drivers in the Northeast Kingdom, the movement of food remains a logistical challenge. Rough rural terrain and long distances pose a constant barrier for any farmer or food producer, whether they are moving product to markets within the region or beyond.

The Hardwick‐based Center for an Agricultural Economy is ready to surmount this challenge. They’ve recently collaborated with consultant Rosalie Wilson to collect data on the distribution and storage of food in the region to uncover opportunities to improve efficiency of local food movement, and to increase access to markets for local producers. Outreach to growers and distributors will help to better understand needs for storage and distribution, identify the current infrastructure available, and gauge interest for collaboration.

Findings and recommendations will be incorporated into the updated Regional Food System Plan for the Northeast Kingdom, which will be the focus of a regional summit at Sterling College, March 26th.

“The Northeast Kingdom has seen significant growth in both food manufacturers’ employment and total wages since 2006,” said Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy. “However, what we hear on the ground from many of our food producers and processors is that it’s difficult to get the food you make to the market in which you want to sell.”

This study, which will become a part of the larger Northeast Kingdom Regional Food System Plan, will be critical in determining where the gaps lie for local producers in moving dry goods, as well as fresh, cold or frozen foods to market. “We’re excited that we get to work with Rose Wilson,” says Waring. “She is an independent business consultant who has worked with over 160 farms, food businesses and non profit organizations to provide critical research and technical assistance at the right time to advance our agricultural economy and to ensure viability of small business.”

Founded in 2005, the Center for an Agricultural Economy is dedicated to the advancement of a local, healthy food system, and providing the services needed for working lands enterprises to grow. They are the recipients of a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Opportunity Grant to develop a strategic five‐year update to the region food system plan.Northeastern Vermont Development Association, the regional planning commission and

the economic development organization serving Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is a partner in the development of the plan. Stakeholders in the local food system are strongly urged to contact Alison Low at NVDA with questions or concerns: alow@nvda.net.

For more information about the plan update, visit NVDA’s Webpage at http://www.nvda.net/agriculture.php

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5-2014

I happened across this and thought I’d share it in case you or anyone you know is interested in a farmstead and artisanal cheese making facility for sale in Albany, VT.  $350,000 for 60 acres, a farm house, and good looking cheese room with views seems like a good deal!

Artisan Cheese Facility and Farmstead for Sale:

4180955_3

http://farmandforest.com/listing/4180955/4558-creek-road-albany-vt-05845/

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2013 WORKING LANDS ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE GRANTS ANNOUNCED

Contact: NOELLE SEVOIAN, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, (802) 585-9072, noelle.sevoian@state.vt.us

The Working Lands Enterprise Board today announced the release of available grant funds to invest $986,500 into agricultural, forestry and forest product enterprises and organizations. The announcement took place during the luncheon of the “Financing the Working Landscape Conference”, organized by Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN), the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC).

“Vermont’s working landscape captures Vermont’s heritage, its culture, and its people,” according to Board Chair, Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross. “It provides tens of thousands of jobs and contributes greater than 15% to Vermont’s Gross Domestic Product. Today’s announcement represents the state of Vermont’s investment in preserving and enhancing Vermont’s working lands.”

The 2012 Legislative session brought with it a renewed commitment to Vermonters’ values by passing the Working Lands Enterprise initiative for the management and investment of $1 million into agricultural and forestry based businesses.  Over 97 percent of Vermonters value the working landscape.  Approximately 20 percent of Vermont’s land is used for agricultural purposes and 75 percent as forestry.  The backbone of Vermont’s “working landscape” is the economic viability of the agriculture and forestry based businesses. It is Vermont’s working landscape that allows us to be a key economic engine within the northeast metropolitan markets of the regional food system.  Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Michael Snyder, comments on the importance of the partnership, saying “This is a historical moment, placing agriculture and forestry on the same investment platform.”

The Working Lands Enterprise initiative, Act 142, created the Working Lands Enterprise Fund (WLEF) and the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB). The WLEB includes private sector representatives from agriculture and forestry; state government including the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development; and ex-officio members from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Economic Development Authority, and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.

The following are the three investment areas of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund:

1.Agriculture and Forestry & Forest Products: Enterprise Investments:

$3,000-$15,000 grants. Applications due no later than 5:00pm., January 24, 2013. (Postmarked by January 24 for mailed proposals)

2.Agriculture and Forestry & Forest Products: Working Lands Service Provider Grants:

$10,000 – $100,000 grants. Letter of Intent due no later than 5:00pm., January 4, 2013. Applications due no later than 5:00pm., February 15, 2013.

3.Agriculture and Forestry & Forest Products: Capital and Infrastructure Investments:

$15,000 – $100,000 grants. Letter of Intent due no later than 5:00pm., January 4, 2013. Applications due no later than 5:00pm., March 8, 2013.

Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, Lawrence Miller, states “The working landscape is the foundation of several of our most important economic sectors:  fundamental to agriculture, forest products, stone and minerals, and renewable energy, but also critical for our tourism economy. Interacting with the land in work and recreation is also a fundamental part of our culture.  The WLEF is an important tool for ensuring that we are able to make the transitions and diversification necessary to secure the working landscape for future generations.”

To access the Request For Proposals and the Working Lands Initiative home page, visit VermontWorkingLands.com or VermontAgriculture.com.

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VERMONT FARM VIABILITY PROGRAM- Business Planning Services Enrollment Open

ANNOUNCEMENT: Enrolling NOW for technical assistance, business planning, and disaster recovery
planning

BUSINESS PLANNING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: Enrolling now for farm businesses – deadline Nov 30, 2011

The Vermont Farm Viability Program  (VFVP) offers business planning and technical assistance to
Vermont farmers through one-on-one consulting.  The Program has helped more than 350 farmers to
increase profits, improve farm management, develop new, value-added products, and plan for farm
transfers.  Planning consultants can work with farmers on:

Enterprise analysis
Full business planning
Farm transfer/succession planning

DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING: Enrolling now for disaster-affected farmers statewide
New program

The Farm Viability Program is also enrolling farmers for disaster recovery planning in partnership
with UVM Extension. Disaster recovery planning assistance may include:

Assessing losses
Identifying temporary or long-term replacement land
Identifying appropriate resources for recovery
Assistance with disaster-related paperwork and applications (loans included) Development of
post-disaster Business Recovery Plans
o Strategic plans
o Cash flow budgeting
o Reconstruction or relocation plans
o Financial decision-making

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO MEAT PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS: Enrolling now for scaling up production
New program

The Vermont Farm Viability Program is currently enrolling Vermont value-added agricultural
businesses and meat producers or processors to receive specialized technical assistance and
business planning services.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from November 2011 to
March 2012.  The Program can help you with:

Increasing  value-added production or meat production and processing
Marketing to increase sales or change markets New enterprise development or diversification
Business/financial management to improve profitability

Applications can be found online at  www.vhcb.org/viability.html. If you are interested in any of
these opportunities, please contact Liz Gleason, Farm Viability Program Assistant, at: 802-828-3370
or  liz@vhcb.org

The Vermont Farm Viability Program is a program of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in
collaboration with the Agenc y of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. The program is funded by the
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center, and the USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with support from Senator Leahy.

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Vermont’s USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Emergency Conservation Program Applications are Being Accepted

Colchester, VT,October 7, 2011 -The State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Vermont, Robert Paquin, announced today that several Vermont counties have received approval to implement the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) following Tropical Store Irene. Applications for ECP are being accepted at local county Farm Service Agency offices. Storm related flooding and wind has caused damage to farmland and producers may be eligible to receive cost-share assistance to restore the farmland to prior agricultural use.

The following counties have received approval to implement ECP and are currently accepting applications:Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor. Sign-up deadline is November 23, 2011. While applications are being accepted, funding for the Emergency Conservation Program is awaiting Congressional action on fiscal 2012 appropriations.

Even if a county has not yet been approved for ECP, it is extremely important that farmers with damage contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office to report any damage to farmland that has occurred. Applications will be accepted at all FSA Service Centers.

Those who sustained significant damage due to this natural disaster may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) if the damage:

  • Will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use
  • Sustained a minimum of $1,000 of eligible damage
  • Is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area
  • Affect the productive capacity of the farmland
  • Will impair or endanger the land.

The following types of restoration measures available are:

  • Removing debris from farmland
  • Grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland
  • Restoring permanent fences
  • Restoring conservation structures and other similar installations

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until ALL of the following are met:

  • An application for cost-share assistance has been filed
  • The local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite inspection of the damaged area
  • The Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination.

To file an application:Contact the local county USDA Farm Service Agency office:

Addison:Middlebury at 802-388-6748

Bennington: Rutland at 802-775-8969 or 1-800-300-6927

Caledonia:St. Johnsbury at 802-748-2641 or 1-800-862-1121

Chittenden:Williston at 802-865-7895 or 1-800-910-2035

Essex: St. Johnsbury at 802-748-2641 or 1-800-862-1121

Franklin:St. Albans at 802-527-1296 or 1-800-717-8637

Grand Isle: St. Albans at 802-527-1296 or 1-800-717-8637

Lamoille:Morrisville at 802-888-4935

Orange: White River Junction at 802-295-7942 or 1-800-789-6713

Orleans:Newport at 802-334-6090 or 1-866-241-2190

Rutland:Rutland at 802-775-8969 or 1-800-300-6927

Washington: Williston at 802-865-7895 or 1-800-910-2035

Windham:Brattleboro at 802-254-9766

Windsor:White River Junction at 802-295-7942 or 1-800-789-6713

State Office:Colchester at 802-658-2803

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HURRICANE IRENE ASSISTANCE LOAN PROGRAM
FOR COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES AND FARMS

Up to $10 Million is available through VEDA’s Hurricane Irene Assistance Loan Program to assist Vermont businesses and farms in their efforts to recover from direct physical damage caused by flooding related to Hurricane Irene.

Eligibility & Loan Purposes

Borrowers eligible to participate include all types of businesses and farms that sustained DIRECT physical flood related damage, including but not limited to damage to or loss of inventory, equipment,business premises, crops, animals, feed or other supplies. Not-for-profit organizations are also eligible.Residences, apartment houses and mobile home parks are not eligible.

Interest Rates/Terms

The interest rate in this program will be 1% for the first two years with no payments required during the first year. At the beginning of the third year, the rate will adjust for commercial businesses to the VEDA Small Business Loan Program variable index, and for farm loans to the Vermont Agriculture Credit Corporation prime rate. Loans will be amortized based on how the loan funds will be used. (VEDA will secure the loan with a security interest in business or farm real and/or personal property and the personal guarantees of the owners. Loan applicants must demonstrate repayment ability. )

Loan Amounts

The maximum loan amount is $100,000.

How do I apply?

Applications for financing may be obtained via phone at (802) 828-5627, at VEDA’s offices in Montpelier or may be downloaded and/or completed on-line at www.veda.org.

Applications will be reviewed and loans approved on a first come-first served basis until available funds are exhausted.

Please contact VEDA at (802) 828-5627 or info@veda.org for more information

 

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Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Announces Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Capital Improvement Grant

FY2011 Request for Applications

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is now accepting applications for the new Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Capital Improvement Grant Program. This program was created by the Vermont Legislature to provide matching grants for capital investments that will support Vermont agricultural producers in obtaining GAP certification.

The goals of the GAP Capital Improvement Grant Program are to increase sales of Vermont fruits and vegetables and create or maintain jobs by enhancing market access and promoting food safety. Both GAPs-certified producers, as well as those who are looking towards GAPs certification are eligible to apply. There is a maximum cap among all GAPs Capital Improvements Program grants of $10,000 per farm, and farms must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs. To be eligible for funding, the participant must be in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture regarding regulatory requirements and resulting penalties.

A total of $100,000 is available. Funding will be disbursed in two grant rounds, with the first grant round open from July 1 to September 30, 2011. A total of $50,000 is available in the first grant round, and will be made available to producers for eligible expenses in the order that applications are received. Applications received after first round grant funds are fully expended will be automatically considered in the second round of funding. The second round will open on November 1, 2011.

I.         BACKGROUND

A. Funding Source and Available Funds

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) received $100,000 from the Vermont
Legislature to provide matching grants for capital investments that will support Vermont
agricultural producers in obtaining GAP certification. There is a maximum cap among all GAP Capital
Improvements Program grants of $10,000 per farm, and farms must contribute a minimum of 50% of the
total project costs.

This funding will be disbursed in two grant rounds, with the first grant round open from July 1 to
September 30, 2011. A total of $50,000 is available in the first grant round, and will be made
available to producers for eligible expenses in the order that applications are received.
Applications received after first round grant funds are fully expended will be automatically
considered in the second round of funding. The second round will open on November 1, 2011.

Please note that all farmers who undergo a USDA GAP audit through VAAFM are also eligible for a
reimbursement of up to $500 of audit costs, for a maximum of two growing seasons or $1000 per farm.
Audit costs are not an eligible expense for the GAP Capital Improvement Grant. Please contact
Chelsea Bardot Lewis at 802-828-3360 for more information.

B. Eligibility and Program Goals

The goals of the GAP Capital Improvement Grant Program are to increase sales of Vermont fruits and
vegetables by maintaining or increasing market access and promoting food safety. To be eligible for
funding the participant must be in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture regarding
regulatory requirements and resulting penalties.

Current GAP-certified producers, or those who are looking towards GAP certification are eligible.
By June 30, 2012, producers must either 1) obtain GAP certification; 2) create a food safety plan
that will bring them closer to their goal of GAP certification; or 3) have an appointment with a
GAP auditor to begin the audit process.

Pre-approved uses for this grant include:
Water systems, delivery and treatment devices and improvements
Fixed or portable restrooms
Hand-washing sinks (mobile or stationary)
Crop production equipment to reduce food safety risks
Field harvest systems to reduce food safety risks
Cooler walls and refrigeration units
Packing-shed walls, ceilings, and light fixtures Drainage systems in coolers and packing sheds
Fencing

Additional uses may be proposed.

C. Application and Review Process

The full application format is provided below. This grant application must be fully completed,
signed, and submitted to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, hereby referred to
as the Agency, for eligibility. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of
representatives of the Agency, UVM-Extension, NOFA-VT, and producer groups.

If selected, you will be notified by the Agency. We expect to notify applicants of funding
decisions within 4 weeks of the application receipt. Successful applicants will have to sign grant
agreements and submit W-9 forms to the Agency before funds can be disbursed.

Application Instructions
1.   Fill out the cover sheet

2.   Answer the application questions.

3.   Fill out the one-page budget form, and attach a budget narrative, showing and describing the
sources and uses of funding for your project. Be sure to show the required 50% funding match from
sources other than the GAP Capital Improvements Grant Program.

4.   Mail or email the completed application materials to:
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Email: chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us

Application assistance: If you need assistance with your application, please contact Chelsea Bardot
Lewis, Agriculture Development Coordinator at 802-828-3360 or chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us.

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Vermont Fresh Network Announces Culinary Advisory Program

VFN is pleased to launch a pre-market product feedback program. A panel of VFN culinary professionals is available to provide product evaluations for Vermont farmers and producers.

The panel will offer advice to participants on a variety of attributes, including, but not limited to: suggested product uses, packaging, delivery, quality expectations, quantity requirements, and marketplace response to the proposed price point. Following product evaluation by the panel, producers will be provided with a report containing panel members’ feedback. These evaluations may be incorporated into marketing plans and/or inform product modifications.

This program is intended for Vermont farm product development – including conventional and/or organic produce (raw product or lightly processed), dairy, meat (raw product or processed) and specialty food products.

Currently, the program is open to all Vermont food producers and growers, and is available to qualified candidates free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity to present your value added Vermont agricultural product for feedback from a panel of culinary experts.

 

Culinary Advisory Panel Members:

  • Aaron Josinsky, Consulting Chef, Topnotch Resort
  • Diane Imrie, Director of Nutrition Services, Fletcher Allen Healthcare
  • Gregory Labarthe, Owner, Bon Temps Gourmet
  • Molly Stevens, Chef and Cookbook Author
  • Maura Lynn, Chef, Penny Cluse Café
  • Nina Lesser-Goldsmith, Learning Center Director, Healthy Living Natural Foods
  • Sean Buchanan, Chef, Sales Representative, Black River Produce
  • Tom Bivins, Executive Chef, New England Culinary Institute
  • Jeff Egan, Kitchen Manager, Hunger Mountain Coop

 

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis from the end of May. Information about the program is available on our website or by contacting alanna@vermontfresh.net.

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USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) 2011 NOSA Announced

VAPG is a program in the 2008 Farm Bill.  VAPG’s goal is to help new and existing rural independent agricultural producers. Grants are made to enable viable agricultural producers (those who are prepared to progress to the next business level of planning for, or engaging in value-added production) to develop businesses that product and market value added agricultural products.  There are two types of grants available, Planning and Working Capital.

Planning Grants assist agricultural producers to determine the viability of a potential value-added venture, and specifically for the purpose of paying for a qualified consultant to conduct and develop a feasibility study, business plan, and/or marketing plan and market survey associated with the processing and/or marketing of a value-added agricultural product.

Working Capital Grant funds are available to operate a value-added project, specifically to pay the eligible project expenses related to the processing and/or marketing of the value-added product.

Eligible applicants for grant funds include Independent Producers, Agricultural Producer Groups, Farmer or Rancher Cooperatives and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures.

The definition of a value-added product is any agricultural commodity that meets one of the following five value-added methodologies:

  1. Has undergone a change in physical state;
  2. Was produced in a manner that enhances the value of the agricultural commodity;
  3. Is physically segregated in a manner that results in the enhancement of the value of the agricultural commodity;
  4. Is a source of farm- or ranch-based renewable energy, including E-85 fuel; or
  5. Is aggregated and marketed as a locally produced agricultural food product.

Reserved Funds for:

  • Beginning Farmer or Rancher, or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher or
  • Mid-Tier Value Chain proposals

Preference is given to operators of small-or medium-sized farms and ranches (gross income of $1 million or less) that are structured as a family farm.

For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the June 28, 2011, Federal Register.Please visit the following website http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG_Grants.html orcopy and paste this URL into your web browser for application tools, including an application guide and templates.

We highly encourage pre-screening prior to application submission.  Please call Sherry Paige at the Montpelier State Office at 802-828-6034 to discuss your proposal.   We encourage you to discuss and submit your proposals early.  Please do not wait until the deadline!  All applications are to be sent to:   Business Program Division – VAPG, USDA Rural Development, 89 Main St, 3rd Floor City Center, Montpelier, VT  05602.

For a summary of selected projects funded during 2009, please use this link:

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/FY%202009%20VAPG%20AWARDS.pdf

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Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Announces

2011 MEAT PROCESSING CAPACITY EXPANSION GRANTS

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is now accepting applications for the new Meat Processing Capacity Expansion Grant Program. This program was created by the Vermont Legislature to provide matching grants for capital investments that will result in increased capacity at meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities in Vermont.

The goals of the Program are to support meat and poultry processors and producers, create jobs, and enhance Vermont’s livestock industry. In order to qualify for funding consideration a business must: be primarily involved in the processing of meat or poultry products; be providing services to more than five farm businesses; be located (preferably headquartered) in Vermont; and be licensed for either commercial or custom use. To be eligible for funding, the participant must be in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture regarding regulatory requirements and resulting penalties.

A total of $50,000 is available. The eligible use of this funding is capital improvements including, but not limited to: construction costs, materials and equipment, and wastewater system improvements.

I.         BACKGROUND

A. Funding Source and Available Funds

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets received $50,000 from the Vermont Legislature
to provide matching grants for capital investments that will result in increased capacity at meat
and poultry slaughter and processing facilities in Vermont.

We expect that applications for funding will be highly competitive. The maximum grant amount you
may request is $50,000. The business must show matching funds equaling at least 50% of total
project costs. For instance, if the total project will cost $20,000, you must show matching funds
of at least $10,000.

We are partnering with the Vermont Farm Viability Program at the Vermont Housing & Conservation
Board to distribute these grant funds. We encourage businesses that submitted business plan
implementation proposals to the Vermont Farm Viability Program to consider re-submitting
applications for this round of funding. Vermont Farm Viability Program grant funds may be used as
match for this program.

B. Eligibility and Program Goals

The goal of the Meat Processing Capacity Expansion Grant Program is to support meat and poultry
processors and producers, create jobs, and enhance Vermont’s livestock industry.

Eligibility – In order to qualify for funding consideration your business must: Be primarily
involved in the processing of meat or poultry products;
Be providing services to more than five farm businesses; Be located (preferably headquartered) in
Vermont; and Be licensed for either commercial or custom use.

Eligible uses of the funds – The eligible use of this funding is capital improvements including
construction costs, materials and equipment, wastewater system improvement, etc.

Match requirement – Applications must demonstrate matching funds equaling at least 50% of total
project costs. For instance, if the total project will cost $20,000, you must show matching funds
of at least
$10,000. Eligible match sources include: your own capital, expected loan receipts, grants from
private or public sources, outside investment capital, and your or your employees’ labor that is
devoted to capital investment (not ordinary operating labor). The matching funds must be directed
to the same project for which you are requesting grant funds.  Match could also come in the form of
investments from livestock producers, who may be willing to invest in the capacity expansion and
accept repayment in the form of free or discounted processing services when the expansion is
complete.

Financial Data – All applicants are required to submit financial data for the exclusive use of the
review committee. This data will be used to determine that recipients are capable of managing grant
funds and to measure the impact of proposed projects.
Established businesses must submit: A recent balance sheet
A recent historical income statement
Financial projections such as a cash flow analysis for the project, feasibility analysis, or other
projected financial statement(s)

For start-up businesses, the following information can be substituted for the above: Business
description
The goals and objectives of the business
A products and markets description
Analysis of the business, such as a SWOT analysis, a market analysis and/or a feasibility analysis,
as appropriate based on the nature of the business and your business goals
Financial projections such as a cash flow analysis for the project, feasibility analysis, or other
projected financial statement(s)

CONFIDENTIALITY: VAAFM is subject to the Vermont Open Records Law, 1 VSA § 317. The statute
contains specific exemptions for tax-related information of persons, personal financial information
of an individual, and trade secrets. Therefore, any data submitted will be held in confidential
files at VAAFM and will not be available for public inspection under the Open Records Law. Staff
from VAAFM and partner organizations who review grant applications will follow strict
confidentiality, will not be allowed to make copies or to share information from the plans with any
other person, and all copies are collected once reviewed.

If the application includes material that is considered by the applicant to be proprietary and
confidential under 1 VSA, Chapter 5, the applicant must clearly designate the material as such,
explaining why such material should be considered confidential. The applicant must identify each
page or section of the response that it believes is proprietary and confidential with sufficient
grounds to justify each exemption from release, including the prospective harm to the competitive
position of the bidder if the identified material were to be released. Under no circumstances can
the entire application be marked confidential. Responses so marked may not be considered.

Future obligations: Applicants who receive grant funds will be expected to remain in business for a
period of five years. If a recipient of funds ceases to be in business within this time period,
VAAFM reserves the right to require partial or full repayment. The recipient must also agree to
allow VAAFM staff to visit the business and/or facilities to monitor the status of the project and
the use of the funds. The recipient will be required to sign a contract with the Agency spelling
out these conditions.

Tax consequences: Grant awards must be reported as income on a business’ tax return.

C. Application and Review Process

The full application format is provided below. Applications will be reviewed by a committee
including staff from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Vermont Farm
Viability Program,

and other stakeholders. We expect to notify applicants of funding decisions within 6 weeks of the
deadline. Successful applicants will have to sign grant agreements with the Vermont Agency of
Agriculture before funds can be disbursed.

Proposals will be scored in part based on their demonstration of the following criteria: Proven
experience and financial sustainability;
Estimated projections of the number of permanent jobs created (either directly at the processing
facility or indirectly at the farm level) due to the proposed project;
Demonstrated support from livestock producers, either in the form of letters of support or matching
funds (cash or in-kind).
Estimated projections of the increase in numbers of animals your business will be able to process
annually;

Application Instructions
1.   Fill out the cover sheet

2.   Answer the application questions.

3.   Fill out the one-page budget form, and attach a budget narrative, showing and describing the
sources and uses of funding for your project. Be sure to show the required 50% funding match from
sources other than the Capacity Expansion Grant Program.

4.   Submit the required financial data

5.   Mail or email the completed application materials to:

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Email: chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us

Your application must be received at the offices of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, emailed or
postmarked by 5 PM on Monday, August 22. Late applications will not be accepted.

Application assistance: If you need assistance with your application, please contact Chelsea Bardot
Lewis, Agriculture Development Coordinator at 802-828-3360 or chelsea.lewis@state.vt.us.

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Green Mountain Power Opportunity to Apply for a Wind Turbine, Open to Businesses, Schools, FARMS, municipalities, and Community Energy Committees

COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – Jun 15, 2011) – As part of its celebration of Global Wind Day, Green Mountain Power today announced it is strengthening its commitment to sustainable wind energy in Vermont by offering to install and operate a Northern Power®100 (NPS 100) wind turbine from Northern Power Systems at a customer site. Businesses, schools, farms, municipalities and community energy committees in GMP’s service territory are encouraged to apply to become a host site for this Vermont-made, 100 kW permanent magnet direct drive community wind turbine.

Green Mountain Power will own, operate and maintain the NPS 100 at no cost to the selected customer. The turbine is expected to generate enough clean, renewable wind energy on-site to power about 20 – 25 average Vermont homes. The project will be group net metered with the host site receiving 10% of the energy generated from the NPS 100, and the rest used by Green Mountain Power. Additionally, Northern Power Systems will provide web-based monitoring of the turbine allowing the host and others in the community to view in real time the renewable power and environmental benefits generated by the NPS 100.

The NPS 100 fits perfectly in a community setting. With a height of just 121 feet it is about the same height as a church steeple or a water tower, and it requires no new transmission lines to connect to the grid. To qualify as a potential host, a site needs only to have a good wind resource, proximity to distribution voltage 3 phase power lines, and a parcel size sufficient for permitting. For more information and to apply, visit www.greenmountainpower.com.

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Vermont Fresh Network Announces Culinary Advisory Program

VFN is pleased to launch a pre-market product feedback program. A panel of VFN culinary professionals is available to provide product evaluations for Vermont farmers and producers.

The panel will offer advice to participants on a variety of attributes, including, but not limited to: suggested product uses, packaging, delivery, quality expectations, quantity requirements, and marketplace response to the proposed price point. Following product evaluation by the panel, producers will be provided with a report containing panel members’ feedback. These evaluations may be incorporated into marketing plans and/or inform product modifications.

This program is intended for Vermont farm product development – including conventional and/or organic produce (raw product or lightly processed), dairy, meat (raw product or processed) and specialty food products.

Currently, the program is open to all Vermont food producers and growers, and is available to qualified candidates free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity to present your value added Vermont agricultural product for feedback from a panel of culinary experts.

Culinary Advisory Panel Members:

·         Aaron Josinsky, Consulting Chef, Topnotch Resort

·         Diane Imrie, Director of Nutrition Services, Fletcher Allen Healthcare

·         Gregory Labarthe, Owner, Bon Temps Gourmet

·         Molly Stevens, Chef and Cookbook Author

·         Maura Lynn, Chef, Penny Cluse Café

·         Nina Lesser-Goldsmith, Learning Center Director, Healthy Living Natural Foods

·         Sean Buchanan, Chef, Sales Representative, Black River Produce

·         Tom Bivins, Executive Chef, New England Culinary Institute

·         Jeff Egan, Kitchen Manager, Hunger Mountain Coop

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Information about the program is available at on our website or by contacting alanna@vermontfresh.net.

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Marketing Basics For New Growers
July 5, 2011 – 4:00pm6:00pm

This workshop is funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant and offered at no charge.

Bring your marketing questions to this interactive question and answer workshop hosted by Jill Kopel of New Leaf Organics and Rose Wilson of Rosalie J. Wilson Business Development Services. Jill participated in NOFA Vermont’s Marketing That Sells course this winter led by Rose Wilson, and this workshop will enable Jill to share what she learned with participants, and enable new growers to ask Rose specific questions about their operation. We will discuss how to select, implement, and evaluate marketing strategies that match your farm operations and budget. Following the question and answer period, participants will be taken on a tour of Jill’s farm and on-farm retail center.

New Leaf Organics

4818 Bristol Road
Bristol, VT
Cost: FREE: funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant
Contact: NOFA-VT
Contact Email: info@nofavt.org
Contact Phone:(802) 434-4122

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Square Nail Hops Farm Field Day

July 8th, 2011
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Square Nail Hops Farm
528 Satterly Road
Ferrisburgh, Vermont

Fletcher Bach and Ian Birkett have been growing hops at Square Nail Hops Farm in Ferrisburgh, VT for two years. This year they were awarded a grant through the SARE Farmer Grant program to study fertility in an establishing hopyard. On July 8th they will lead us on a farm tour as well as discuss preliminary observations from their trial.
Heather Darby and Rosalie Madden from UVM Extension will be on hand to discuss pests in the hopyard, highlighting powdery and downy mildew, insect pests, and control measures. Discussions will also be held on hops processing and storage, as well as an informal meet-and-greet and a networking session with area brewers.

Registration fee: $15. Registration fee for Northeast Hop Alliance members: $10
Cost of NeHA membership: $40/farm.

Please RSVP by June 30th to UVM Extension at (802) 524-6501, or email rosalie.madden@uvm.edu or heather.darby@uvm.edu.

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A Remarkable Advantage for the New England Regional Beef-to-Institution Marketing Study

Montpelier, VT – Rose Wilson, business and marketing consultant based in Norwich, Vermont has been selected as the project leader of the New England Beef-to-Institution Marketing Study.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, the Vermont Agricultural Innovations Center and the State Agricultural Departments and Agencies of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are collaborating in a joint effort to research and develop the implementation plan for regional marketing of locally produced ground beef to New England institutions. In addition, the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture, Healthcare Without Harm, the Northeast Farm-to-School Network and Harvest New England are providing organizational support to encourage the regional effort.

The goal of the study is to support sales of New England-grown food and agricultural products through various channels to reach local consumers. The implementation plan developed from the study will be a resource for producers, distributors, institutional buyers, state departments of agriculture, and other partners in the sourcing and utilization of regionally raised beef.

The consulting team on the Marketing Study consists of senior level talent across a variety of disciplines. The team includes Rose Wilson as the project leader, Charlene Andersen of Kamigo Marketing LLC as coordinator of institutional market research, communications and social media, Louise Calderwood lead distribution channel researcher, and Kate Rumley as research assistant. Policy Analyst Doug Hoffer will assist with development of effective survey questions and statistical verification of the research results.

For more information contact Chelsea Lewis Vermont Agency of Agriculture (802) 828-3360; Chelsea.Lewis@state.vt.us

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2011 BUSINESS PLANNING AND GRANT OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGRICULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND BUSINESSES.

New Program!
Enrollment period: January – April 2011, applications accepted on a rolling basis

Thanks to funding from the Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center at the Agency of Agriculture, the Vermont Farm Viability Program is extending its business planning program to provide services to agricultural infrastructure businesses, including those that are involved in the processing, storage, marketing and/or distribution of agricultural products.

To be eligible, the business must:
· Be primarily involved in the processing, storage, marketing, and/or distribution of local agricultural products;
· Be located (preferably headquartered) in Vermont.

COMPETITIVE GRANTS OPPORTUNITY: For Ag Infrastructure capital improvements $60,000 in funding now available on a competitive basis!
Deadline: March 30, 2011

Thanks to funding from a private foundation, we are able to provide grants of up to $20,000 to assist agricultural infrastructure businesses in Vermont with the implementation of their business plans. Our goal is to support the development of local food systems, encourage business planning activities, and enhance the development of agricultural and local food infrastructure in Vermont. The program is open to all businesses that meet the eligibility requirements and particularly invites proposals for the following kinds of projects:

· Slaughter and meat processing facility improvements and expansions
· Workforce development, particularly in meat processing
· Capital improvements related to food safety
· Vegetable/fruit processing, storage, marketing and distribution projects

To be eligible, the business must:
· Be primarily involved in the processing, storage, marketing, and/or distribution of local agricultural products;
· Be located (preferably headquartered) in Vermont.
· Be providing services to, or aggregating products from, at least five VT farm businesses; and
· Have a business plan that meets our Program’s business plan guidelines and that supports the project for which funding is requested.

A preference will be made towards businesses that produce, store or distribute products primarily made with ingredients/products which are produced in Vermont or adjacent local areas, and businesses working to improve their ability to source local ingredients and/or products.

APPLICATIONS: Applications for grants as well as business planning and technical assistance will be available online in January at www.vhcb.org/viability.html . Please contact Liz Gleason at the VT Housing and Conservation Board for further information or to enroll in our business planning program.

Liz Gleason, VHCB Farm Viability Program Assistant: egleason@vhcb.org or 802-828-3370

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Vermont Winter Microloan Deadline: Jan 28, 2011

The Carrot Project is pleased to announce that the Strolling of the Heifers Microloan Fund for New England Farmers and the Strolling of the Heifers Small Farm Loan Program serving residents of Vermont will be accepting prequalified applications for our Winter deadline through January 28, 2011 for loans of $15,000 or less. There is an additional deadline in March of 2011.

For more information, please go to www.thecarrotproject.org/farm_financing or contact Dorothy Suput at 617-666-9637 or at dsuput@thecarrotproject.org.


Thank you for your continued support of The Carrot Project and thank you in advance for helping us spread the word!

The Carrot Project
2 Belmont Terrace
Somerville, MA  02143
413-218-9984 (m)
617-666-9637(p)
rdave@thecarrotproject.org
www.thecarrotproject.org

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Farm to School Awareness Day and Network Sharing
January 20, 2010
Vermont Statehouse
Open to All!
1:00-3:00 pm: Networking Gathering and Sharing: Farm to School practitioners share updates, information and stories4:00-5:30 pm: Farm to School Awareness Celebration: celebration of the successes of the 2010 Farm to School Grant recipients; and announcement of the 2011 recipients along with tasty Farm to School treats and guest speakers

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Direct Marketing Conference

Direct Marketing Conference brochure cover

Sunday, January 9, 2011 *Please note date change*
Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT

New! Register online!

Download the brochure for workshop descriptions and more details, or click here to view the schedule and browse workshops online.

NOFA Vermont holds an annual Direct Marketing Conference to provide a networking and educational opportunity for farmers’ market managers and vendors and farmers marketing through Community Supported Agriculture and farm stands.

The 2011 conference features conference keynote Reaching the Other 96%, by Diane Wolnik, three great workshop sessions, the VFMA annual meeting, and opportunity to meet and learn from other direct marketers.

Also available isMarketing that Sells, a supplemental course that will help you design a practical, action-oriented marketing plan for the 2011 season.

Registration for the Direct Marketing Conference is $30 for NOFA-VT members and $35 for non-members; this price includes lunch and refreshments if registration is received before January 4. After January 4, lunch cannot be guaranteed.

Registration for the conference AND the supplemental course Marketing that Sells is $85 and includes the conference and all course books & materials.

You may register by filling out and mailing the form on the brochure, or click here to register online by check or credit card. Walk-ins are welcome, but lunch may not be available.

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Introduction to Market Strategy through Computer Technology

January 19, 2011

In partnerships with Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and Johnson State College (JSC), the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) is offering 6 workshops, beginning January 19th, centered around how to use your computer, the internet and its applications to effectively organize and market your business, farm and organization.

For details, including the workshop details, visit our blog at Small Agricultural Business Workshops or to find out more, contact Heidi Krantz at hkrantz@vtsbdc.org to pre-register.

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SAVE THE DATE! Vermont Housing & Conservation Board 2-day conference: Access to Capital for
Farm & Food Businesses

December 7-8, 2010
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier

Hosted by VHCB’s Farm Viability Program in collaboration with the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Supported by the Vermont
Agriculture Innovation Center.

Featuring a showcase of entities offering capital, networking opportunities, and in-depth workshop topics

There will be a $20 registration fee per day.

AGENDA
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7

8:00 a.m. Registration open & vendor set-up

9:00-9:30 Plenary Session – Welcome & Opening Remarks

Roger Allbee, Secretary of Agriculture
Mateo Kehler, Cellars at Jasper Hill

9:30-10:45 Plenary Session: Breadth of the Capital Continuum

Facilitator: Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Arne Hammarlund, Peoples Bank (invited)
Sarah Isham, Vermont Economic Development Authority
Brian Kuper, Farm Service Agency
Ryan Torres, Vermont Community Fund
Lee Bouyea from Fresh Tracks Capital

10:45 Break

11:00-12:30 Session 1

1a. Understanding Your Client’s Credit Analysis (or credit score)
How it is determined and why is it important?

Dave Estes, TD Bank North (invited)
Arne Hammarlund, Chittenden/Peoples (invited)

1b. Does becoming a non-profit or low-profit increase access to capital? Implications & considerations of the L3C.

Chuck Lief, The Hartland Group and
Tom Moody, Downs Rachlin & Martin

12:30 Lunch

1:30-3:30 Session 2

2a. Venture Readiness: Preparing Businesses for Capitalization.

o Facilitator: Janice St. Onge, VSJF
o Michael Gurau
o Steve Paddock, VT SBDC
o Jon Freeman, NCIC/Innovation North

2b. Case Studies of successful capitalization.

+ Facilitator: Ela Chapin, VHCB
+ Tom Stearns, High Mowing Seeds
+ Corie Pierce, Bread & Butter Farm
+ Bill Suhr, Champlain Orchards

3:30-5pm Networking/Tabling Session

* Vendor tables for providers of capital
* Snacks and beverages

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2

8am Registration open

9:00 Welcome

9:15-10:45 Session 3

3a. Introducing Equity, Angels and Slow Money. Can it work for agriculture?

+ Facilitator TBD
+ Eli Moulton
+ Rian Fried, Clean Yield Assets Management
+ Bob Bloch (Invited)
+ Eric Becker, Clean Yield, Slow Money Vermont

3b. Government and Community Funding

+ Facilitator: TBD
+ Sam Buckley, VCLF
+ Jillian Richardson-Rohrscheib, Community Capital of VT
+ Dave Lane, VEDA
+ Sherry Paige, USDA RD
+ David Girard, FSA

10:45 Break

11-12:30 Session 4

4a. Government Contracts, Trade and Export Issues and Opportunities

+ Facilitator: David Rubel, VT SBDC
+ Susan Mazza, Small Business Administration
+ Ali Sarafzade, Vermont Global Trade Partnership

4b. Financing Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Projects

+ Facilitator TBD
+ Peter Demarcyk, VEIC or Andy Perchlik, CEDF (Invited)
+ Cheryl Ducharme, USDA RD
+ Dan Scruton, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
+ Bob Thompson, USDA NRCS

12:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Session 5

5a. Alternative Private Capital and Good Old Fashioned Bootstrapping

+ Facilitator TBD
+ Pete Johnson, Pete’s Greens
+ Victor Morrison, former President of American Flatbread (Invited)
+ Dorothy Suput, The Carrot Project

5b. Case Studies of successful capitalization

* Facilitator TBD
* Linda Ramsdell, Claire’s Restaurant, Hardwick
* Abbey Duke, Sugarsnap, Burlington

3:15 Closing Remarks

3-4pm Networking/Tabling Session

* Vendor tables for providers of capital
* Snacks and beverages

4-5pm Adjourn/Vendor Clean Up

Download the agenda and registration form

Directions to Vermont College of Fine Arts: In downtown Montpelier, at the intersection of State Street and Main Street, head up East State Street (between Coffee Corner and LaBrioche Bakery). Travel up East State Street to the end of the street, where there’s a ‘T’ with College Street. You can park in the lot directly across College Street or along College Street or East State Street. The conference activities are taking place in College Hall, the large ornate building in the center of the green.

*To reserve a table in the hall (no fee) to showcase a lending, investing, grant-making or other kind of capital offering organization or program, please contact Laurie Graves at laurie@vhcb.org

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Hardwick Area Farm and Agri-business Tours, Summer 2010

Have you ever wondered about the farms and food businesses in the Hardwick, VT area after reading an article, hearing a news blurb or eating some of their products? Well, now is your chance to join us while exploring the region’s many farms and businesses.   An amazing diversity of talented farmers and food businesses in the area are opening up their operations to show us around and talk about their work in their town and beyond.  This is a great opportunity for individuals as well as groups from schools, non-profits, other farmers or those interested of the work of re-building healthy food systems.

What happens on the tour?
Each monthly tour will be unique. Keeping in mind that summer and fall are very busy agricultural seasons, we can not guarantee a specific site or farm will be on our itinerary. High Mowing Organic Seeds, Vermont Soy, Claire’s and The Center will be a part of each tour with several other stops.

Tom Stearns, from the CAE’s Board of Directors and High Mowing Organic Seeds will lead a group of up to 25 people to several different farms and/or businesses in Hardwick, Craftsbury, Albany, Greensboro and East Hardwick. The tours will be informative, fast paced, fascinating and a fun way to experience the area.  Each tour will include at least one vegetable farm, a dairy, a food processor and an agricultural non-profit organization.

The tours will start at the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) where one of our staff members will give you an overview of our mission and goals, setting the stage for the day’s experiences. You will then hop into your cars, vans and trucks, carpooling with the rest of the tour guests, for a caravan-style tour through the Northeast Kingdom’s Gateway towns.

As late afternoon approaches, you will re-gather at the CAE to collect your things and end the day. From there, we invite you to enjoy a beverage or spirits at Claire’s bar, with dinner starting at 530pm and music beginning at 730pm. Another option is to head to the Highland Lodge in Greensboro for wine and supper.

Tour Dates:
All tours start promptly at 10am and end somewhere around 4pm or 5pm. Because each tour is different and we want people to savor the experience, we cannot guarantee when the tour will end.
May 20th (payment due May 13th)
June 17th (payment due June 10th)
July 15th (payment due July 8th)
August 19th (payment due August 12th)
September 16th (payment due September 9th)
October 21st (payment due October 14th)

What is the Cost?
We charge $50 per person, with no charge for children under 10. That cost covers overhead, planning and implementing the tours and does not cover food or beverages. We will stop for lunch at one of several area farm stands or you are welcome to bring a bag lunch.  All children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

How do I sign up?
Download our registration form and mail in with a check for the appropriate amount, SEVEN DAYS before the requested tour date. We expect these tours to fill up quickly.

Check payable to:
The Center for an Agricultural Economy

Mail to or drop off at:
The Center for an Agricultural Economy
c/o Tours
PO BOX 451, 41 South Main Street
Hardwick, VT 05843

If you have other questions or need clarification, please contact Elena Gustavson at center@hardwickagriculture.org, call us at 802-472-5840 or visit www.hardwickagriculture.org

Blog http://hardwickagriculture.blogspot.com/

And check out Dan Rather’s recent report on High Mowing and the Hardwick VT ag. scene: http://www.highmowingseeds.com/HMS-on-Dan-Rather-Reports.html

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Slow Money Alliance Second National Gathering – June 9-11, 2010 Shelburne Farms, VT

Join the emerging network of investors, donors, entrepreneurs, farmers, and activists who are giving birth to the nurture capital industry.

Come to Shelburne Farms, a working farm and forest and National Historic Landmark — a setting uniquely imbued with the history of capitalism and a nonprofit organization dedicated to forging a new future through sustainability education, creating social enterprises and strengthening local food systems.  Enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Champlain.  Meet thought leaders and change agents from around the country who are joining in this exciting project: designing capital markets that go beyond extraction and consumption all the way to preservation and restoration… starting with food and soil fertility.

The event begins with an etown show at 7pm at the Flynn Theatre on Wednesday, June 9th and ends with a farm table dinner celebration on Friday, June 11th. For program details, please click here.

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Up-Coming Professional Development Day for Vermont Technical Assistance Providers – May 13, 2010

A FULL-DAY TRAINING EVENT PRESENTED BY JANE APPLEGATE

HELD AT VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE LANGEVIN HOUSE, ROOM 103

9:00 – 10:00 am Registration, Coffee, and Networking
10:00 – Noon Business is Great, Except for the People
Learn practical, proven strategies for dealing with challenging clients, colleagues, and vendors.
Noon – 1:00 pm Lunch (Provided)
1:00 – 3:00 pm Flourishing in Tough Times: Preparing for Growth
Strategies for helping clients cut expenses, streamline operations, and build a superior staff.
Please email Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.orgby
May 6, 2010 to reserve your spot!
Please include in your name, organization, address and phone number.

Directions to Langevin:
Just off Exit 4 of I-89 From the Exit 4 ramp, turn onto Rt. 66 heading uphill away from McDonalds. Proceed 3/4 mile to intersection at top of hill (cars traveling up the hill have right of way at the intersection). To reach the Langevin House Conference Center, bear left at intersection, then take your first right onto Furnace Road. Continue straight 1/2 mile and turn right.

July 8th, 2011
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Square Nail Hops Farm
528 Satterly Road
Ferrisburgh, Vermont

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