Annual Meeting 2023
2023 Vermont Fresh Network Annual Meeting
Monday, January 30th, 2023, 11:00 - 4:00,
ECHO: Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington
Networking - Panels - Discussions
It has been 2 years since we've met in person.The VFN Annual Meeting is a chance to connect with farmers, food producers, distributors, chefs and other culinary professionals. It combines panel discussions and plenty of informal networking opportunities, plus a chance to shape VFN's work for the upcoming year.
Our Annual Meeting on January 30th, was quite a day. Our host Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain was lovely and attendees enjoyed networking with old friends and new acquaintances.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2023 Vermont Fresh Network Annual Meeting! We especially want to thank the Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain for hosting us and 14th Star Brewing Co. • August First • Blake Hill Preserves • Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling Company • Burlington Beer Co. • Cabot Creamery Co-operative • Four Town Lowlines • Grateful Greens • Honey Road • Jericho Settlers Farm • Jules on the Green • Kestrel Coffee Roasters • Misty Knoll Farms • Prohibition Pig • Sugarsnap Catering • Shelburne Farms for providing lunch and sweet treats for the day.
- After being away since 2019, our 2022 Annual Forum Dinner came back strong. This dinner is a major fundraiser for our organization and it certainly has been missed - Between the number of VFN Partner Members showcasing their food, and by the number of attendees from the public, we had a solid crowd of like minded people devoted to VFN’s mission. Our silent auction continues to be popular and with a ticket price increase, the funds we raised go straight to programs and work that benefits our members. We are looking forward to our 25th Forum Dinner at Shelburne Farms coming up this year on August 6th.
- Events like today are directly connected to our mission of strengthening partnerships. This year we hosted two networking events bringing together over 100 farmers, chefs and producers, in St. Albans and Middlebury. There will be more networking events in 2023 around the state.
- In 2022 we continued to focus on partnerships to amplify our outreach efforts and promote VFN members as well as our projects. This includes working with the Vermont Department of Tourism. In your packets, you’ll see a DigInVT booklet that we designed and is distributed by VDTM to people out of state who request information about Vermont Local Food and Drink.
- Building a strong network: In Jan.2020 we had over 280 Partner Members. Because of pandemic-related depression of the market, paid membership dues dropped substantially in 2020 and 2021. However, this year membership renewals have continued to increase. New membership and recruitment continues to grow with 39 new members joining us in 2022. As of today, we’re at just over 207 Partner Members and look forward to building on the successful membership efforts going forward.
- Strengthening our Foundation: In 2022, We received two grants, a Working Lands Enterprise Fund and a Specialty Crop Producer Association Grant. Both grants came in at the right time as we continue to transition out of the pandemic. They work together to strengthen the foundation of our organization so that we may better serve members and our mission. The grants include funding for staff professional development, staff capacity building in 2023, and a VFN strategic planning project this coming year. The grant projects also include new ways for VFN members and the public to engage through chef/farmers market tours and a 6 episode podcast series.
In 2023, we will be looking to the future with major strategic planning. Tackling questions like, How will VFN/Dig-In co-operate and continue to be financially viable in the future? How can VFN best assist members in a continually challenging environment?
Heading into 2023, we will focus on:
Transparency, Increasing Network Partnerships
Agritourism & Culinary Tourism
Thank you to our Annual Meeting Sponsors!