EAST DORSET >> Liz Ruffa, Project Director of Northshire Grows, and a resident of East Dorset, has been appointed to the Steering Committee of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, a project of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in Montpelier that oversees agricultural and food system development for Vermont. Farm to Plate, Vermont's food system plan, is being implemented statewide to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.
Vermont Farm to Plate Network partners with Food Solutions New England, a think tank based at U Mass Amherst working to ensure that 50 percent of the food consumed in Northern New England will be produced in the NNE region by 2060.
Farm to Plate's Steering Committee provides network governance and is responsible for identifying gaps in strategies, developing processes for learning, organizing the annual F2P Network Gathering, and shaping the evolution of the Network infrastructure over time. It is comprised of 10 members: the five working group chairs, the co-chair of the Food Access cross cutting team, Vermont's Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce, a representative of the Vermont Agriculture & Forest Products Development Board, and a representative of the Vermont Food Funders Network.
In addition to serving on the Network's Steering Committee, Mrs. Ruffa has been elected Co-Chair of the Network's Consumer Education and Marketing Working Group and will, in this capacity, oversee a statewide Local Food campaign current in development. For more information about this Network, visit VT Farm to Plate.
Northshire Grows was launched in 2014 to help develop a robust local food culture for the Manchester/Dorset and environs area known as The Northshire. Northshire Grows provides resources and technical assistance to area farms and food producers, organizes community engagement meetings and events about all aspects of food systems and seeks out niches and opportunities in the Statewide local food movement for Bennington County. Northshire Grows also provides professional development and procurement assistance to schools, colleges and healthcare institutions in the region. www.northshiregrows.org.