The Future of Farm & Food Entrepreneurship
Presented by Windham Grows
Thursday, May 31st – Friday, June 1st, 2018
Downtown Brattleboro, Vermont
How can you create and grow a resilient food business that affects your community in a positive way, while supporting your family?
The Future of Farm & Food Entrepreneurship Summit 2018 focuses on growing conscious food and agriculture businesses, giving current and aspiring entrepreneurs the tools, resources, and mentorship needed to evolve businesses, create positive change in your community, and revolutionize the future of food.
Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College
Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies
Author, Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible
Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and four children.
Former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture
Co-Director for Youth and Programs, Gardening The Community (GTC)
Founder, Nanny A La Carte
Joel T. Bedard
Founder, Visionary and Lead Strategist - The Vermont Hemp Company.
Managing Director, Baldwin Investment Management, LLC
Program Director, The Sandy River Charitable Foundation
VEDA Senior Commercial Loan Officer
Director of Finance, Addison County Economic Development Corporation
Facilitator of Fascination
University of Vermont Extension Professor and Director of the Vermont Tourism Research Center
Founding Owner True North Granola
Southeast New England Loan and Outreach Officer
Research Assistant Professor, Earth Systems Research Center
Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Stonecutter Spirits
Sivan spent the first part of his career in financial services at Bear Stearns, J.P.Morgan, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has made private angel investments in the consumer product goods, health technology, events, and value-added agriculture sectors.
Separately, Sivan is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Porter Medical Center, a non-profit hospital and health care system in Middlebury, Vermont. He is also a member of the Finance and Investment Committees of the University of Vermont Health Network, and a board member of the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan, Vermont’s first-in-the-nation multi-employer retirement plan for small businesses.
CEO & Board President, Vermont Farmers Food Center
Co-founder of Kearsarge Food Hub; Director of Marketing and Outreach
Hanna Flanders is the co-founder of the Kearsarge Food Hub, a non-profit organization working to create greater access to local goods in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee region of central New Hampshire. Hanna studied Philosophy and Environmental Science and Policy at Smith College, where she realized that industrial food production methods are at the heart of most of the issues we face globally today, from climate change and environmental degradation to public health concerns and economic inequality. The Kearsarge Food Hub was formed collectively to begin tackling the hard yet necessary work of localizing food production to the greatest possible extent. Now in it’s 4th year, the Kearsarge Food Hub runs a year-round local food retail operation, Sweet Beet Market, where the team works to bridge the gap between producers and consumers by working with roughly 40 local farmers and producers to stock the shelves with fresh seasonal produce, fresh and frozen meat, dairy, baked goods, canned goods, arts, crafts and more. Other initiatives of the hub include local food education, minimizing food waste, food security, creating local food related job opportunities, wholesale local food distribution, and engaging the community on all things local. Hanna lives with her husband and two children in the Kearsarge region and is professionally and personally invested in creating community connections and building a robust and resilient food system for future generations.
Finance and Facilities Manager, Real Pickles Co-operative
Severine von Tscharner Fleming
Founder and Board director of Greenhorns
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in Downeast Maine. She is director of Greenhorns, a grassroots organization with the mission to recruit, promote and support the rising generation of new farmers in America. Severine has spent the last decade gathering, bundling and broadcasting the voices and vision of young agrarians. Greenhorn produces many kinds of media, from documentary films to almanacs, anthologies, mix-tapes, posters, guidebooks and digital maps. They are best known the documentary film, “The Greenhorns” and the raucous young farmer mixers they've thrown in 37 states and 14 grange halls. Severine is co-founder and board secretary of Farm Hack, an online, open-source platform for appropriate and affordable farm tools and technologies. She serves on the board of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, which hosts Agrarian Trust, her latest startup, focused on land access for beginning farmers, and permanent protection of affordable organic farmland. Severine attended Pomona College and University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/ Agroecology.
Franklin Farm, LLC
Founder and CEO of Bagel Works Inc
General Manager, High Mowing Organic Seeds
Founder, Farmers to You
Director, Food Sol at Babson College
Rachel teaches food entrepreneurship and directs Food Sol at Babson College, a platform for food entrepreneurs to gather, connect ideas, and build their ventures. Her writing has appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and Boston Globe. The Economist and Financial Times have recognized Food Sol as a leader in food entrepreneurship education. Beyond Babson, Rachel advises her husband's Italian food-tourism company Food Stories Travel and is a Board Advisor to the Boston Public Market Association.
Founder, Sugar Bob's Finest Kind
Founder of Talgra and Creator of Invest With Values
Co-Founder and COO/CTO, Ceres Greens
Director of Business Programs, Vermont Community Loan Fund
Co-founder of Tapalou Guilds
Kate Whelley McCabe
Chief Executive Officer, Vermont Evaporator Company
CEO and Co-Founder, Freight Farms, Inc.
Marketing and Community Relations Manager, Brattleboro Food Co-op
R.W. “Eli” Moulton, III, Esq.,
The Moulton Law Group
Manager of the Fair Food Fund
Garlic Grower and Founder at Bulbs of Fire
Founder of Seventh Generation, Magic Hat, and Alchemy & Science
Founder, Center for Sustainable Medicine
Co-Owner, High Meadows Farm
Branch Manager, Key Bank, Brattleboro, VT
Co-founder, Milk Money VT
Executive Director, Retreat Farm, Ltd.
Judith D. Schwartz
Author, Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
Owner, frabjous fibers & Wonderland Yarns
Stephanie Shiman is the owner of frabjous fibers & Wonderland Yarns, a wholesale hand-dye company located in Brattleboro, Vermont. Stephanie’s passion for colors and textures drew her to yarns and fibers back in 2004. Starting with $400 box of yarn on her dining room table, she has grown her love of color to a 6,000 sq foot studio and warehouse. She and her team of creatives process enough yarn to reach to the moon and back monthly and ship to over 600 retailers across 4 continents. Her unique designs have been featured in multiple publications and her success has gained the recognition of an assortment of business associations. She hopes to continue to bring her fiber innovations to the world, inspiring all creative minds to join the world of fibers.
Founder and CEO of Big Picture Beef
Janice St. Onge
President, Flexible Capital Fund, L3C
Co-Founder, Flourish Farm
Steve Swanson is the co-founder, along with his wife Jen, of Flourish Farm, the first cricket farm in Vermont. After the birth of their first child, Steve and Jen began researching food production and quickly realized that the system was broken. They then came across a report released by the UN in 2013 (Edible Insects, Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security) and thus began their experiment with edible insects, specifically crickets. They are currently settling in to their new facility in Williston.
President, Resilient Design Institute and Founder, BuildingGreen
Founder & Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers
Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Co-Founder and Managing Director, FreshTracks Capital
Cairn Cross is a co-founder of FreshTracks Capital in Shelburne, Vermont, and serves as a managing director of the Fund. He serves on the boards of FreshTracks portfolio companies Vermont Teddy Bear, NativeEnergy, Faraday, Budnitz Bicyles and Mamava. Prior to starting FreshTracks Cairn was a strategic and financial adviser to Vermont banks and growth businesses, the assistant general manager of Green Mountain Capital, L.P. from 1996 to 1998, and spent a decade working as a commercial banker. In 2014 he created Road Pitch — a four day motorcycle tour around Vermont bringing investors and entrepreneurs to seven towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their ideas. He is a former member of the Vermont Board of Public Accountancy and was formerly a director and vice chairman of Opportunities Credit Union and formerly a director of the Vermont Community Loan Fund. In 2011, the United States Small Business Administration named Cairn its Vermont, New England and National Financial Services Champion. He earned a B.S. (1981) from Montana State University and an MBA (1987) from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). He received a graduate certificate from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 1995.
Slow Living Summit Manager
Strolling of the Heifers Intern
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Come and discover Brattleboro!
The Summit takes place in the non-traditional conference surroundings of Main Street, Brattleboro — a small community in southern Vermont, long renowned for its commitment to healthy, local, sustainable living and technology, for its vibrant communities of visual and performance artists, craftspeople, poets and writers, and for the diversity of its shops, restaurants and galleries. In turn Brattleboro is a gateway to the Green Mountains and Vermont.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of supporting
and sustaining family farms and local food systems by connecting people with healthy local food. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also organize a Vermont Farm/Food Business Planning Competition, and we publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of supporting and sustaining family farms and local food systems by connecting people with healthy local food. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also organize a Vermont Farm/Food Business Planning Competition, and we publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
In a major new initiative to further our mission, in November 2013 we acquired a prominently-located downtown Brattleboro building, the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (where Summit lunches and receptions take place), which has 4500 square foot of open space used since 2001 for public events, performances, lectures and exhibits. Under our stewardship of this community resource, we plan to maintain the public uses of the building, but also to create exhibits and programming that are related to our own focus areas of local food, food systems, and healthy sustainable living — a Farm/Food Education Center.