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Conference Program (Press Release)

April 24, 2018

Announcing the Vermont Fresh Network Conference Program

Funding to Support Participation in National Conferences & Gatherings 

The Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) is excited to announce a new project - the Vermont Fresh Network Conference Program. This program helps chefs, farmers, food producers, and others working in our local food system attend important conferences beyond our region, and share what they learn back here in Vermont.

Each year VFN will offer scholarships (covering registration, lodging, and transportation) to key national conferences. The focus is on gatherings that support the overall VFN mission of promoting a strong local food system through farmer-chef partnerships. Recipients will be selected through submitting a short application, scored by a committee of current VFN Partner Members.

The goal is not only to connect Vermonters to national networks, but also to strengthen learning and professional development networks in Vermont. Award recipients will share what they’ve learned at the conferences through an event or project of their choosing (for example, special dinners, networking events, workshops, special menus, hosting speakers, etc). These events will also help raise funds for the next round of grants, contributing to the program's sustainability.

The first round of grants is currently open for attending the Slow Food Nations gathering in Denver, CO, this July. Anyone interested in applying should visit the Vermont Fresh Network website,, for details. Applications are due on Friday, May 11th.

Slow Food Nations is a “festival of flavor, culture and exploration”, which brings together tasting events, marketplaces, workshops, talks, and a celebration of diverse foods. It is hosted by Slow Food USA, part of the global Slow Food organization that was founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.

The next round of grants will support attending the Global Food Tourism conference in Austin, TX, this October.

The inaugural year of the Vermont Fresh Network Conference Program was made possible by funding from the Sustainable Future Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, the Farm to Plate Investment Program at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Chelsea Green Publishing.

For more information, please visit the Conference Program page at or contact our office: or 802-434-2000.

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