Working Lands

Session One: An Acre at a Time: Managing Land for Climate Resiliency

September 19 | 10:00 am to Noon

Recent reports that the planet had its hottest four years on record highlight the need for accelerated work to keep global warming below critical tipping points, as well as the need to ensure that our communities are prepared for the changes in climate we are already experiencing. Management of working lands can play a vital role both in helping to mitigate the effects of a changing climate as a natural solution, and in adaptation. This workshop will showcase practices that foster carbon sequestration, such as restoration of the land, grass-based agriculture, and conservation of forests, and offer practical solutions to using working lands to help prepare our region for a changing climate.

Speakers: Joshua Faulkner, Farming & Climate Change Program Coordinator, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture; David Patrick, Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy, NH Chapter; Steven Whitman, Founder and Principal, Resilience Planning & Design; Karen Fitzgerald, Senior Landscape Architect, Toole Design Group

Session Two: Governing for Farm Viability

September 19 | 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Farm and forest entrepreneurs are at the heart of the New England landscape and an integral part of what makes our region a quality place to live. Agriculture is not only vital to our heritage but an integral driver of our local economy. This session will focus on how we can ensure our farmers have the support they need from state and local farm policies and direct services geared to support farm viability. We will highlight success stories in state level tax reform, farmland access, and other policies to encourage farm profitability and the continuation of the agricultural tradition in New England.

Speakers: Jennifer Rushlow, Director of Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School; Laurie Beyranevand, Director of the Center for Agriculture & Food Systems, Vermont Law School; Sara Dewey, Director of Farm & Food and Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation

Session Three: Crazy Good: Show Me the Money – Creative Financing for Farmers and Food Producers

September 20 | 9:00am to 11:00am


Every small business owner knows the challenges of securing capital.  This proves even more challenging for farmers since lenders often don’t “get” farming and see their businesses as riskier. Thankfully, this view is starting to change as more lenders get on board with lending to the agricultural community.  This workshop will highlight several innovative financing opportunities for farmers and food producers, including a new farm-focused credit union—the first of its kind in the nation, a community loan fund that offers business planning services alongside its lending products, and a “slow money” model that allows community members to invest directly in local farms and food businesses.

Speakers: Scott Budde, Project Director, Maine Harvest Credit Project; Charlene Andersen, Farm Food Lender, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund; Rebecca Busansky, Program Manager, PVGrows Investment Fund

Session Four: Bridgeable Gaps: The Fuel for Rural Change

Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Keynote Speaker: Art Markman, IC2 Executive Director, The University of Texas Austin

 

Optional Bonus Lunch

Relate to Your Plate: Working Lands Lunch

Chef Jordan Scott and Machina Kitchen have a passion for high quality food and cultivating strong relationships with the local farmers and food entrepreneurs that produce it. Scott will share his perspective on the role of a chef in the local food system and how nationwide chefs are creating change in communities. Stonewall Farm, a vendor of Machina Kitchen and also the newest New England Savory Hub, will be highlighted. Scott is a board member of this educational working farm and he will shed some light on their land management efforts – demonstrating the connections of rural land conservation, and culinary enjoyment, to the economic vitality of a community.

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About Chef Jordan Scott
Partner & Chef Patron, Culinary Director

Jordan Scott is a classically trained chef with a passion for globally inspired seasonal food made with local ingredients. Jordan has described his wine dinners as a study in simplicity. He finds great joy in creating simple, elegant dishes built on a foundation of technique and with care given to each ingredient. His dishes delight the most sophisticated palate, balancing rustic charm with an innovative and artistic twist. Jordan has a great deal of respect for the traditional French style of cooking and uses that as a foundation from which to explore modern and progressive methods and flavors. Jordan cares deeply for our local community and has been a passionate advocate for local foods and has worked tirelessly to build long-term relationships between our restaurant community and our local farms.

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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