10 Years To Improve Food Systems

NORTHEAST KINGDOMS-Vermont Agency of Agriculture has now released a solid plan to promote agriculture businesses, and local food production by Vermonters. The state intends to use this plan for the next ten years.

Ten years ago the Vermont's sustainable jobs fund was created by the state of Vermont to be able to have a guide for Vermont's food systems. Since this is not the first updated plan presented by the Agency, the second plan was built off of the original one. Ever since this guide was created, the Agency of Agriculture has been collecting data from various areas of the state to track improvements, or downfalls of Vermont's food productions.

“We started collecting data, we started connecting with the public and created what's called the Farm To Plate Network,” Agricultural Development Division Director, Abbey Willard explains. The Farm To Plate Network would work with the Agency to update the plan every ten years to ensure Vermont's Farmers and Food Production stays on track. 

"So this was our opportunity to update Vermont's agriculture and food system plans. The vision for this plan is that we now have a road map for future projects, and recommendations for making improvements for the viability of agriculture," Willard says with enthusiasm. But the Agency is not just concerned about sustaining the food market.
The Agency wants this guide to focus on Economic development, racial equity, social justice, help people gain access to local foods, environmental stewardship, and facing climate change obstacles. "My recommendation would be that whenever we are trying to make change, there is always this question of what are the most critical priorities to implement," Abbey uses as an example. She goes on to explain for viewers that whenever Vermont is faced with these questions, they will turn to the plan for help.
"It's sort of, look no further, the suggestions to reach a sustainable, viable, equitable, future of agriculture for the state of Vermont exist in this plan," Willard explains again. Willard believes that there is no situation the Agency hasn't thought of, this guide has 15 goals, 34 strategies, and 276 recommendations. Not all came from the Agency, but many came directly from the public.
"I feel like the resources are here, and we can just set some annual targets to be able to achieve this vision that we have for agriculture by 2030."