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UVM Center for Rural Studies Requests Proposals for Food System Projects

$35,000 set aside to fund 3-4 projects.

The University of Vermont Center for Rural Studies (CRS) has set aside $35,000 of a USDA grant, secured with the help of Senator Patrick Leahy, to fund 3- 4 food system projects in the amount of up to $12,000 each.

The goal of this minigrant funding program is to support partnerships and learning between the University of Vermont academic community and communities of practice in Vermont's food system. This goal will be accomplished by supporting projects that have implications on the understanding of Vermont's food system and that involve a combination of implementation of food system practices, research and evaluation of results and learning, and outreach and communication of new knowledge and expertise to both the academic and practical communities.

"We are pleased to be taking some of the first steps toward 'seeding' the transdisciplinary spire of excellence in food systems with the help of Senator Leahy," says CRS Director Dr. Jane Kolodinsky. "It is our hope that research/application incentives such as these will help in the development of projects and results that can preserve and grow Vermont's land based economy."

Examples of projects that could be funded include - and are not limited to - research and evaluation of food system practices, development of technical assistance, market analyses for local and regional products, and the creation of new collaborative/business relationships.

Says Senator Leahy, "I am very pleased to see the Center for Rural Studies make these funds available for the widest range of food system projects. This is an exciting time at UVM and across the state as Vermonters move into the lead in building sustainable food systems."

Funded projects will be required to partner with members of the UVM academic community and submit an article to a peer-review journal, as well as develop outreach for the general and practicing public, such as white papers and presentations.

Proposals to the funding program are due on December 9, 2010. The request for proposals and more information are available at Those interested may also contact Will Sawyer at CRS at 802-656-0892 or

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