New Farmer Network Survey

As a member of the VT New Farmer Project Team, we’re asking that you please take 5 minutes today to fill out the New Farmer Network’s 2014 survey. Everyone who responds will be eligible to enter a drawing for some great prizes. More about prizes below!

Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=GVhb2_2buzcjInYeWGn_2fGOew_3d_3d

Why another survey? Why now?

The Vermont New Farmer Project is approaching the end of its funded programing from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Our team wants to find out what worked for you — and what hasn’t to make sure that future efforts can be as effective as possible. Given the competitiveness of grant funding for new farmer programs, it is crucial to get feedback about the impact these programs are having on your development as a farmer and your farm plans.

You received this email because you have participated in some aspect of the Vermont New Farmer Project:

  • signed up for our newsletter or blog,
  • met with a farm business consultant,
  • attended a workshop or class,
  • participated in the CRAFT based apprenticeship program,
  • watched a webinar.

Or maybe you just emailed us a request for information. There are lots of ways we’re making information and resources available to new farmers.

Vermont New Farmer Project programming is being delivered by multiple organizations– including the the Association of Africans living in Vermont, Intervale Center, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, UVM Extension and Vital Communities. If you already responded to a similar request from one of our project partners, Thank you!There is no need to fill out another survey.

Prize Information!

Everyone who fills out the survey will have a chance to win some great prizes. We will randomly select 2 people every week until June 15 to win their choice of farmer magazine subscriptions, books, soil tests and more. If you don’t win the first week’s drawing, you’ll automatically be entered in the next week’s and so on. So, don’t delay! The sooner you fill out the survey, the more chances you’ll have to win.

We value your feedback. It helps us know how we’re doing and how we can shape future programming to meet your needs.

Thanks!

The VT New Farmer Project Team

Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails from us, please click the link below, and you will be automatically removed from our mailing list. https://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx?sm=GVhb2_2buzcjInYeWGn_2fGOew_3d_3d

Red Clover Inn Seeks Line Cook

Full time line cook/sous chef position available at the Red Clover Inn, Mendon VT. The Red Clover Inn is a fine dining establishment with an unpretentious attitude committed to using fresh & local Vermont ingredients. Experience is a plus however, our young chef is willing to train the right candidate. The optimal applicant will be a hardworking, team player with a genuine passion for food.

CONTACT INFO: chefcolin.redcloverinn@gmail.com

54 Red Clover Lane, Mendon VT 05701

(802)775-2290

www.redcloverinn.com

Mortgage Lifter for Small Farms

Beekman 1802 is offering four ‘lifts’ for small farms with big ideas sponsored by money they’ve raised in the last year selling their pasta sauces. Pass the opportunity to win $10,000 or other mini-’lifts’ on to small farmers you know.

Applications are due April 22nd, 2014 and winners will be announced April 29thLearn more or fill out an application profile online. 

New Loans available for Veggie Packing & Storage Sheds

From the New England Farmers Union most recent newsletter:

“New England’s small and mid-sized, diversified farms now have funding options for vegetable packing sheds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture under a recently announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The changes will be important for those who need to upgrade facilities and equipment to comply with FDA’s new food safety rules that go into effect in 2015. …
The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.”

For more info:
http://www.newenglandfarmersunion.org/whats-new/e-news/

Or contact the Vermont FSA agency:
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/stateoffapp?mystate=vt&area=home&subject=landing&topic=landing

Master Shepherd Classes

Chet Parsons is doing a series of classes for a Master Shepherd Course, sponsored by the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association. The next class in on Sunday, April 6 from 9 AM to noon at Sterling College.

This is a class for beginners that will cover all aspects of sheep and goat production.   If you are thinking of getting into the sheep or goat business, or have recently taken the plunge and now know what questions to ask, this class is for you. It will start with a classroom lecture and then move to the Sterling Farm for a “hands-on” session.  It will cover handling sheep, basic health care, including hoof trimming, etc.

You can find more info about the courses at vtsheepandgoat.org.  or call Chet at 802-848-3771.  Chet’s email is chester.parsons@uvm.edu

RAFFL is Hiring a Program Coordinator

RAFFL is seeking a qualified candidate with diverse skills to join our team. This person will take on the primary responsibilities of coaching new farmers in the greater Rutland region as well as coordinating additional programs that link farmers with new market opportunities.
Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Work with New Farmers in the area to assess their needs, connect them to resources, and create programming that helps them to achieve success of their farms.
  • Work with aspiring and beginning farmers to assist them in preparing a detailed learning plan and timeline that links them to available services and learning opportunities
  • Conduct outreach to landowners around the region to encourage listings on the Vermont land access database
  • Provide information and assistance to landowners so that they can effectively identify their goals for making land available to farmers
  • Operate RAFFL’s Farm to Workplace program
  • Serve as a resource to prospective buyers of local foods to help them identify farms with available produce
  • Create and share resources for farmers that identify potential market opportunities
  • Research new and developing markets for local farms
  • Build relationships within the business and institutional sectors of our region to better understand institutional demand
  • General
  • Track project data and create reports about program delivery
  • Continually evaluate and improve program delivery
  • Work with Program Director to pursue additional funding opportunities to maintain and/or expand services
  • Other duties as required or as time allows

Position Details

This position is an hourly positiion requiring 32-40 hours of work each week, year-round. Compensation is $15-$17 per hour, depending on experience. Hours of work are flexible, with some nights and weekends required for special events. Mileage for required travel is reimbursed.

Qualifications
RAFFL is a dynamic, nimble organization. We are looking for a self-motivated, creative, disciplined and committed person to join our team. RAFFL is a Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Desired skills

  • A demonstrated passion for local food and small, diversified farms
  • Self-disciplined, self-starter, dedicated to making an impact in one’s community
  • Sufficient knowledge of farming practices and farm management to provide useful advice and referrals to aspiring and new farmers
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, co-workers and community partners
  • Experience successfully juggling multiple projects while meeting deadlines
  • Record-keeping, computer, and data entry skills
  • Clear & effective written and verbal communication
  • Experience with grant management (including evaluation and tracking)

How to Apply
Send a resume with cover letter to Tara Kelly, RAFFL, PO Box 284, Rutland, VT 05702 or email to tara@rutlandfarmandfood.org.

Deadline for receipt of application is April 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm

NOFA seeks an Outreach & Public Relations Intern

NOFA seeks an Outreach & Public Relations Intern to assist in publicizing its 40th annual Summer Conference. The intern will help collect and document information about, and connect with, various community organizations and media outlets to increase the Summer Conference’s visibility and reach.
The intern will work a total of 40 hours from April to August. Mentorship and guidance provided by NOFA/Mass Public Relations Director. College credit possible, but not necessary.
Expectations
  • Complete total of 40 hours by August 7th
  • Ability to work approx. 2-3 hours per week, some day time hours necessary
  • Timely response & accountability for deadlines
  • Access to computer, internet, and telephone
  • Majority of work to be done independently, with potential for occasional in person meetings
Projects
  • Research and update organizational information for outreach purposes, to include coops, agricultural organizations, youth, regional groups, etc.
  • Research and update various media contact information, including newspapers, tv, radio, parenting blogs, websites, podcasts, etc.
  • Call and email organizational contacts to ask their help in promoting the conference
  • Help draft emails, tailored to specific conference tracks
  • Update and draft social media posts, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Contact members of the press to pitch story
  • Add Summer Conference to online calendars in the region
  • Other activities as needed
Skills needed
  • Data management, including Microsoft Excel and Google Drive.
  • Social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Internet research
  • Problem solving
  • Organizational
  • Self motivated
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Familiarity with agricultural organizations and/or state and regional media outlets helpful, but not necessary
Compensation
Upon completion of the internship, intern will receive free entry, free camping, and one free meal at the NOFA Summer Conference (August 8-10, Amherst, MA). Reimbursement for phone is possible if necessary.
How to apply
Send resume and cover letter, describing interest and availability, to nicole@nofamass.org by March 23. Feel free to email with any questions. Learn more about the Summer Conference here: http://www.nofasummerconference.org.