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Online sessions aim to help farmers adapt to COVID-19 situation

VERMONT — A free, interactive online series will help farmers and agricultural service providers learn how to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation to remain viable and continue to serve their customers’ needs.
University of Vermont Extension; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture; Vermont Farm to Plate; Vermont Fresh Network; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and other partners have teamed up to present the Sourcing and Selling Vermont Food in the Time of COVID-19 series. One-hour sessions on a variety of topics will be offered on a weekly basis via Zoom allowing participants to share strategies, challenges and resources.
“We know that these online conversations are no substitute for in-person farm visits and workshops, but they are one of the best ways to connect for now,” explains UVM Extension’s Lisa Chase. “By sharing stories and resources, we hope that more farms will be better equipped to successfully adapt to the current situation and meet the demands for locally produced foods.”
For more information or to register, visit go.uvm.edu/sellvtfood. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Becky Bartlett at (802) 257-7967, ext. 301.
Upcoming sessions are as follows:
April 21, 2-3 p.m.: Accepting SNAP/EBT as a Direct Market Farm. Emmet Moseley and Jennie Porter, NOFA-VT, will lead a conversation on how direct market farms can get authorized to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/3SquaresVT benefits (formerly known as food stamps) and obtain electronic benefit transfer processing equipment.
April 29, 12-1 p.m.: Meat and Dairy Direct Sales: Navigating Regulations, Licenses and Aggregation Opportunities. Jenn Colby, UVM Extension, and guest farmers will discuss regulations and opportunities for expanding product offerings through direct sales.
Dates and details for future sessions on food access, farm stand guidelines and preparing for agritourism post-COVID-19 will be announced at go.uvm.edu/sellvtfood.
All sessions will be archived for future viewing. Past sessions focused on COVID-19 adaptations for farms with direct sales, e-commerce and agritourism and tools for online sales.
If you have questions or wish to suggest a topic for a future conversation, contact Lisa Chase at [email protected].

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