Vermont Business Magazine #Farm24VT, a social media celebration of agriculture, food, and dairy in Vermont, is set for May 12 at 5:00 a.m. and will run for a full twenty-four hours.
Nearly 60 Vermont farmers, agribusinesses, food producers, and others in the agricultural community will be sharing photos, videos, and stories to show the passion, hard work, and commitment that goes into growing and producing food. All of the posts will include the #Farm24VT hashtag so members of the public throughout the region can easily find them.
Because of the pandemic, Vermont farmers have lost many of their opportunities to welcome neighbors and community members to their farms. School field trips, open houses, and drop-in visits from people driving by have all stopped.
“It is our hope that #Farm24VT will inspire the growth of new relationships between farmers, our communities, and consumers that will endure long after our event is over,” said John Roberts, Executive Director of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition of Middlebury, Vt., one of the groups organizing the event.
#Farm24VT is an opportunity for consumers to learn more about where their food comes from and see the faces of the people and animals who produce it.
“The pandemic has also meant that consumers have a greater appreciation for food security and safety,” added Amy Richardson, a dairy farmer from Hartland, Vt. and a board member of the Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance, the other group planning #Farm24VT. “Farmers and food producers continued to work around the clock during the height of the pandemic, and folks often turned to their local farm stands to find delicious, nutritious foods.”
Even before the pandemic, Vermonters ranked highest in the nation for consumption of locally grown and produced foods, according to the Locavore Index 2019 from Strolling of the Heifers. The Vermont food and agriculture sectors are also critical to the state’s economy. The sectors employ more than 64,000 Vermonters and create more than $11.3 billion in economic activity, according to the Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 from Vermont Farm to Plate.
The event will include the opportunity for those watching from home, work, or school to win Vermont food and farm products every hour of the event. Prizes include a year’s supply of Cabot cheese, a two-night stay at Parker Hill Farm & Boutique Campground in Springfield, Vt., and a baking bundle from King Arthur Baking. Other businesses donating prizes include Ballet Vermont, Brown Bunny Pottery, Champlain Valley Equipment, Daona Farm, Farm Craft VT, Fat Toad Farm, Guillemette Farm, Hanover Co-op Food Stores of NH & VT, Maple Wind Farm, MKVT Farm, Poulin Grain, Purple Hummingbird Woolens, Silloway Maple, Snowshoe Farm Alpacas, Summit Maple Farm, Taft’s Milk & Maple Farm, vTerra Farm, and West Addison Acres.
Vermont farmers, agribusinesses, and food producers that would like to share photos and videos during #Farm24VT are welcome to register through the day of the event. All participants receive free access to social media workshops produced in partnership with New England Dairy, as well as a toolkit with social media tips, post ideas, and more.
#Farm24VT is a project of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and the Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance. It is funded by Vermont Breakfast on the Farm with generous support from New England Dairy. It is sponsored by Cabot Creamery and Hanover Co-op Food Stores of NH & VT.
For more details about #Farm24VT, visit their website (www.farm24vt); find them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @farm24vt; or search for the #Farm24VT hashtag.
About Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC): CVFC is dedicated to protecting water quality in Lake Champlain and supporting a thriving agricultural economy in Vermont. Their purpose is to assist farmers in adopting and implementing innovative agricultural practices to improve local farms’ economic resiliency and to promote environmental stewardship that improves and maintains the ecological integrity of Lake Champlain and its tributaries. Learn more at www.cvfc-vt.com.
About Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance (CRWFA): CRWFA is a farmer-driven 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping agricultural producers in the Connecticut River Watershed in Vermont and New Hampshire improve agricultural land stewardship practices for clean waterways, healthy soil, and productive landscapes through workshops, discussions, resource sharing, and education. They serve as advocates for their community, ensuring voices of farmers are well represented in legislative and policy initiatives affecting the agriculture industry. Learn more at www.crwfa.org.