Curriculum

The University of Vermont offers three courses covering different aspects of Community Food Resources and Food Hubs. Courses are not sequential, so students have the flexibility to take a single class or all three courses in whatever order is desired.

Sustainable Food Enterprise Financial Planning & Management

Schedule

  • Week 1: Speaking the Lingo: Articulating and Refining Your Business Model and Business Plan
  • Week 2: Financial Forecasting, Cash Flow Analysis, and Fundraising
  • Week 3: Connecting the Day-to-Day with Sound Financial Systems
  • Week 4: Using Financial Reporting and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Map Success

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the components, differences and uses between business models and business plans
  • Create informed financial forecasting and proformas for a business. Identify unmet financial needs and what types of fundraising best address those needs.
  • Build and use chart of accounts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements. Identify key accounting functions and appropriate timing and reporting thereof.
  • Identify key performance indicators in business operations. Incorporate performance indicators into a financial dashboard to use for organizational oversight.

Sustainable Food Supply Chains and Getting to Market

Schedule

  • Week 1: Defining, Sizing, and Capturing Your Market
  • Week 2: Planning for Growth: Sales Forecasting, Management, and Proven Sales Skills
  • Week 3: Developing, Packaging, and Pricing Products that Expand Your Market(s) and Brand Impact
  • Week 4: Bringing Values to Market through Supply Chain Management

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the size, scope and segments of your market. Refine your unique value proposition (or positioning statement) to consider the competitive landscape.
  • Use proven practices for sales forecasting and planning techniques to acquire new customers.
  • Distinguish between implementation of grower, buyer and strategy driven product development processes.
  • Describe supply chain fundamentals. Discuss conventional business processes and how/when they diverge from the realities of a local foods value chain.

Food Operations: Risk Management, Food Safety, Human Resources, and Facilities Management

Schedule

  • Week 1: An Introduction to Risk Management
  • Week 2: Running a Tight Ship Is Your First Line of Defense: Operational and Warehouse Management
  • Week 3: Food Safety through the Value Chain
  • Week 4: Hiring and Growing Talent for Your Hub or Business

Learning Objectives

  • Describe areas of risk in a business and operations plan.
  • Identify and apply various strategies that remove or reduce risk.
  • Define and apply warehousing concepts and processes. Identify these processes in different types of operations.
  • Draw a connection between good day to day facilities management and minimizing risk to your organization.
  • Identify key food safety terms.
  • Discuss food safety considerations necessary on farm and at hub/processing facilities.
  • Identify areas for further investment or training to improve food safety standards to minimize risk.
  • Students will learn to identify needed qualifications, and the role of motivational fit, in order to recruit, hire and retain great employees.
  • Identify how to provide effective on-the-job training, complete evaluations that improve performance, and take timely and effective corrective action.
  • Use and customize communication tools that help all levels of your organization.