UVM Extension Plays Key Role in Launching International Culinary Trail

By Jeffrey Wakefield

In the spring of 2017, early in his tenure as director of UVM Extension, Chuck Ross got a long voicemail message from a farmer and culinary tourism advocate in Pontiac, Quebec named David Gillespie. Did Vermont have any interest, Gillespie wanted to know, in being part of an international culinary trail he was helping create that connected Quebec, Ontario and the Adirondack region of New York State?

international culinary trail
UVM Extension director Chuck Ross (right) speaks with William Amos, a member of the House of Commons from Pontiac, Quebec, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Ross and members of delegations from New York, Vermont, Quebec and Ontario stopped at the Canadian seat of government to talk about a developing international culinary trail connecting the four regions.  (Photo: Sarah Tichunok)

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Social Media Post Has Larger Implications for UVM Local Food Partnerships

By Anastasia Tsekeris

UVM Dining has recently been on the receiving end of student social media posts about the discovery of insects in food at on-campus dining halls. On September 27, an account on Instagram posted a video in the dining hall of a fork with a cabbage worm on it. Many students commented on the post, some poking fun at UVM’s commitment to local, organic, while others commented in disgust.

UVM Dining responded to the post in a comment:

“One of the benefits of sourcing organic food is that you know you are eating clean product that has not been treating with lots of chemicals. However, it can mean that small, harmless bugs go undetected, even through triple and quadruple washes. This is a cabbage worm and we have shared back this info with our local supplier. Thank you for letting us know, as we work with our amazing producers to bring local, quality, safe produce to campus every day. #realfoodcomesfromthedirt

UVM dining

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Erica Morrell to Speak about First Food Justice Nov. 7 at UVM

By Allison Spain 

Erica Morrell, PhD, a Mellon C3 Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Middlebury College, will speak at UVM on Nov. 7 about “Knowledge, Power, and the Politics of First Food Justice.” 

erica morrell

In her talk, Erica will draw on her ethnographic research with La Leche League, the Navajo Nation Breastfeeding Coalition, and the African American Breastfeeding Network to explore how knowledge and power function together to shape injustice and justice in America. She will connect these three groups’ work explicitly to food systems and public health initiatives, offering insights for improving food and medical practices to advance equity for all.

We talked to Erica about her background, research, and the barriers to accessing first foods.

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Two Farmer Training Students Find a Future for Farming in the Northeast

Sid Silverman and Elisa Daus left California in search of a more sustainable way to farm.

The couple arrived in Burlington in May to enroll in the UVM Farmer Training Program. Their plan was not so much to learn the basics of farming, but rather how to successfully farm in the Northeast.

Farming in the Northeast

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Uncertainty Abounds with Farm Bill Expiration

By Kate Whitney

September 30 marked the deadline for the passing of a new Farm Bill, the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government, which would have replaced the legislation that has been in effect since 2014.

Although the bill’s expiration does not affect the funding of major, long-standing programs, lawmakers left the futures of many farmers hanging in the air as the failure to pass a new bill leaves dozens of programs in limbo, including some which support conservation, bioenergy, rural development, research, nutrition, organic agriculture, farmers markets, military veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers.

farm bill expiration
A farmers’ market in Burlington’s Old North End.

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