End of the School Year: A Farewell and Report

Another school year has come to an end.  The flurry of end of semester projects and events is all-consuming and unfortunately does not leave us adequate time to say proper thank yous and goodbyes.

This past year, there was an additional person working behind the scenes on Vermont First, involved in everything from the trenches of data to presenting to the Vermont First Advisory Board to mapping out the regional dairy supply chain.  Katie Horner (pictured on far right) was the first UVM Food Systems Graduate Fellow to dedicate her fellowship year to focusing on Vermont First.  Her passion for food and food systems (in her “free” time she and her partner run a cafe, put on local burger nights for 500+ people at Bread and Butter Farm, to just name a few!), vibrant personality, and great attention to detail made her a real pleasure to work with.

Learn more about Katie here!

What better way to show our appreciation of her work than the culmination of her year’s work – the Vermont First Annual Report!




More Skin in the Game

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

– Benjamin Franklin

On the heels of the exciting announcement of Sodexo’s $500,000 gift to UVM’s Food System Initiative and Food Systems Graduate Program (read more here), we look forward to the ideas that will come from those dollars.

I’m writing this post at the Vermont Farm to Plate Network Gathering, which is the annual culmination of an idea factory network that generates tangible results.  I can’t help but reflect on how Vermont First’s origin story is closely linked to the dynamic forward-thinking of this robust network. Three years ago, this network partnered with Sodexo to put together a statewide forum geared towards training Vermont producers in scaling up to sell to a company like Sodexo.  The relationships built as a result of that creative collaboration laid the groundwork for what has become a Sodexo investment in the state of Vermont, Vermont First.

Let’s see where this batch of ideas to be spearheaded at UVM takes us.