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. 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!
Our most recent round of applications was for Slow Food Nations in Denver, Colorado, July 13 - 15. This festival is a diverse gathering of producers and consumers, combining sampling opportunities for unique foods and deep dive talks and workshops on Slow Food-related topics. Recipients will be announced in mid-May.
New application rounds will appear here, on the VermontFresh.net blog, and in the Fresh Insider newsletter. Our next planned conference grant will be for the Global Food Tourism Conference happening in October in Austin, TX (applications open in June).
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Helen Labun at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more and contributing to this work.