VFN Conference Program
The Vermont Fresh Network Conference Program is designed to help chefs, farmers, food producers, and others working in our local food system attend important conferences beyond our region, and to share what they learn.
We offer scholarships (covering registration, lodging, transportation) to key national conferences and gatherings throughout the year. Recipients are selected through a simple application, scored by a committee of VFN members.
Our goal is to connect Vermonters to national networks and also strengthen learning and professional development networks back here 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, sort of like a revolving loan fund for network building. VFN staff are available to assist in this work and can help connect recipients with other collaborators where needed.
More details about applying and using these funds are available on the main application page.
Apply to Attend an Event!
In 2019, we're planning to support attendance at the Appledore Eco-Culinary Island Retreat in Portsmouth NH (Sept 3), and we will add events as funds allow. Check here, on the homepage, and on Facebook for announcements about the application.
Congratulations to previous recipients:
- Slow Food Nations in Denver, Colorado, July 13 - 15, 2018. Attended by Claire Georges of Butterfly Bakery VT and Bill Cavanaugh from the Mad River Food Hub. Check out their projects, a special hot sauce line and the first in the Meat & Mingle series happening Sept 21 (2018).
- FoodTank NYC Issues Summit - Food Waste & Food Loss, Oct 3, 2018. Was be attended by Ashely Nunez of City Market / Onion River Co-op. Read about the no waste breakfast sandwich project at City Market that followed this event.
- Food Loves Tech in New York City, Nov 2 & 3, 2018. Attended by Jacob Powsner of Baird Farm. Look for Jacob's project during maple season this year.
Suggest an Event!
We are looking for events that take place outside of Vermont, connect participants to national networks, and in some way reflect the Vermont Fresh Network mission of building from farmer-chef partnerships to strengthen the local food system. If you’ve been to an event that you think should make it onto this calendar, let us know about it. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
All current Vermont Fresh Network Partner Members are eligible to vote on awards - but please do not vote in rounds where one of your employees, co-workers, or family members is applying. VFN staff will review all applications to ensure they’re complete and eligible; voting committee members will receive a scoring matrix to use for reviewing the applications. If this is something you would like to do, e-mail email@example.com with your name and your business / organization and we’ll add you to the list.
Important Thank You's:
The inaugural year of the Vermont Fresh Network Conference Program was made possible with the support of the Sustainable Future Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, the Farm to Plate Investment Program at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Chelsea Green Publishing. Thank you for helping us launch this exciting new project!
Would you like to support our program? We estimate an average award of $1,500 for scholarships. While fundraising events hosted by recipients help cover these costs, we can do much more with additional funds from donors and sponsors. Please contact Tara at Tara@vermontfresh.net if you are interested in learning more and contributing to this work.