The Northwest Healthy Roots Collaborative is pleased to be the 2018 host for the Growing the Working Landscape Conference. The conference, formerly titled Financing the Working Landscape, will be held on November 8, 2018 at Saint Albans City Hall on North Main Street in Saint Albans. The all-day conference focuses on food and farm businesses, providing owners with the tools to shape their business for profitability and quality of life. Organizations of all sizes are encouraged to participate in the annual event, which started in 2011. Attendees will learn about new markets and creative ways to utilize already existing production while adding profitable products. Industry leaders will lead discussions on how to make the most of markets and share their stories of success.

“We’re really excited to be bringing this conference to Franklin County,” said Koi Boynton, co-coordinator for Northwest Healthy Roots Collaborative. “We took this opportunity to step back, reassess the scope and viability of the conference, rebrand it in the process, and then inject our county’s strong and successful foods industry into the event.”

The full-day agenda includes several opportunities to learn, discover, and network, with panels and sessions filled with the industry’s key statewide and local leaders.

“Bringing the conference to Saint Albans has allowed us to expand the breadth of the event and let us to gather our connections into one room as a wealth of resources for newer folks in the industry,” said Johanna Setta, co-coordinator for Northwest Healthy Roots Collaborative. “It really encapsulates the mission behind our organization as well, to provide resources to consumers and producers in the region that focus on food education, access, and infrastructure.”

Highlights of the day include conversations on topics from hemp, farm financial management, meat mineral mixes, and profitability, to food and farm tourism, silvopasture, and maple industry trends. There is also an opportunity for those just starting out to hear about what funders and lenders are looking for and how to work with them, in a session entitled Funder Fishbowl.

Franklin and Grand Isle County businesses Pigasus Meats, Vermont Cranberry Company, Foggy Brook Farm, Doe’s Leap Farm, and Branon’s Barrywilde Maples will serve as panelists on a morning session about scaling. Later, representatives from organizations such as Intervale Center, Vermont Fresh Network, UVM Extension, and NOFA Vermont, as well as the State of Vermont and USDA, provide crucial insight into several areas of agriculture and business.

A local foods lunch provided by The Clean Spoon with a complimentary beer tasting at 14th Star Brewery will keep attendees sustained for the entire day of learning and opportunity. The conference wraps up with a Service Provider Matchmaker opportunity.

The 2018 Growing the Working Landscape Conference will happen from 8:30AM to 4:00PM at the Saint Albans City Hall on November 8, 2018. To see the full agenda or to register, click here.