Vermont’s Food System Workforce Dilemma

By Ellen Kahler
Executive Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Vermont’s struggle to grow its workforce weakens our economy, inhibits the ability for Vermont businesses to expand their operations, and threatens the ability for Vermonters and future generations to grow and thrive here in the Green Mountains. An aging workforce, stagnant wages in jobs without career ladders, the cost of housing and childcare, the opioid epidemic, and a need for more young adults entering the workforce are all contributors to our workforce dilemma.

Vermont food system workforce

Vermont Smoke & Cure is a food system company that employs skilled Vermonters in a variety of different types of positions. (Photo/Vermont Smoke & Cure)

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Amy Trubek Examines What Cooking Means in the Modern Age

My feelings about cooking are complicated. Sometimes I feel joy when I cook, and other times it’s more like shame. After reading “Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today” by UVM Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science Amy Trubek, PhD, I was at once relieved and alarmed that I’m hardly alone.

how Americans cook

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UVM Is: Teresa Mares Studies Food Access Challenges Among Migrant Dairy Workers

Near the Vermont-Canadian border, migrant dairy workers are grappling with food insecurity and increasing anxiety. Living on the dairy farms where they are employed, undocumented migrant workers are often reluctant to go grocery shopping—or anywhere for that matter—for fear of detention and deportation by the federal border patrol.

Vermont is not often viewed as a border state like Texas, California, or Arizona. But for UVM anthropology Professor Teresa Mares, Vermont presents an interesting case study for research. The state has a unique combination of progressive politics along with a large concentration of dairy farms in the northern counties and regular immigration enforcement circulating near the Canadian border.

migrant dairy workers

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The Return of a Sweet Campus Tradition at the UVM Dairy Bar

By Jeffrey Wakefield

Given that they’ve just launched an entire new consumer product line, this group of UVM employees is surprisingly calm, even content. Alfina gazes at a stranger and flicks an ear. Gillian nibbles a student’s sleeve.

uvm dairy bar

Both are members of UVM’s teaching herd, 48 cows under the care of students in the university’s Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management, or CREAM, program.

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Author Michael Moss Exposes How the Food Giants Hooked Us

By Andrea Estey

Have you ever snacked on a bag of salty, crunchy chips and gotten the feeling that you just couldn’t stop? You’re not alone. That irresistible sensation is completely by design. It’s just one of the ways the processed food industry tempts us to eat more of “the food we hate to love,” as author and journalist Michael Moss illuminated at the 2017 Aiken Lecture on Nov. 1.

author Michael moss

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