Direct Markets Support: NOFA-VT supports direct markets (farmers markets, CSAs and farm stands) because we believe that strengthening the relationship between food producers and consumers results in consumers who are more likely to make purchasing decisions that support the producers and farming practices they value, and ultimately increases the viability of Vermont’s working landscape. We host the annual VT Farmers Market Conference, are the parent organizations for the VT Farmers Market Association, support a variety of workshops and networking events for producers, conduct research and create resources to support direct markets, and promote direct markets through marketing campaigns and our online directories.
Community Food Security: NOFA-VT believes all people, regardless of circumstance, should have access to local, organic food that is nourishing and supports our working landscape. These programs support the many farmers and farm businesses that are committed to feeding everyone in their communities, and engage Vermonters seeking the opportunity to participate in a just and sustainable food system. We increase access to local foods at direct markets through programs that support limited-income Vermonters to shop at at CSAs (Farm Share Program, our subsidized CSA program), farm stands (Farm Stand Match Program, which matches 3quaresVT/SNAP purchases) and farmers markets (Crop Cash Program, which matches 3SquaresVT/SNAP purchases).
Farm to School & Farm to Institution: Farm to Institution is a term that encompasses Farm to School, Farm to College and Farm to Hospital, as well as other institutions serving the public. VT FEED, a program partnership between NOFA-VT and Shelburne Farms, works to grow consumer demand for local, regional, and organic food, build relationships between Vermont farmers and Vermont institutions to increase local food purchasing, increase collaboration within the local and regional food supply chain, and share promising practices from Vermont with the greater New England region. In partnership with Shelburne Farms NOFA-VT manages the statewide Farm to School project, VT FEED ( Food Education Every Day). These programs strengthen our agricultural economy and create stronger values-based local and regional supply chains.
Agricultural Education: NOFA-VT believes that Vermont farms and farm businesses will be strengthened as consumers increase their agricultural literacy, understanding and appreciation of who produces their food and where it comes from. The Agricultural Engagement Program, Agricultural Literacy Week, our annual Winter Conference, and other events work to foster a deeper understanding of agriculture and support ongoing engagement between communities and their local farms.
Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF): VOF is the USDA accredited certification agency owned by NOFA-VT. Since 1985, VOF has been a leader in the organic movement working hand in hand with producers to develop a meaningful definition of organic and to provide outstanding certification services. We work to ensure integrity and transparency throughout the certification process to guarantee that the end product meets the high standards of organic production.
Farmers Services: NOFA-VT supports farmers as the foundation of our working lands, local economies, and agricultural heritage. We offer business planning services, production technical assistance, and educational opportunities for farmers who are certified organic, transitioning to organic, and non-certified but using sustainable practices. We support farmers at all levels of development (from beginners to retiring) to meet their business and quality of life goals.
Advocacy: NOFA-VT works on a range of state and federal policy issues impacting organic farmers and consumers in Vermont and beyond. We advocate for policies that strengthen our food system by supporting organic farming practices, increasing transparency in our food supply, improving economic opportunities for farmers, fighting climate change through agricultural practices, centering social justice for all workers, and expanding access to local and organic foods for all Vermonters.