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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

What's Growin' On

An online community of farmers in the Rutland region hosted by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Upcoming Workshops for Farmers & Funding Opportunities

RAFFL

1. "Using Chickens to Grow Winter Squash and Ending Up with Pigs." A Workshop at Rockville Market Farm in StarksboroOctober 17, 4:30-7pm $10 for NOFA-VT members, $20 non-members

Eric and Keenann Rozendaal of Rockville Market Farm use chickens to build fertility in the soil before growing butternut squash. They peel the butternut at the farm and use the seeds to finish pigs. Tour their facilities and learn about their innovative production techniques. BYOB and BBQ to follow (food provided). The Rockville Market Farm includes 25 acres of vegetables, 2000 laying hens, 2000 meat birds, 50 pigs, and 6 greenhouses.

The event is free for VOF farmers and full VV&BGA members, $10 for NOFA-VT members, $20 non-members.

Contact: NOFA-VT at info@nofavt.org or 802- 434-4122. Rockville Market Farm is localted at 205 Cemetery Rd, Starksboro VT (google map)

2. A CSA Primer for New Farmers Webinar October 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm FREE

Community Supported Agriculture continues to be a burgeoning movement for small-scale, sustainable farms. As the number of farms using this marketing model increase, so do the many variations of the CSA farm. Join Jean Hamilton, NOFA Vermont's Market Development and Consumer Access Coordinator, and Joe Buley of Screamin' Ridge Farm and the Central VT Food Hub to learn about CSAs. Jean will give an overview of the CSA model and highlight innovations made by Vermont farmers. Joe Buley will talk about the Central Vermont Food Hub, a unique CSA that offers products from various farms, both fresh and prepared.

To participate, please go to http://www.uvm.edu/newfarmerat about 6:45 pm EST on October 25, 2011 and click on "Webinars" on the left-hand menu.

For more information, contact newfarmer@uvm.edu or call Jessie Schmidt at 802-223-2389x203.

3. Whole Farm Planning for Women Beginning Farmers Application Deadline: OCTOBER 28 FREE for qualifying applicants

This free, ten-session Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers course will be held at Shelburne Farms from January to June, 2012.

During the course, each participant will work one-on-one with an experienced farm mentor and will learn how to create a values-based farm mission, improve their leadership and communication skills, and increase farm profitability. The course also covers business planning, marketing, the whole farm decision analysis process, time management, land and infrastructure planning, soil fertility and integration of livestock on the farm.

Coordinated by the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project and the Women's Ag Network, the course is open to any woman who has operated a farm or agricultural enterprise in Vermont for at least two but no more than 10 years. Space is limited to 15 participants selected through an application process.

To apply, visit: www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on "Classes."

For more information or if requiring disability-related accommodations to participate, contact Jessie Schmidt at newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203.

4. Growing Places: Aspiring Farmers and Start-Up Farms Four-week Online Course (Jan. 9 - Feb. 5, 2012) Application dealine: DECEMBER 15 $100

The Growing Places course helps individuals interested in starting a farm, specialty food business, or other agriculture-related enterprise explore the realities of operating a business to help them decide if agriculture is the right field for them.

Participants will develop a comprehensive goal for themselves and their potential business, identify and evaluate current resources and examine marketing strategies. They also will learn about state and federal agricultural programs and agencies and organizations that provide support and assistance to farmers.

Fore more information and the application, click HERE.

Registrations for the four-week online course, which runs from Jan. 9 to Feb. 5, are due by Dec. 15 for the early discount. A $25 late fee will be added to all registrations submitted after Dec. 30.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

1. Financing the Working Landscape Conference Accepting "Entrepreneurs Showcase" applications for farmers in need of capital to expand. Deadline: October 24, 2011

The Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN Network) is hosting a local money conference on November 10, 8:30am - 4:30pm. The goal is to connect area food, agriculture, and forestry businesses with regional capital providers.

Interested farmers who want to propose their project or business idea to local investors should fill out an application by October 24. Visit http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=rm4yijdab&oeidk=a07e4vv5mia5360c5fb

2. The Carrot Project - Loans for capital needs Deadline: November 4, 2011

Funds can be used for working capital, capital needs such as equipment or buildings, or other improvements for production or value-added enterprises. On-farm, value-added enterprises are given preference, but off-farm enterprises are also eligible, providing inputs are sourced locally. Loan amounts of up to $35,000, for terms of 1–6 years, are available.

There are two additional upcoming deadlines on January 6th, 2012 and March 2, 2012.

To download a prequalification, application, or for more information, please go to: http://www.thecarrotproject.org/farm_financing/vermont_loans

Or contact Benneth Phelps at: bphelps@thecarrotproject.org or 617.674.2371