When you work for a small food hub, the opportunity for networking and collaborating with colleagues can seem a bit out of reach.
“So many of us in (the food hub) world work in isolation, so it’s great to come together—in the same place—and talk and work out problems in real time and face-to-face, and realize there are others of us out there doing the same work,” says Abby Long, manager of Three Rivers Grown in Pennsylvania.
Abby is referring to UVM’s Food Hub Management Certificate Program, where she had the chance to brainstorm and problem solve with other food system professionals.
The Food Hub Program at UVM offers a blend of hands-on, community-based, online and on-campus learning. Students in the program are prepared for effective management of food hubs and provide essential tools to advance their career in food systems.
At Three Rivers Grown, Abby helps to manage the aggregation, sale, and distribution of quality food from small farms and food producers located within 250 miles of Pittsburgh, Penn.
While she understands the complexities of food distribution and sales, she enrolled in UVM’s Food Hub Program—the only program of its kind in the nation—to hone her skills.
“I think the most interesting thing for me was checking my technical skills. I work for a small food distribution business, and I’ve taught myself how to do (this work) over the past couple of years. But I never had a reference point, and I was like, ‘Am I running this business right?’”
Watch interviews with Abby and other Food Hub students on the UVM Continuing and Distance Education Facebook page.