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Vermont Farm to Plate Plan: From 2009 to 2020 and Beyond (Webinar)

Presented by Sustain

This December, Australia will have the opportunity to learn directly from the leaders of the organisation responsible for the implementation of the Vermont Farm to Plate plan—by many accounts one of the most comprehensive and long-term food and farming system programs of its kind.In the first of a three-part webinar series, Program Director Jake Claro and Network Manager Sarah Danly will share an overview of the decade-old program: How it has successfully increased employment, business creation and food security through collaborative, whole-of-system actions and networking, aligned to a shared agenda of a better food and farming system for Vermont.

They will be joined by practitioners and policy makers from across Australia who will share state and local initiatives, and discuss how the Vermont approach might be applied in our context.

Pre-reading material:

Jake Claro
Program Director, Vermont Farm to Plate

As the Farm to Plate Director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Jake is responsible for providing facilitative leadership and strategic coordination to the Farm to Plate Network’s work to implement Vermont’s food system plan. He manages the Farm to Plate team at VSJF and works to align activity among 350 stakeholders and increase collaboration between private sector, non-profits, and government to strengthen Vermont’s farm and food economy for the benefit of all Vermonters. Previously he served as an AmeriCorps member with the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) as a community energy and climate action organizer. At VNRC, Jake worked closely with town energy committees across the state on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy planning issues.

Sarah Danly
Network Manager, Vermont Farm to Plate

Sarah joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund as the Farm to Plate Network Manager in 2017. She provides support to several Farm to Plate Network groups and other projects including tracking of goals and indicators for the Farm to Plate food system plan. She previously worked at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School as a program officer, a role that combined project management with research and creation of legal resources.

Prior to moving to Vermont, Sarah lived in Boston, where she held positions at farmers’ markets and in environmental outreach. She holds a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in community health and architectural studies from Tufts University. Sarah also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she took practical courses in design but developed a passion for ceramics and jewelry. She lives on a sheep farm in South Royalton and spends her free time gardening, hiking with her dog, and watching the sheep.

Holley Jones
Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services, Senior Public Health Nutritionist

Holley currently works within Public Health Services, supporting Tasmania’s position on public health nutrition matters in the food regulatory system. Most of her working life has been at the intersection of health and social policy and programming, working with Australian Red Cross on local, state and national food security responses including policy and advocacy.

Working in Timor Leste alongside a fiercely clever and committed group of women running a malnutrition rehabilitation centre, while also competing a Master of Public Health, has led Holley to be deeply interested in the whole food system and the processes and politics that shape who eats what.

Holley is a public health nutritionist striving for a healthier, more fair food system everyone can enjoy, without costing the earth.

Alan Beattie and Oral McGuire
Noongar Land Enterprise Group

Oral McGuire, Principle Consultant of Gundi Consulting, is a South-West Nyungar man. He brings cultural knowledge of the land and forest, which has been shared through Nyungar stories, song lines and beliefs of the flora and fauna as well as a full appreciation of Nyungar significant and sacred places and sites.

He has 18 years experience as a professional fire-fighter and for the past 11 years has been practicing cultural burning on his 2100 acre property where he and his family are transforming the land back to its natural state – their vision is to plant 1 million trees and to create a Noongar cultural sanctuary.

Oral is a prominent Nyungar community leader, landholder and long-term champion of Aboriginal economic empowerment and capacity building with specific experience in traditional land and fire management practices. He has vast knowledge and experience in government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector and a proven track record in bridging the divide between ‘mainstream’ and Aboriginal communities.

Alan Beattie is the CEO of the Noongar Land Enterprise Group (NLE). Alan is a recognised industry leader, having held a number of senior roles in Government, the Not for Profit and private sector since 1997. In 2013 Alan was awarded the Asia Pacific Enterprise Corporation (AP-EC) Asia Pacific Enterprise Leadership Awards (APELA) Social Service Award.

Pieta Bucello
Cardinia Shire Council, Healthy Communities Coordinator

Pieta is a public health planner and dietitian with 9 years’ experience working in both the community health and local government sectors. She’s currently leading the Social and Community Planning Team at Cardinia Shire Council and has developed key strategic documents such as Cardinia Shire’s Liveability Plan and Cardinia’s Community Food Strategy.

Pieta is passionate about working with communities, government and institutions to create healthy, delicious, sustainable and fair food systems for all; and helped to establish the Cardinia Food Circles Collective Impact Project.

Vermont Farm to Plate: Planning for Sustainable and Secure Food and Farming Systems

A three-part webinar series that invites Australians involved in the food systems communities of practice to learn from the  Vermont Farm to Plate plan.

Register for the succeeding events here:

This event is organised by Sustain.

It is supported by VicHealth, the Tasmanian Government, Commonland, University of Wollongong, SA Urban Food Network, Eat Well Tasmania, Gateway Health, RegenWA, Food for Thought, Community Food Events, Charles Sturt University, Cardinia Shire Council, Community Food for All, Plan-It Rural, Albury Wodonga Local Food Network, Gateway Health, City of Casey, Benalla Health, Peninsula Health, Wangaratta Community Food for All, the City of Greater Dandenong, Kooweerup Regional Health Service, The Community Plate, and Leah Galvin Consulting.

About The Vermont Farm to Plate Plan and Network

Since its launch in 2009, the Vermont Farm to Plate plan remains the most comprehensive food system policy and planning framework in the United States. The Plan, instigated by producer and civil society organisations and supported by the state government, aims to bolster the strength and integrity of the Vermont food system in recognition of the central role it plays in the state’s economy, identity, and quality of life.

The plan is guided by 25 goals of a strategic plan that seeks to increase economic development and jobs in the food and farm sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. To date, the program has created 6,529 new food systems jobs and has decreased the number of food insecure people in the state by 26%.

The goals are implemented by the Farm to Plate Network, a unique multi-stakeholder collaboration which comprises over 350 Vermont organizations, encompassing all types and scales of production and processing businesses, government entities, educational institutions, distributors, retailers, industry leaders, and non-profits. Collectively, they work to relocalize the food system, as well as assess gaps, opportunities, and trends and monitor progress.

More information:

This event has already taken place.

For more information about this past event, visit