Resource Guide: Vermont New Farmer Network Member Organization
Center for an Agricultural Economy
The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) has a bold vision to build upon local tradition and bring together the community resources and programs needed to develop a local, self-sustaining 21st Century food system. This food system will address important and timely issues on both the national and local scale.
On a local level, this food system will help to preserve agricultural land, support small diverse farms, reduce the barriers the next generation of farmers and those just entering the market, and create more markets for value added agricultural products. On the national level, this food system will help decentralize and diversify food production thereby addressing the larger environmental issues stemming from industrial agriculture.
Core Action Plan
- Building Community Infrastructure – providing the physical resources that will support existing agricultural ventures, reduce the economic barriers to bringing in the next generation of small farmers, and reduce the barriers to producing new value added exports. The CAE purchased a 15 acre parcel of land in the heart of Hardwick. Formerly a granite industry property, Atkins Field houses a massive historic shed that will host a year-round Farmer’s Market and sustainable agriculture and community events. In the future, the Center hopes to develop an agricultural eco-industrial park based on a recently completed feasibility plan to provide a place for cost-effective sharing of processing, storage and marketing for value-added food businesses.
- Increasing Food Security- making local food accessible to even the neediest individuals through the Food Shelf, the Agency on Aging, and other direct community distribution centers.
- Information and Education - changing public policy that affects farms, the environment and economics, engaging local youth in their food systems, and creating collaborative relationships with other agricultural, environmental, and sustainable groups. The CAE serves as a hub of information to connect farmers and producers to technical training and business support programs, and works to engage local youth in developing their future food system.
Address: The Center for an Agricultural Economy, P.O. Box 451, 41 S. Main Street, Hardwick, Vermont 05483
Phone: (802) 472-5840
Last modified August 12 2010 08:08 PM