Vermont Fresh Network has a set of core programs that we manage as part of our listed Member Benefits. Some of these benefits also serve audiences beyond our membership. Those programs include:
- The Annual Forum at Shelburne Farms that celebrates delicious food in a beautiful setting on Lake Champlain. This grazing dinner highlights the work of our members and is our largest fundraiser of the year.
- Our Annual Members Meeting, which offers professional development and networking opportunities for both members and prospective members.
- Fresh Feed newsletter, a biweekly e-newsletter featuring local food events, projects, innovative practices, and interesting ideas from our membership. This is complemented by the Fresh Insider, which focuses on business resources and information.
- Educational dinners and events, which follow a different schedule each year. In 2017, for example, we featured educational boat trips and a local fish dinner at Basin Harbor, as part of the FishOn! Program. In 2018 we are focusing on Vermont wines, with a dinner in the spring and field trips to vineyards in the summer.
In 2017 VFN also began two pilot programs. One brings chefs to Community and Senior Meal Sites in a consulting capacity to answer site leaders’ questions about managing high volume production. This project responds to the increasing demands on these sites, which are often staffed by volunteers without commercial kitchen experience. Questions range from putting food safety protocols into practice to efficiently scaling up recipe volumes to prioritizing investments in equipment. We also have partnered with the VBSR Marketplace to bring our members into a trading network designed to help local resources go further through a sophisticated bartering system. These projects are in their trial stages and we will be determining next steps in 2018.
Help sustain our programs throughout the year by becoming a Supporting Member.